HELPFUL WEBSITES AND APPS

Wanting to learn a new craft? About a strategic business method? Or are you embracing a new hobby of creating? Designing? Crafting? A number of ways to feed this need is in our hands. In fact, through our mobile phones with these helpful websites and apps.

I cannot think of a better way other than to help you guys by enlisting my own resources for learning. These apps and websites are so good not to introduce to the world. Truly, there are tons of them but I would be focusing on those that would help you develop skills and knowledge and maybe earn you a certificate in the end. Here in this list were from my own bank of experiences.

My Mondays are always considered the empowering days, hence, I called them #DIYMondays. This is when I post up articles about projects and motivational movements. From the meaning Do-it-yourself, it’s something you make yourself do on your own as far as learning and experiences are concerned.

In the name of empowerment, here’s the list, that could change your life if you give it a chance!



  1. UDEMY

    Find this icon when looking for the UDEMY app.

    “BE ABLE.” If I would be asked of what I think about UDEMY, I think, they should live by this mantra.

UDEMY is a platform of online courses that gets you skilled in writing, photography, yoga, Java script, cryptocurrencies or just about anything! I believe they offer courses that are not even available in the academic curriculum. Funny how they named their website “U”demy centering on your benefits such as: skills to be earned, time to be saved and comfort of learning from wherever you are as long as you have your mobile phone and internet. You can access some courses for a lifetime even. Famous personas like “Big Magic” writer, Elizabeth Gilbert, and celebrity fashion stylist, Tiffany Dean, are your teachers and presenters. At the time of this writing, there are 65,000 courses offered and over 15 million students.

This website is all about “U”! There must be that course that you had set aside because your parents wanted something else for you back in college. Who knows, it may be on sale today!

Still wanting to be convinced? This app scores 4.5 out of 5 in ratings and reviews.

2. CANVA

Are you into developing your online business? Do you want to profit from e-commerce? Well, here’s the bad news and the good news! The bad news is, so many people are doing their business online. There is huge competition for you. The good news is, there’s Canva to help you stand out!

In advertising your product, you might want Canva’s help in creating your design. Establishing your brand needs a good design. But since you’re just a start-up, why not take advantage of something free at first?

Canva logo looks like this.

Canva makes your social platforms lovely to look at. It aids your creativity in developing your Instagram, Facebook, Facebook Cover, Snapchat Geolifter, Blog Graphic, Pinterest, Twitter Post, Twitter Header. For presentations, you may play through canvas to develop your logo, banner, flyers, invitations, and card photo collage. The possibilities are endless with Canva. 

While social platforms develop the 24-hour feature stories, going viral had become the name of the game. This is when it becomes favorable to use pre-designed templates. Super easy to use with the mobile app, no instructional guide to use and it saves your designs separately.

Canva allows you to edit photos, add text, stickers, borders, frames and more. Use your own photos or choose from more than a million layouts, stock photographs and illustrations. Tweak it here and there to personalise your design.

It scores 4.8 out of 5 ratings and reviews. No doubt that performance wise, it is one of the bests in providing you instant social network pimping.

3. PINTEREST

Pinterest is a social platform whose purpose is to help people in the collection of dream boards of goals. It gives a solid outlook of people’s aspirations online. Until between 2011 to 2012, its share of social-media-driven revenue for e-tailers soared from 1 percent to 17 percent (Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, p.119.)

Its enables you to pin images as you assign boards per interest. So it’s like pinning onto “virtual” boards. From fashion to motivational quotes to recipes. Dream houses to books you want to read or have read, it’s a fun platform to gather them all.

Now, as per utilisation, you might see Pinterest superficially as a collection of photos. But its dimensions as a research engine go as far as when you click a photo, the reader is lead to the original article where it was posted up.

Personally, I find the images, GIF’s and videos quite enticing to look at and read on. I have learned so much information using this app and I have read a lot of interesting views and blog posts about specific niches.

By 2017, it had become a go-to for 200 million “monthly” users as they check this online “catalogue of ideas”. It garnered that much people because it has that effect as you discover something anew. You become more willing and daring to try something you’ve always wanted to do or visit a place you never knew existed.

68% of the users of Pinterest are female. More than half of these are moms. It won the “Best New Startup Award” in 2011 (TechCrunch Crunchies Awards) and the “Best Social Media App” and “Best Functioning Visual Design”, the year after that. Despite such sturdy reputation, it wasn’t successful in including China and India on the loop. According to the two countries, Pinterest may be connected to rogue websites decreasing the resin meter when it comes to hackers. They didn’t take the risk.



4. MTR NEXT TRAIN

MTR Next Train App

MTR Next Train App Icon can be downloaded for free.

Tourists coming from countries with huge land areas may find the limited space of Hong Kong disturbing. Moreover, the lack of spacial awareness becomes intolerable. Here in Hong Kong, having your own vehicle, though a necessity to most countries, remains a luxury.

Besides the gas being too expensive, there’s not much space in Hong Kong to accommodate vehicles considering its 7,428,887 (as of this writing) census. In 2017 alone, passenger departures and arrivals totalled 227 million. With this much people coming and going, the MTR seems to be the perfect option in going around Hong Kong. It’s fast, convenient, affordable and does not cause any traffic (until it becomes dysfunctional).

Planning your itinerary had never been so easy. With the MTR Next Train app, MTR schedule table of the incoming and outgoing trips per train station becomes available to the public. This way, you may gauge the walks you have to do to make it in between linking stations on time. It could help you figure out if you need to speed up or indulge into the long walks within MTR walkways. Whether if you will make it in buying discounted Mrs. Fields cookies or if you can go on the last train, you have the time in your hands literally and figuratively with this app.

However, take note that the MTR Next Train App is different from the MTR Mobile app.

5. MIMO

Mimo app is free but limitations from such arrangement may be waived upon subscribing. The 3-month subscription is worth $29.99 via the App Store if you’re past the basics of coding.

Seeing the need of the future for more programmers? Learn the basics of coding with Mimo!

Mimo sharpens your logic by guiding you into understanding how programming works. Literally, its exercises involve putting a set of actions in the right sequence. It aims to help you master programming from scratch, making apps, building websites, making games, becoming an ‘ethical’ hacker, and understanding the advancement of an automated life. This enhances your imagination and aids your creativity with the right tools such as: Swift, Python, HTML, CSS, SQL, Javascript, C# and C++.

Although this could only be downloaded to IOS devices, New York Times, Buzzfeed and The Washington Post hail it as the app that teaches computer science in a fun and interactive way. You can do it on-the-go!

Expand your knowledge to enhance your platform’s performance in building your business. Discover new ways of improving your website besides adding a plug-in and an e-mail subscription. Know the “how” this time. Instead of being a user, be the creator with Mimo. Who knows? You might be able to process a logarithm greater than that of Mark Zuckerberg’s!

6. SCANNER FOR ME + OCR

scanner for me

Scanner for Me

You do everything today via your mobile phone. Paying bills, watching movies, reading books, shopping and even finding a partner had lost its dependence on serendipity. While an android or a mobile phone’s liberating ability of making the user carry out so many things while on the road, it also enables you to connect globally. Those two things become powerful when combined with the element of time.

Additional to the superb tasks a mobile can do? Produce a PDF document in less than minutes. No more huge scanners needed! There’s the Scanner for Me App instead. Yes, you read it right! No need to be hassled out on where the nearest scanner is or how much per piece it would cost you!

With Scanner For Me + OCR, all that you need is to take a shot of the document you wanted to convert into PDF. Your client needs a soft copy of the document you have at hand? Take a photo and save it as PDF. Send it through the business email because you are that professional!

7. GIANT SQUARE

Giant Square

If your online store is in Instagram, you have to make your product worth looking at.

E-commerce is all about sustaining viewers in your account. Sustained enough to be convert into customers. Don’t remain limited with Instagram’s (Ig)  filters. Enhance your images and its sizes with Giant Square because this tool easily links finished products onto Ig anyway.

The most painful thing you could ever do to an image is to crop it compromising the entire panoramic view. But with Giant Square, it provides free service of dissecting your image of that breathtaking horizon you took with your phone when you had a vacation. You feature it with no filter in Instagram, Twitter and Facebook because it readily links your finished project with the resizing effects.

You may work on one or more than a couple of images all at the same time. Another good news is, it doesn’t go for horizontal images only but also vertical ones.

Special markers help you in positioning each part up and they make the app user-friendly. Play with endless combinations. and your collage will never look the same! 

8. FLIPBOARD

Flipboard puts your interests altogether in one catalogue type of a platform.

If it’s your habit to read about trending subjects, current event and latest news, Flipboard combines everything as one app.

News, feature articles, editorials, articles about celebrities, recent events and seasonal festivities may be searched in Flipboard. It is a news and a social network aggregator that puts together the latest global news. It liberates you from being geographically limited by getting you in the loop of what you passionately read about with the help of the internet.

Flipboard is best used with an iPad with its flip-like magazine/newspaper feel when you read. Amazingly, while its office is located at the Palo Alto, California, this app is available in 21 languages.

As a writer, it helps me put together my own magazine for my resources as I write posts. Needless to explain that the information disseminated in my posts should be backed up by proof, Flipboard served as a way of me compiling these proof.

Researchers can be creative around it favouring some people who share the same niche with you. It’s like creating a playlist in Spotify. While you create it for yourself, it makes the people interested in the same kind of songs connected to the playlist and may follow you based on both of your preferred songs. Instead of songs, its specific subjects of interest.

Also, this is free for everybody.

9. SPOTIFY

From its launch in 2008 by Swedish CEO, Daniel Ek, SPOTIFY provides on-demand streaming media to 170 million users. Together with its co-founder, Martin Lorentzon, DRM-protected hits are featured and disseminated by Spotify.

The Digital Rights Management (DRM) aims to control manipulation, usage and distribution of record labels to make sure fairness between music creators and producers and its users. While Spotify is downloadable for free, it limits access to the songs by allowing people to experience it one time big time. For you to hear a song for the second time, you would need to go for premium subscription which includes unlimited access to music even if you are off-line.

This kind of arrangement brings fairness to the producers of music because from a Business-To-Business point of view, Spotify somewhat advertises songs by introducing it FM-style with ads in between. At one point, consumers may find it annoying which with a very affordable HK$4.90 subscription for the first three months, they would not mind paying for it out of habit. Initially, the “FREE” service gives the listener all the benefits which may induce a painful detachment after a month. The listener turns into a consumer effectively from that point. Because for three months, paying HK$4.90 is like nothing.

Still, Spotify delivers accordingly. Some Samoan songs that are very hard to find is searchable here. You can put your jam in one playlist. Your favourite hits from different artists may be combined into one playlist. No need to use up your entire phone memory because no need to download music.


Be remind that if you opt to stay unsubscribed, the free Spotify service only allows you to listen to a song once. You won’t be able to repeat it and you can hit skip around 4 times only. You will not have the liberty to control the songs you listen to after that nor skip ads like the FM radio. While you go for premium, these limitations will be waived. It’s up to you.

10. NIKE TRAINING CLUB (NTC)

Keeping yourself fit and healthy is necessary. While you feed your mental health with the first 9 in this list, here’s the secret weapon to keep everything in line with your need for rest.

Nike Training Club gives you the leisure of choosing your preferred workout plan according to your schedule and according to your physical strength.

If you wanted to concentrate on a certain muscle group, there’s a line up of exercises for that. You’re the kind of person that gets driven by celebrity athletes? There are exercises by Nyjah Huston, Cristiano Ronaldo and many more, where they share their own exercises too. If you like running, you can combine Nike Run Club in the workout plans you assigned yourself with.

Its perks are: It’s free; Your playlist can be at the background while you do your reps; And each progress can be shared direct to your social platforms with the stats of your achievement.

That’s it!

Make the most out of these apps and websites while you learn. They are quite simple in the beginning but it always has something new to challenge you with. Statistics touch the three E’s of going online, education, escape and entertainment. Give social platforms a rest and engage in different apps for a change.


About

I have a deep regard for your time. It's when I write and cook that time becomes non-existent. I love learning and while you think I am the kind of lady who has a lot of things to say, just take it that I was sharing what I had learned with full impact over a cup of Joe.

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