My Top 10 Tools for Learning (2018)

How do the tools that help us learn evolve from year to year? That’s the question behind Jane Hart’s annual Top Tools for Learning survey. L&D practitioners from around the world are invited to submit their 10 top tools until Friday, September 21, 2018. Jane will then compile the data into a ranked list, showcasing how tool preferences have shifted over the past 12 months.

Here’s the report from the 2017 survey.

It’s a great opportunity to reflect on the resources you use to support your organization as well as your own learning needs. It’s also a great chance to learn about new tools emerging in the industry.

This is my fifth time participating in Jane’s survey. When I submit my info each year, I also write a summary post like this to share my personal toolkit.

Here are my top 10 tools for learning for 2018 – along with a few honorable mentions.

  1. Twitter: the conversation has slowed noticeably over the past few years, but it’s still my go-to tool for professional networking and curation.
  2. Google Search: All roads still begin with search, and Google remains my preference. Even if I know which website I am likely to visit, Google still tends to get me directly to the info faster.
  3. YouTube: Since I cut cable a few years ago, I almost exclusively watch YouTube. I subscribe to a growing list of channels for personal and professional reason.
  4. Flipboard: I continue to curate topical L&D resources into a collection of online magazines. More Than Micro and UNTETHERED are my most substantial efforts.
  5. Axonify: I’ve logged into Axonify almost every day for 4.5 years – first as a client and now as part of the team. It sustains my daily learning habit while I’m waiting for an Uber or between meetings.
  6. Slack: Most of my team interaction takes place over Slack. It’s how I keep up with the office from 1200 miles away.
  7. Google Drive: Everything I create – from blog posts to presentations – starts in Drive. It’s by far the easiest way to co-create content.
  8. LinkedIn: I am leaning more and more into LinkedIn for professional discussion. I have also started to cross-post content between my LearnGeek blog and LinkedIn for added exposure.
  9. Castro: I devour podcasts, mostly in the car and on airplanes. Castro is my latest iOS podcast app due mostly to its slick content organization.
  10. Google Meet: Most of my meetings are remote, and Meet is still the simplest way to bring people together for a quick discussion.

Honorable Mentions

  • Wikipedia: I can’t leave Wikipedia off this list. I’m on the site almost daily as part of my research (but not the entirety of my research).
  • UMU: I’ve partnered with UMU for several conference activities over the past year. It’s a great tool for prompting in-session interactions, including the 170 questions we crowdsourced during our ATD microlearning panel.
  • Medium: Speaking of cross-posting, I also publish content to Medium. These articles are typically of a more personal nature, such as my journey to becoming a professional speaker.

If you look at my 2017 list, my toolkit hasn’t changed much. Castro (podcasts) and LinkedIn moved up from honorable mentions while SlideShare and WordPress (tools I still use at least weekly) exited. While the tools may not have changed, there have been definitely shifts in how I use some of them based on the evolving nature of my work. My application of YouTube, Slack and LinkedIn have changed noticeably as my travel has increased and I look for new channels of engagement.

Despite the relative consistency, this has still been (another) great opportunity to reflect on how I use technology every day to support my work and improve my results.


Have you submitted your responses to Jane’s survey? What are your top tools right now?

JD Dillon is one of the most prolific authors and speakers in workplace learning today. He has spent 20 years designing learning and performance strategies for respected global organizations, including The Walt Disney Company, Kaplan, Brambles, and AMC Theatres. JD is the founder of LearnGeek and Chief Learning Architect with Axonify.

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My Top 10 Tools for Learning (2018)

by JD Dillon time to read: 3 min
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