One of my easy ways to learn new things/skills

February 22, 2020
Wico Chandra

Are you interested in increasing your knowledge? Or learning new skills/things? I believe most of you will answer, Yes. I’d like to share my easy way to increase my knowledge while staying productive at work or social life.

As a software engineer, I use tons of tools or knowledge in my day to day work like framework, programming language, text editor, 3rd-party packages, web server, security, etc. If I don’t keep up my knowledge about those tools updated, I can be stuck by delivering an obsolete solution or even insecure. When I build/maintain something, unfortunately, I like to make them robust, secure, and scalable. So I have to keep updating all the tools I use (or like 😊) and learning a new update is a must.

Since I was a baby, I was always expected to learn something new every day. Other than you obtain new knowledge, there are many benefits to learning a new skill. The most impactful benefits, that I feel, are increasing learning speed and having a less boring life. I know it is hard if you are not getting used to it but you’ll find your own way.

Feeling busy with my life

My problem when trying to learn a new skill was I felt busy either because of working on weekdays or doing my hobby on the weekend (Me being lazy 🤣). I tried books and podcasts. The aha~ moment happened when I realized I spent much time on email. Then I thought: “why didn’t I try to join a mail list?” And I am grateful that I tried to subscribe intentionally. Now, when I wanted to start learning a new thing, I do these steps:

  1. Visit Google and read a bunch of articles
  2. I’ll subscribe to the website if I found an interesting article and I liked the way the author writes. And also, I don’t hesitate to enter my email address if the website offers me something for their subscribers.
  3. I keep reading other articles until I subscribe to at least 5 websites. Why five? Because most websites will send the newsletter weekly.

How important is it to subscribe to a mail list/newsletter?

As for today, subscribing to a mail list is one of my easy ways to learn a new skill. Here are some benefits:

  1. They choose their top posts for you
    I believe most of you have some websites as your daily information. But one day you have a busy day, there is a chance you’ll miss one-day news. If the website has an email subscription form, you can subscribe and get their update daily, weekly, or monthly. (Most of news portal website has the feature to set the retention)
  2. Obtain new knowledge every day.
    You get a new update every day from your trusted site. And, reading something new undoubtedly will increase your knowledge, even without you realized it. You don’t need to find the knowledge, because the knowledge will be presented to you.
  3. Source of ideas
    For a content creator, idea creation should be a routine in everyday life. So, don’t think too much before subscribing if you find a new website and you like one of the contents. Especially if the content has given you an idea once. You will never know if they can give you another idea again.
  4. Learn from your competitor’s Narrative.
    In every business, competitor analysis is a must. By subscribing to your competitor’s business, you receive their content every week. And at least you will get about what they are discussing, what is their communication style, and, if you are detailed, you can know their narrative.

I feel they are spamming my inbox.

After I subscribed to many mail lists, The next problem I encountered was my mail’s inbox was full of newsletters. I felt they were spammy and discouraging me from reading all of them. And to solve this problem, I always organize my inbox into two:

  1. Important. It contains emails that I must read or respond to them. Example: Work email, Payment billing, Login notification, etc.
  2. Other. It contains other than above. I put all of my newsletters here.

If you use Google Mail, an article about “how to organize Gmail inbox” can help you with this problem. And my advice is to start using the “Priority Inbox”.

My Google mailbox

Currently, I am learning about Search Engine Optimization and a little about Marketing. And I recommend these newsletters:

  1. Search Engine Journal
  2. SEMrush
  3. Neil Patel
  4. Social Media Examiner
  5. Hubspot

By sharing their knowledgable articles weekly, they help me in my learning to know what is important and some pitfall and, most importantly, keep me updated

Aside from newsletter, I am also trying to listen to a podcast while playing a simple game (Currently, Grim Dawn) on the weekend. Maybe I’ll write about my experience with the podcast. Currently, I like podcast because I can listen to other people’s experiences.

Hope you enjoy my writing and keep learning!

Currently, I work at Catalyst Strategy, and we have a weekly newsletter about what are the things that we think interesting right now. So don’t hesitate to subscribe to our mail list.


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