Many of us have begun to adapt to working from home and have settled into this temporary reality of isolation. For some of us, like parents, we’re suddenly trying to both work and homeschool, and have seen our free time evaporate. But for others, now that we’re not commuting and can’t engage in social activities, we have a lot of time on our hands. You might be looking for ideas on how to leverage this new-found time that otherwise would have been spent commuting to the office. Or you might be looking for a new activity to occupy some time with your kids.
Well look no more, here are 5 things you can be doing from home that will enable you to better connect with others, grow, and stay inspired while in isolation.
Learn a new language
While COVID-19 may have prevented you from taking that vacation you had planned, now’s the perfect time to brush up on secondary languages to prepare for your next trip. Here are 3 affordable options to get you started.
- Duolingo - Duolingo is a free mobile app available on both iOS and Android that offers a wide variety of languages taught through interactive exercises. It also has a premium version, Duolingo Plus, that is ad-free starting at $6.99 a month.
- Mango - Mango Languages offers more than 70 languages taught through online or in-app exercises. Normally $20/month, Mango is currently offering their Mango Classroom free to all schools that have closed through the end of the 2019-2020 school year.
- FluentU - Slightly different from the other options listed above, FluentU features regular videos in a foreign language. The videos have captions in the language you know as well as the language you’re trying to learn. At the end of the video, there are interactive quizzes. There’s a 14-day trial after that plans start at $10/month.
Build that website/portfolio you’ve always talked about
There may be no traffic on the road to the office for the time being, but online website traffic is at an all-time high. There’s no time like the present to get started and there’s an abundance of resources to get you going while paying next to nothing.
- GoDaddy - GoDaddy is offering free hosting and website builder tools in an effort to keep businesses open even while their doors are closed.
- MailChimp - MailChimp is offering a free custom domain for 5 years along with their sitebuilder. Their hope is that users purchase additional email features after growing their website for 5 years.
- Website hosting - MITOStudios is offering free 6-months of hosting services for WordPress websites to those impacted by COVID-19.
Take an online course
Many online course providers have always had free options but there are even more offerings in light of recent events. Students tend to have more online course opportunities available to them, but there are plenty of classes that are free for everyone to learn. On the other hand, maybe you’re looking to help share your knowledge. Free video conferencing platforms like Zoom or screen recording tools can be a great way to teach remotely.
- Khan Academy - Kids between the ages of 4-18 can get started taking online courses for free. Khan Academy also has options for both parents and teachers. Subjects range from math to science, to college prep courses.
- Linkedin Learning - Formerly Lynda.com, LinkedIn Learning is offering a 1-month free trial
- Coursera - Coursera has nearly 2,000 free courses online ranging from machine learning to psychology to social media marketing that are available to anyone.
- Ivy League school courses - The 8 Ivy League schools are offering 450 free online courses that have been made available also through Coursera.
Get a certification
Hone your skills and get recognized for it. A certificate on LinkedIn could be the deciding factor in a business choosing you over another candidate. There are many options out there for earning a certificate without spending a dime, you just have to know where to look. Fortunately, we’ve done that for you.
- Google Skillshop - Boost your resume by getting a free certification in Google programs such as Google Ads, Google Analytics, and many others. Online certification lengths vary, but these can be selling points when you’re applying for your next job.
- Hubspot Courses & Certifications - Like Google, Hubspot offers a wide variety of different free courses and certifications ranging from short 30-minute courses on eCommerce marketing to lengthy in-depth certifications on Inbound Marketing.
- Codecademy - Up your technical skills by learning to code. Codecademy offers courses in multiple languages such as Python, HTML, C++, Java and more. They offer free limited plans as well as a free trial of their comprehensive pro plan.
- Sanford Harmony - Free for Pre-K-6 grade teachers, Sanford Harmony is a social-emotional learning program. Designed to help students with problem-solving, critical thinking, and communication, Sanford Harmony provides training through online webinars, to help teachers instruct students in the classroom with daily exercises.
Start a YouTube channel
With video playing a more prominent role than ever in light of social distancing, more and more individuals are taking to YouTube to upload their content and start channels. Need some guidance? Don’t worry WeVideo has you covered. Here’s a list of resources to help you every step of the way.
- WeVideo - You’ll likely need a video editing tool to grow your YouTube channel. Aside from our basic free plan, WeVideo has a 14-day free trial, and support for teachers and students affected by COVID-19.
- 30 quick and easy video ideas - Finding that initial creative spark can be tough, here are 30 different video ideas you can create from the comfort of your own home.
- YouTube SEO - Learn how to optimize your YouTube channel for search. 500 hours of videos are uploaded to YouTube every minute, here’s what you can do to make sure your videos get watched.
- Create video thumbnails that convert - A great video thumbnail is an essential part of getting YouTubers to view your videos and ultimately grow your channel. Here are some tips to help you get started.
- How to make money on YouTube - It may be down the road, but once you have your channel up and running here are a few of the different ways you can earn some extra revenue.
During a crisis, taking care of yourself, your loved ones, and the larger community is a top priority. We also have an opportunity to reflect on our gifts and how we show up for others. If you find yourself inspired and have time to pick up a new skill, let us know in the comments what you’re planning to try.