In our guides, you will find the most insightful and educational articles and videos from leading experts for each topic. You can read, watch and learn at your own pace.
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About our learning guides
On the explainer.org website, you can learn about a wide variety of topics. You can see it as a free online course without the certification at the end, although you can still get that from one of our partners. For every guide, we offer on our website you will find a list of the best articles and videos from around the internet for that specific topic.
We divide all listed articles into four levels. In the introduction section, you can read about the background and history for that specific topic but also what it is and the main principals of it. We then list a series of articles and videos in the basics level so you can get a good level of understanding of the topic, this then goes on to the advanced and ultimately the expert level. Once you’re done with reading all listed articles and watched all videos you will know a lot about the topic and, if you wish, you can go on and get a certification from one of our trusted online courses suppliers.
For your convenience, we have split all learning topics into eight different categories: career, senior management, personal development, business, finance, technology, design, and online marketing.
Within business, we cover several topics that will learn you how to set up or manage a business. When you want to start your own business you want to know about the do and don’t for entrepreneurship and once you have decided to start your own business you have to set your business ethics, outlining how you want your employees and yourself to behave within your business.
Another important element when you start your business, or for any established business, in fact, is how you do your marketing. How, where and when do you want to promote your business? It’s also important to understand economics as that has a big influence on your business, for instance on your pricing and demand for your products. Once your business is up and running it’s important to offer excellent customer service, especially these days when social media plays an important role in people’s lives and a good or bad word of mouth will go a long way.
If you are working at a corporate company then it will be beneficial for you to learn more about intrapreneurship. It’s a fascinating trend that enables big corporate organizations to move faster and for their employees to take more ownership of a certain part of the business as they act like entrepreneurs in a big organization.
If you’re currently working in a corporate organization you might want to learn about social innovation which aims to meet social needs in a better way than some of the current practices, you can think about working conditions for instance or education within the workspace. Distance learning as you’re doing on this website was a social innovation a few years ago.
Looking for a career move or looking to start your career? In the career section, you can learn a lot of topics during your career. As a starter, you can learn about your job search. What are the things you should be thinking about when searching for a new job elsewhere? Once you’ve applied for roles and you get invites to meet your potential new employer, you probably want to learn more about job interviews and how best to prepare for those.
In most jobs these days you need to be good at presenting, whether that’s presenting yourself in public or talking colleagues or clients through some PowerPoint slides, you will need good presentation skills. Learn how you can tell an interesting story to your audience to keep them interested and how to best sell yourself.
Once you’ve had one or two jobs you want to know more about career development. How do you keep learning throughout your career and how do you get the best out of yourself? You will also learn how you can increase your own potential.
Having an interesting job is great but you need to have a healthy work-life balance. You can learn about how you can further your career and get the most of out your current job but still have plenty of time for your family, hobbies or other important things outside work. A good balance between your job and your personal life is important and will help you succeed in life.
Design is playing a great role in everyday lives, even more so than a few years ago as excellent design can set a company apart from everyone else. With e-commerce booming it also becomes much easier to order products from all over the world which can help with interior design for instance.
Where do you start with design? A good starting point is probably design thinking where you can learn the principals that feed into good design. Another good learning path to start with is instructional design which talks about the creation of learning experiences and products in a manner that results in the acquisition and application of knowledge and skills.
An important element of design these days is content. In order to make a product attractive to its target audience, you need creative writing skills.
If you want to start a new business, one of the options available to you is crowdfunding. It’s a fairly new discipline that offers some great advantages over raising money through venture capital, putting in your own savings or taking out a loan. However, raising investment through crowdfunding is not easy as there’s plenty of competition, you need to make sure you stand out.
Spending money is easy but having some savings goes a long way in life. You might need to buy a house or car at some stage, both are big investments. In our personal finance section, you will learn about how to save money and how to spend your money wisely.
When you talk about technology and development there are a few things that are unmissable these days. First of all, there is agile development which replaced waterfall development years ago. The agile way of working allows companies to get software live and updated quicker, meeting the demands of consumers in a better way. Part of that trend is scrum which enables quicker development and response to consumer expectation.
If you’re looking to build a mobile app you’d have to build native apps for the Android and iOS operating systems as those are by far the most operating systems in the world. You can read up in our Android development and iOS development guides to get a great understanding of how it works.
Other hot technology trends are artificial intelligence and machine learning. Both technologies enable companies to act on enormous amounts of data automatically and improving user experience. If you’re looking to apply AI or machine learning it’s very useful to know more about data science as that’s a core part of these new technologies.
Another way of responding to customer demand quicker and improving digital experiences is cloud computing. It’s been around for a few years now but it enables companies to also be more efficient than ever before.
The internet of things is another fairly recent phenomenon. More and more devices and things have an internet connection, think about smart speakers for instance or your heating that can be turned up or down through an app.
All these technologies also influence the good old internet. It’s beneficial to understand how internet protocols work for instance but also read up on what web development is all about these days.
As digital advertising spend is overtaking traditional media like TV, print and radio, having a good knowledge of all online marketing channels is important if you work in marketing but also when you own a business. It can be difficult to understand some of the digital marketing elements as it tends to be driven by technology and data but it also keeps changing quickly.
An important element of online marketing is content marketing, meaning what content do you need to create to attract visitors and buyers to your website. And how do you promote that content you have created? An important part of content marketing is blogging. How do you write an engaging blog post?
It’s important to keep developing yourself and to improve your skills continually. We offer a wide range of guides and free online personal development courses. Maybe start with communication as that’s probably one of the most important basic ingredients you need to be good at in today’s society.
Other important parts are resilience and influence, both play a key role in your work life but will also come in handy in your personal life. For some people it’s difficult to make a choice or decision while others see things very black and white and might end up making the wrong decision, that’s why it’s useful to read up on the decision making process.
A critical element with decision making is critical thinking. How do you look at a situation from an objective point of view and how do you approach that situation?
With the ever-increasing speed and importance of the internet, it’s also beneficial to be good at time management as you can easily get distracted with social media, app conversations, playing video games or the daily stream of news. Once you’re good at time management, you want to improve your productivity. How do you get more stuff done within the same amount of time? It’s a need in business life but it’s also useful for your personal life, especially if you have kids.
Originally, public speaking was seen as a business subject, something you had to learn when you would be in a role where had to speak for groups of people. However, with communication playing ever-increasing importance in daily life, it’s good for anyone to be a good public speaker. It allows you to get your message across to a group clearly and without hesitation.
When you’re in a management position you obviously need to be an excellent leader. Employees need to trust you and your vision, hence it’s good to start with our guide to leadership. Good leadership is made up of a lot of different elements, one of which is coaching & mentoring. How do you coach your team members so they can keep improving their own performance but also deliver strong results for the business?
It’s essential you’re good at motivating others. How do you push them to deliver great results for the business and do you keep them engaged and motivated?
At some point in your management career, you will have to solve a conflict, whether that’s internally between staff members or with external suppliers. Follow our free online course for conflict management to improve your skills. Sometimes conflicts start when big changes are required within the business. That’s why you will need to be good at change management to navigate those big operational shifts smoothly.
If you and your business want to stay ahead of the curve you need to be innovative. That’s easier said than done. Leading innovation is a skill set which can be challenging but it's worth it in gold if you get it right. Another important element in business is being good at implementing improvements across the company and having an efficient operation. Leading operational excellence is a helpful guide on how to get the best out of your day-to-day business.