6 Apps For Developing New Skills In Your Spare Time

At the beginning of each year, it’s common for people to set goals and resolutions to learn something new or to improve on an existing skill.

However, things like work, school, commuting, and family time make it difficult to assign a specific period to sit down and develop your skills.

The solution is to turn any idle time you have (whether that’s five minutes or an hour) into productive learning sessions with a resource you often take for granted – your smartphone. Download these apps and devote a few minutes per day to develop a skill of your choice!

Master a new language with Duolingo

Free on Android and iOS

Four Apple's iPhone App Steps

Photo courtesy of iTunes

Duolingo provides speech and writing lessons in 28 languages, mixing classics like Spanish, French, German, and Korean with unconventional choices like Swahili, Romanian, and High Valyrian (yes, that language from Game of Thrones).

Apart from a set of goals to meet per day, you can choose to proceed at your own pace. Be sure to keep a pair of microphone-equipped earphones ready for the spoken lessons!

Learn to play a new musical instrument with Yousician

Free on Android and iOS

Split picture Man playing guitar and a tablet playing piano

 Photo courtesy of iTunes

Yousician is the app to download for figuring out how to play your real guitar, piano, bass guitar, or ukelele.

It’s a digital music teacher that can guide you through basics like notes and chords, provide step-by-step tutorials and exercises at your pace, issue weekly challenges, and even help you compose your own songs.

You can also upgrade your basic subscription to Premium to access unlimited lessons and be able to transcribe songs directly from Youtube! Try it for USD 9.99 per month (single instrument) or USD 14.99 per month (all four instruments) after a 7-day free trial.

Train yourself to respond quickly during emergencies with First Aid PH

Free on Android and iOS

First Aid PH application four steps

Photo courtesy of iTunes

First Aid PH is a nifty app produced by Red Cross Philippines to get anyone up to speed with basic first aid for common injuries like bleeding, burns, choking, asthma attacks, and fractures.

There are illustrated step-by-step first aid procedures and videos for each injury, and tests to make sure you don’t forget a step.

Apart from this, it also provides concrete steps you can do to prepare for future disasters like fire, flooding, and earthquakes.

Begin coding lessons with Encode: Learn to Code

Free on Android and iOS

Python learn to code four steps

Photo courtesy of iTunes

Encode teaches hands-on coding with bite-sized lessons you can complete right on your smartphone.

This app provides lessons and challenges for Python, JavaScript, HTML, and CSS, with no prior coding experience required.

Best of all, it supports offline lessons for those with limited mobile data.

Step up your arts and crafts with Craftsy

Free on Android and iOS

Craftsy four mobile phone steps

Photo courtesy of iTunes

Craftsy allows you to watch downloadable video lessons and tutorials from professionals in crafts like knitting, painting, woodworking, jewelry, paper crafting, photography, cake decorating, and more!

If you’re looking to start your own arts-and-crafts-based business or just improve on your current skills, this is the app for you.

Unfortunately, the premium version of the app called Craftsy Unlimited is not available in the Philippines

Slow down and meditate with Headspace

Free on Android and iOS

Headspace app four mobile phone steps

Photo courtesy of iTunes

Learning to relax and meditate for a few minutes a day will do wonders for your physical and mental health.

Headspace is a guided meditation app coach that provides you with exercises and sessions designed for helping you sleep better, de-stressing, getting into the mindset for meditation, and recovering from high-stress situations.

The app itself and its 10-day basics workshop are free, but a continued subscription for access to more content will cost you USD 7.99 annually.

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