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Thoughtful Christmas 2013 Gift Ideas: Fun, Health, Time, Success, Financial Independence, Fulfillment & Popularity!

As Christmas approaches, many of us are looking for thoughtful gifts for our loved ones – something that they will really value and enjoy. If you ask yourself what gives you most pleasure in life, the chances are you’ll think of experiences rather than things. So we’ve put together a set of suggestions for online courses that can bring these special gifts to life:


Christmas Gift: Fine Art Classes

For people who like to enjoy themselves learning new skills, try Craftsy’s:

Fine Art Classes from Drawing Portraits, Figures and Landscapes in Perspective through to Watercolor, Acrylic & Mixed Media, there’s plenty to inspire the visual artist!

Food & Cooking Classes: Hone those culinary skills with choices ranging from specialist gastronomy courses in Decadent Chocolate Cakes, Bread Making and Croissant Making, through to popular cuisines such as French, Italian or Asian!


Thoughtful Christmas Gift: Sleep Hacking Online Course Thoughtful Christmas Gift: Meditation Online Course

Prevention is the best form of medicine! Here are some great ways to life a more healthy life:

Sleep Hacking: Give the gift of good sleeping habits with the added benefits of increased energy, greater optimism and a general improvement in well-being!

The Art of Mindful Relaxation: A series of guided meditations and helpful advice to help maintain peace of mind.


Thoughtful Christmas Gift: Time Management Online Course Thoughtful Christmas Gift: Productivity Online Course

We can’t make more of it, but we can make the time we have go further:

Productivity Mastery & Time Management: This course is designed for people who find that they daily workload often seems too much. It helps you identify priorities, set goals and reduce procrastination!

Productivity Booster: This course is for people looking to improve their time management both at work and in their personal lives. It provides strategies to improve your mental attitude and efficiency together with guidance for a new plan of action!


Thoughtful Christmas Gift: Career Mastery Online Course Thoughtful Christmas Gift: eBook Publishing Online Course

Online Courses provide a great springboard for people keen to make their mark on the world. Here are a couple of our picks, ideal for the ambitious:

Career Mind Mastery: Learn How To Get Your Dream Job: A Series of strategies for key subjects including: Interviewing, Negotiating Salary, LinkedIn, Influencing Others and Doing a Great Job!

How To Become a Bestselling Author on Amazon Kindle: For the budding author who just needs that little nudge to get their message out to the world! The author, Tom Corson-Knowles, share his years of experience appearing consistently in the Amazon best seller lists.

Financial Independence

Thoughtful Christmas Gift: Work For Yourself Online Course Thoughtful Christmas Gift: Entrepreneurship Online Course Thoughtful Christmas Gift: Build Your Own Website Online Course

For the entrepreneurial at heart, financial independence is just a case of learning the right skills. Here are some great choices:

How to Work for Yourself: Helps you focus your ideas and get started to turn your idea into an income!

How to Market Yourself as a Coach or Consultant: If you often spot way to improve things, this could be your new career!

Advanced Mind Mastery: The Science of Getting Rich: The science of improving outcomes, applicable to many areas of life.

Find Your Entrepreneurial Niche: If you have the entrepreneurial attitude but are still looking for the right idea, this course could set you on your way.

How To Create Your Own Website: How to build one of the most powerful tools in business- a website with the world’s most popular CMS: WordPress.

Finance for Startups: When everything is clear and you’re ready to go, time to secure the financing!


Thoughtful Christmas Gift: Piano Online Course Thoughtful Christmas Gift: Photography Online Course

With New Year’s resolutions just around the corner, now’s a great time to help your friends learn that new skill they’ve been meaning to master! Here are our picks:

Learn Piano Today

The Massey Method: Learn Spanish from a Former NSA Agent

Become a Better Photographer

Complete Guitar System – Beginner to Advanced

All the courses feature lifetime access to there’s no pressure and no excuses!


Thoughtful Christmas Gift: StandUp Comedy Online Course

OK, so this one’s a long shot but it goes to show that you can learn almost anything with online courses!

Ultimate Beginner’s Class to Learn Stand Up Comedy: As there’s always a self-appointed comedian at every Christmas Party, sign them up to this course and help them fine tune their act! – That way everyone comes away smiling!

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We hope this post inspired you with thoughtful gift ideas this Christmas! Spread the Christmas spirit on your favourite social networks!

Udemy Excel Courses Reviews

If you‘re looking to learn Excel, then an online course is a great option. Udemy is a highly respected platform for online courses. However, there are so many Excel course on Udemy that it can be difficult to know which is right for you. First you should consider:

  • Which version of Excel do I want to learn? (PC: Excel 2010/2013 or Mac: Excel 2011)
  • What level of Excel proficiency am I and what level do I want to reach: Beginners / Intermediate / Advanced
  • Do I want to learn specialized Excel techniques (eg VBA)?

Then it’s a good idea to read the reviews to help you decide which is the best course for you. We’ve evaluated all the Excel courses at Udemy. Here are our recommendations for each profile of student:

Click on the options above to see more information, including our review and Udemy student reviews for each online course.

User Experience (UX) Quotes from Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein and Other Greats

User Experience (UX) is a vital part of product design. Here are some great quotes that capture important aspects of User Experience:

Introduction to User Experience UX & Why Do It

You cannot NOT have a user experience. – Lou Carbone Quote

Designers shooting for usable is like a chef shooting for edible. – Aarron Walter Quote

Questions about whether design is necessary or affordable are quite beside the point: Design is inevitable. – Douglas Martin Quote


Simplicity is the height of sophistication. – Leonardo da Vinci Quote Quote

Any darn fool can make something complex; it takes a genius to make something simple. – Albert Einstein Quote

Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler. – Albert Einstein Quote

Simplicity—the art of maximizing the amount of work not done—is essential. – Agile Manifesto Quote

When your work speaks for itself, don’t interrupt. – Henry J. Kaiser Quote


Steve Jobs

Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works. – Steve Jobs Quote

It’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them. – Steve Jobs Quote

If I asked people what they wanted, they would have said ‘Faster Horses”. – Henry Ford Quote

Good design is the most important way to differentiate ourselves from our competitors. – Samsung CEO Yun Jong Yong Quote

The details are not the details. They make the design. – Charles Eames Quote

User Behavior

Design must seduce, shape, and more importantly, evoke an emotional response. – April Greiman Quote

People’s behavior makes sense if you think about it in terms of their goals, needs, and motives. – Thomas Mann Quote

Pay attention to what users do, not what they say. – Jakob Nielsen Quote

If the user can’t find it, it doesn’t exist. – HFI button Quote

Just because nobody complains doesn’t mean all parachutes are perfect. – Benny Hill Quote

The system should treat all user input as sacred. – Jef Raskin Quote

Closing Thoughts

A bad web site is like a grumpy salesperson! – Jakob Nielsen Quote

To learn more, check out our recommended Online User Experience Courses!

Get Ahead with New Skills

For many people, the concept of a “job for life” is a thing of the past. Also, the pace of innovation is so fast in certain fields that some things that you learnt a few years ago may be outdated already. This is nothing to worry about – in fact, as long as you embrace the opportunities that we now have to keep learning over the course of our lives, this is a great opportunity: We can evolve and take on new challenges. In some areas of working life, innovations have created new areas of expertise which provide exiting opportunities for people keen to learn new skills!

Here are some new skills that you may wish to learn about:

Online App Store Optimization Course

App Store Optimization: Mobile apps are a multi-billion dollar industry and one of the main reasons Apple is one of the most valuable companies in the world. So there is clearly lots of money being made by app developers. However, now that there are thousands of apps on both Apple’s App Store (iTunes) and Google’s App Store (Google Play) it’s not enough to just submit your app. Now you should promote it as well and one of the best and most cost effective ways to do this is by optimizing your app’s presence on the app stores. Check out this Online App Store Optimization Course to learn how!

Online 3D Design Course

3D CAD (Computer Aided) Design: The manufacturing industry is undergoing a revolution due to the development of 3D printing. It’s already possible to print in 3D in a number of different materials. It’s expected that we’ll soon be able to print all kinds of objects directly at home. There is strong competition to develop the technology so the price of the printers and raw materials are coming down: It’s expected that soon the price and quality of the printers will convince many people to buy 3D printers for home, just like they did with 2D printers. There is expected to be an explosion in the use of 3D printing for both business and personal use. When this happens, 3D designers will be in strong demand! Check out these CAD Courses and Online 3D design Courses.

Online Responsive Web Design Course

Responsive Web Design: Internet users are going mobile! That doesn’t just mean that they are checking their email on their smartphones: Internet users now expect to be able to navigate websites on their smartphones and tablets. As making mobile devices is a very competitive market, there are internet enabled devices in all dimensions from smartphones, through “Phablets” (around 5”) through to “full size” tablets. So what size should your website be? The answer is that your website should be able to detect what kind of screen size the user has and then serve the site in a format that is optimized for that size. This is called responsive web design. Check out our recommended Online Responsive Design Course to learn more!

How to Get a Raise and/or Promotion with Online Courses

Here are some ideas for skills that can help you get promotion and/or a pay rise. We’ve also found some great courses to help you gain those skills.

Your Core Competency: One of the best ways to get noticed for promotion is to be great at the job that you’re doing. This will be different for each person so be sure to check out our list of subjects or advanced search. You see that for many of the subjects, we’ve recommended the best online courses to help you find the right course quickly.

Online Time Management Courses

Time Management: Mindful management of your time allows you to get more done with the minimum stress. This means that you’ll be more effective at work and you have time to take breaks and holidays, which means your stay fresh and motivated. Check out our recommendation for an online time management course.

Public Speaking Online Courses

Public Speaking & Presentation: In order to be considered for promotion it’s important to have the confidence to put yourself and your ideas forward in an assertive and eloquent manner, when the opportunities arise. For some people this comes naturally but for others it is a challenge. Fortunately public speaking is a skill that can be taught and the confidence come with practice. Check out our recommendations for online public speaking courses and online presentation courses.

Leadership: Often, as you progress through a company, you are expected to have leadership skills. This could involve anything from putting forward your ideas in a group discussion, through managing a small team to being the CEO of a large multinational, expected to define the company ethos and inspire the entire diverse workforce! Check out our recommendations for online leadership courses.

Online LinkedIn Courses

Networking: It’s no secret that many of the most successful people have achieved a great deal largely because of their strong network of friends and colleagues. In addition to forging quality relationships in our workplace, the internet provides hugely powerful tools to build and strengthen our social networks. One of the best for business is LinkedIn. Check out our recommendations for the best online LinkedIn courses.

Online Negotiation Course

Negotiation Skills: Many people feel undervalued or under-appreciated at work. The best way to fix this is to become good at negotiation: So you can achieve a fair deal for all your hard work! Check out our recommendations for online negotiation courses.

Good luck!