How many courses have you purchased and never actually consumed?
👋 Been there, done that, friend. (…more times than I can count, I’m afraid!)
3 years ago I got tired of living the “purchase-and-never-actually-watch-the-trainings” life. I created a simple system (you know me and my simple routines) and voila! Now when I purchase a course / membership / online training I’ve got a plug-and-play method to consume AND implement!
Before we get into the system, though, we need to lay the ground rules:
BEFORE I purchase a course / membership / online training. I like to ask myself a few questions:
- Does this solve an immediate problem in my business? (If it solves an immediate pain point, it’s typically a quick yes for me. If the pain isn’t immediate, I spend a bit more contemplating how painful the problem is and if I should, in fact, spend money to fix it!)
- Is this something I can consume + implement right now (and do I have the mental & physical capabilities to do so? → can I mentally learn something new right now? Can I physically block off time to learn it?)
- What am I willing to sacrifice in order to make this happen? (Everything comes with a sacrifice, friend. Whether it’s a few weeks worth of grande iced cinnamon almond milk macchiatos at Starbucks or a four digit cut of my biz bank account, investing in your education comes with a price. Knowing ahead of time how MUCH that investment is worth to YOU will make it an easier sacrifice to make!)
AFTER you make the purchase, here’s my plug-and-play system:
First up, document the information needed.
You won’t take the time to do it if it takes too many steps to log in + access. Do yourself a favor and make it easy from the get-go. It might take a few extra minutes in the beginning but it’s worth it in the long run.
When you purchase an online program, there’s a high chance the creator has an automated system in place that will immediately email you log-in information. (I use Kajabi for mine!)
Once that email is received I do a few things:
File that email in an “Online Education” folder in Gmail. I use this folder to house all communications from digital products I’ve purchased.
Then open the email containing log-in information and add it to a Education For Me Trello List. (I keep this list on my My Week Trello Board so that it stays top of mind every week – learn more about my My Week System here!)
I create a new card on the list for every online training I purchase:
On the card, I keep track of:
- Course / Training name
- Log in URL
- Username + Password
- Brain dump questions / concerns I have that I want to find answers for in the program → this is a HUGE step so many miss when consuming content!! You need to know WHY you’re taking a program so you can track whether or not the program was a good fit. Spend 5-10 minutes writing down your questions – use the description of the card to write them down, or create a checklist. Then, as you consume the content you can circle back to your initial questions / pain points to make sure those topics were covered! If they aren’t, make a point to reach out to the creator – either by attending a live aspect of the content you’ve purchased OR emailing them directly.
🎓 Pro Tip: Use this List to keep track of what education you’re taking, as well as past education! Easily label what has been completed and what’s “in progress”!
👉 Want the Education list template? Click here to get my entire My Week Trello Board workflow!
After you’ve documented the information, it’s time to mark your calendar.
If there are any live components to the program, pull out your calendar & make note right away.
Then, block off time to consume the work! If you don’t schedule it, it won’t happen. Your own education will fall through the cracks because of client projects, all the emails in your inbox and random biz to-do’s you’ve made a priority, Been there, done that. I don’t want you to do that same!!
When scheduling the education on your calendar, there are a few things to consider:
1. Is the content dripped or on-demand? Dripped means it’ll be given to you on set dates, on-demand means it’s ready for you immediately! You want to factor this into how long it will take you to consume the content.
2. How long is it “supposed” to take to consume the content? → Not sure? Take a look at the sales page. It likely shares how many hours worth of content, or how many weeks one can expect to spend on the training.
3. What is your learning-style? Do you prefer to sit down & power-through lessons one right after another, or would you rather spend a little time here & there?
I have some friends in the industry that create an Education Day every month (kinda like a Duty Day but dedicated to their education!). I have others who block off 4 hours per week (either at the beginning or end of a work day). Knowing your learning style, how the content is being given to you and how long it’s “supposed” to take to consume will help you figure out the best scheduling method for yourself!
Once you schedule it, it’s time to CONSUME + IMPLEMENT!
Remember when I said that I write questions for the course on the courses Trello Card? I use the same card to keep up with notes on content I’m learning! On the card I can write checklists, include notes in the description or even give myself a “due date” if I want to hold myself accountable for an implementation piece.
Sometimes if a course is complex and I need more space for notes, I’ll create a Google Doc and link it to the Trello card. The goal is to make consuming EASY so I like to have it all in one place!
I have a folder saved in G Drive where I save all free AND paid online education I’ve gotten.
🎓 Pro Tip: All those free PDF’s you’ve opted-in for? Keep ‘em here!
If I’m traveling to an in-person education experience or if I want to go old-school with it, I have ONE notebook that I use for ALL my education. I’ve used the same notebook for years now & I love having all those hand-written notes in one place!
I also use that same Trello list to organize WHAT content I’m CURRENTLY consuming, I create labels for IN PROGRESS / UP NEXT / DONE and file the content accordingly! I love being able to quickly see all the content I’ve ever purchased in one spot, and drag & drop them into various spots on the workflow as I need them / work on them.
This piece of the process — the consume and implement — it’s going to take the longest. That’s okay!! There have been some online programs I’ve purchased and then binge-watched on a weekend! There have been others that take MONTHS to complete in full.
The point isn’t how quickly you consume + implement… it only matters that you DO.
Good things take time. Growing your business, pouring into your expertise – that is *good* work, friend! Don’t discouraged if it’s little by little. Those little steps will start to add up!!
👆 This is one of the reasons I put a lot of value in a membership community vs. a course! There’s something incredible about the ongoing community alongside the education! We do this regularly inside of Creative 24/7 and I love being able to offer on-demand education AND accountability to help our online fam get it done!
I hope this simple system helps you take charge & prioritize allllll those courses you fall prey to. If you have a workflow for organizing your online education, I’d love to hear it! Leave me a comment & let’s swap notes! 😉