Poll: In what format do you prefer learning?

by · 40 comments on June 18, 2013

Hi everyone,

We need your input! You can help us shape the next project we have been secretly working on. It tackles some of the biggest challenges of procrastination, dealing with distractions and interruptions, managing email, and shows you how to harness laser-like focus.

Our mission is to make the world more productive one person at a time. Please help us with this mission.

All we ask is that you vote for which learning style you prefer. This will help us work out how we are going to produce this next course to help YOU and others.


Also, feel free to drop us a comment with anything on your mind :)

-Aaron and Thanh

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{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

sbrowncreative June 18, 2013 at 8:07PM

You guys are amazing. Your blog is top notch and has helped me immensely. More people should know about Asian Efficiency.


Thanh Pham June 18, 2013 at 8:08PM

Thanks Scott! :)


dan June 18, 2013 at 8:08PM

Well… it depends on whether i’m learning concepts (audio), practices (video) or histories (ebook).

often it requires both. Audio is most available for me – drive time.


Thanh Pham June 18, 2013 at 8:09PM

Thanks for the insights Dan! That makes a lot of sense.


Linda Summer June 18, 2013 at 8:32PM

I’m with Dan. I have more time to listen to things and would prefer audio for learning concepts, info, etc., but for somethings like learning Omnifocus video is definitely the way to go for me. FYI, I did vote video in the survey.

I really enjoy everything you share, keep up the awesome work.


Thanh Pham June 18, 2013 at 8:35PM

Thanks Linda!


Andrew June 18, 2013 at 10:23PM

I voted audio because I like its portability. A lot of my work involves mindless chores, and I find listening to an audiobook makes me more productive and if it’s motivational so much the better. HOWEVER Dan’s insight above is spot-on: audio for concepts, video for practice and book for histories. Brilliant.

Sue June 20, 2013 at 3:03PM

I fourth what dan, Linda, and Andrew have said.


radoslawpogoda June 19, 2013 at 3:34AM

I’d only add some sort of workbook (preferably on-line but the pdf has also some advantages – especially during vacation time) to support and build on the basis of all mentioned above.
If you plan any exercises – it will make it complete in my eyes.


Sail June 19, 2013 at 5:00AM

Another +1 for Dan!


Heidi Booth, DVM June 18, 2013 at 8:25PM

I really enjoy the ibook format–because it’s both reading and then visually reinforcing ideas. For me this works well when learning–even with ebooks, I’ll sometimes take sketch notes to reinforce ideas or even when listening to audio such as a podcast, and I want to make sure I retain something, the visual aspect of writing something down helps me. So ibooks works well for me. Just a thought.

Love the omnifocus premium posts. I’m incorporating a little at a time and letting habits form. Enjoyed Asian Efficiency Primer as well–very helpful and well thought out. Thanks!


Thanh Pham June 18, 2013 at 8:28PM

Heidi – great feedback! iBooks is a great platform and it’s something we are exploring ourselves.

I’m glad you’re liking our products! Keep working at implementing the ideas and concepts, and don’t rush it. Like you said, let the habits form and you’ll see incredible gains in your productivity, happiness and success.


David Wyndham June 18, 2013 at 8:27PM

Keep up the good work. Thanks for your help and wisdom. Look towards not what are the “best” tools, but what are the processes to be productive. “What should I be doing at this very moment?” is the big question! Not what app to use.


Thanh Pham June 18, 2013 at 8:29PM

We will make sure to cover that :)


Walter Long June 18, 2013 at 8:52PM

As others have already mentioned, all three styles work for me at different times and for different concepts. Each style has its benefits and drawbacks. What I find is most helpful in the long run is an educator who understands how to use a variety of tools and tailors the tools to the lesson.


Thanh Pham June 18, 2013 at 9:15PM

Hi Walter totally agree! Thanks for submitting your feedback – really appreciate it.


Jon June 18, 2013 at 9:25PM

In general, without knowing what the project is or saying “it depends” – I vote ebook. I can read at my own pace, take notes, and summarize key points for myself to apply. Plus, I have a lot of reading time on international flights.


Thanh Pham June 18, 2013 at 10:18PM

Thanks Jon for your insights – appreciate it! I like reading on flights too.


Chris Boehner June 18, 2013 at 9:41PM

Howdy Gents,

I always learn best from a real story. For example, case studies of how people changed their routines or added new productivity practices. Reading about the experimentation that went in to get the final result works wonders for me!

Thanks and keep up the good work!


Thanh Pham June 18, 2013 at 10:19PM

Yeah stories and case studies are great to learn from. It’s something we’ll add to our project to make learning more fun and memorable.


Maripat June 18, 2013 at 10:11PM

As Dan said, I have much more consumption time available for audio format. This could be stories, theories, etc. My preference for processes, though, would be video. EBooks are readily accessible but I have trouble navigating back and forth if I want to reference something.
I’m a newbie to your site. Thanks for such great info.


Thanh Pham June 18, 2013 at 10:20PM

Thank you Maripat! Great feedback here.


Sarie San Pablo June 18, 2013 at 10:12PM

I prefer all. LOL.

It’s good to be visual at the start – you know. And then after you have learned it with video – considering that you’d have instructions on how to do this and that, we can then switch to audio and/or e-book – if you need reiteration.

Does that make sense? Hehehehe.


Thanh Pham June 18, 2013 at 10:21PM

Haha yeah that makes sense. I think if you have all formats available you can consolidate information better.


Krishna Prasad June 18, 2013 at 10:26PM

Video makes the best learning experience besides personal instructor…


Thanh Pham June 18, 2013 at 10:29PM

Thanks Krishna for your feedback! I wish we could personally help everyone but maybe someday we can on a small scale (live events).


Kristine June 18, 2013 at 11:01PM

Audio does not work for me, it puts me to sleep. I chose ebook because you can take it in at your own pace, take notes, and really digest it. But, I think if you add links to videos to reinforce or illustrate difficult concepts, that would be even better.


Thanh Pham June 19, 2013 at 12:21AM

Thanks for voting Kristine – some great ideas here.


Elizabeth June 18, 2013 at 11:34PM

E-books are much better for me. I can move through it at my own pace, easily refer back to it, search it in DevonThink, skip through parts I don’t need, quickly skim parts instead of waiting for a recorded speaker, etc. Whenever I come across video or audio formats rather than print, I ignore them and search for something else.

Love your work, guys! Your blog is one of the very few I read regularly :-)


Thanh Pham June 19, 2013 at 12:21AM

Great to see another Devonthink user here :)

Thanks for the compliments and your vote!


David June 19, 2013 at 2:58AM

Some videos in the ebook could be great, BUT, without subtitles it will be useless for me.


Thanh Pham June 19, 2013 at 12:28PM

Thanks David for the feedback!


Karina June 19, 2013 at 4:58AM

I voted ebook, but I do like using all three options – as others have said, I like to read and take notes as that’s my personal way of retaining info and easier for me to reference back to later…but I also like video/audio when I want to learn more of how it’s applied in real life cos reading about how something works is different to seeing it actually work (and I usually like to try myself before seeing how someone else does things – just my way of learning)…I love that your Omnifocus posts have all options – that really drives home the ‘learning & applying’ aspect for me :)


Miroslav June 19, 2013 at 5:45AM

Maybe I’m conservative, but I always prefer to read. So hard copy or e-book is my choice. For me this is actual “learning”.
Keep up the good work!


John Svirsky June 19, 2013 at 7:16AM

If you can do an I book with audio, like David Sparks Paperless that is a good model. That way you combine all mediums and cover the various ways of learning. Although I personally prefer video I would definately ready your book as long as you include example videos. I thing it is important to not only show how tos, but also include how people are successful doing what you are teaching, that way it is beyond intellect and the rest of us can relate it to it as real life, not just book knowledge.

Keep up the great work


Dane James Custance June 19, 2013 at 8:54AM

Hi Thanh i usually switch between all of them as required so it not possible for me to answer your question accurately. Perhaps some more options covering two choices in any combination or all three would help some people to answer your question better.


Gwendolyn June 19, 2013 at 12:28PM

I voted for ebook because I write comments and use bookmarks so I can find key concepts quickly and easily later. I do want to clarify, however, that if there is a particularly detailed concept, or if you need to illustrate an example, video is best in my opinion for clarification of these detailed points. Thank you for taking the time to ask what works best for us. I appreciate the consideration.


Robert O'Neill June 19, 2013 at 3:07PM

I would suggest using your knowledge on the subject to critique and rate the task management software and apps that are on the market. I know that you have your preferred package but it would be very valuable to your audience. It could also lead to the development of a feature chart to rank all of them. The same could be said of key books classic or popular books on the subject. I would certainly appreciate it very much and would develop your position as a valuable resource on time management. Perhaps your site could become a leading source of ratings of time management software as well as techniques.


Gail June 21, 2013 at 9:40AM

I prefer reading new, instructive material because it’s easier to change how I do things by making the good ideas actionable. This is especially true when I am allowed to copy phrases from the material I’m reading and pasting them into my OmniFocus task list!


Thanh Pham June 18, 2013 at 10:26PM

That’s interesting. Thanks for sharing Andrew!


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