No excuses in the 21st century.
- Tools & resources for better productivity.

My first article on Medium was entitled: “contributions”, and it discussed adopting the daily contributions life gives us. From the negative to the positive. With this new article, I intend to contribute into your life, a list of resources, tools, and information to do anything you’ve been planing to do.

The 21st century is the first century of the 3rd millennium, an era where technology surrounds us, along with creativity, innovation, information, and well of course, a whole new and evolved world: the internet.

Whether you are in the Americas, Asia, Africa or the Middle East, you’ll find something in common, people are more familiarize with social media, they know what a smartphone looks like, and they certainly know how to use Google. Here’s the tricky part, so much information, several productive tools to use, but, here’s the inquiry, do you really know how to use it? Do you know what you can do with it? Have you taken advantage of all of this? Perhaps you haven’t. However, you can do something about it.

If you thought you weren’t resourceful you’re wrong. As long as you have access to a computer and internet you are resourceful. Nowadays plenty of resources and tools are free, take advantage of them, use them for growth; for instance, ask yourself what would you like to learn or improve? Once you know, you’ll definitely find what suits you the best. Many platforms are available, as I’ve mentioned before it’s free, whether you are an athlete, designer, architect, musician, or an inventor, I guarantee you that whatever you’re up to, there will be something for you. Try SoundCloud or Mixcloud, let the world hear you. Use Behance as your online portfolio, show off your art and creativity! If you have a million dollar idea and happen to be struggling with funding the project, websites like Kickstarter and 500 Startups might be the answer for that. Perhaps you’re into other things, there are also other resources that can and will help you along with the process. Platforms are only the first step, now let’s talk about the other freebies, services, and instruments that are in your hands.

You can never be overeducated, so the next thing I’ll be providing, is education, but you’ll be your own teacher. Like Mark Twain said once: “I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.” The only person responsible for your education is you. It is your moral and social responsibility to be prepared for life’s events. Here’s a list of online education orgnizations that I’ve come up with, some of them do happen to be for profit, however, most of their programs are completely available for free.

www.lynda.com offers a deep variety of video tutorials — courses in software, creative, and business skills. It’s not news that MOOC’s (massive open online courses) have been taking over, websites like: www.novoed.com, www.coursera.org and www.edx.org offer you the best online courses from top universities; whether you’re interested in social entrepreneurship to programming or biotechnology, these websites are where you want to be. If you want to learn a new language head over to www.duolingo.com and start practicing. You can always learn a lot from ideas, for example: www.TED.com, TED is the place that has tons of ideas worth spreading. If you need help with something you can’t understand you can always look up a tutorial on www.YouTube.com, but have you give a chance to www.KhanAcademy.org? All of these sites that I’m providing you conclude with one purpose: EDUCATION. Just click on one of them, find something that catches your interest and start learning what you’ve always wanted to learn, get full of knowledge!

No excuses, you can find courses on your language, there are thousands of courses being offered in many languages, and if it isn’t available in the language you’re looking for, you can always learn a new language as I’ve said before, with Duolingo or use a translator. If you’re only interested about english, try “EngVid”. The point is to start something new, take that first step, embrace life’s opportunities, seek for a better future, aim for the best and increase your productiveness.

Read, read more, read often, read until it’s part of your happiness. Amazon offers great books for free, Kindle (Amazon’s reading app) is available for free, and the same with Apple’s iBooks, tons of amazing readings for free. If writing suddenly got into you, that’s awesome! You already have Medium infront of you. Let me recommend you “iBooks Author”, which is available in the app store for free.

Schools, government agencies, and other institutions provide a lot of tools that can help you with whatever it is you need help with, for example, free online books for your courses or just for reading, also scholarships, studying abroad programs, and other valuable things that you don’t want to skip; example: visit your public library pronto and start researching. Please: don’t forget there’s nothing like the valuable experience of what another city or country can provide. Travel the world, live in other cities, learn cultures. Learn because it keeps your mind young and ideas developing. Travel while you’re young and able. There’s always a way, so just make it work, experience is by far more valuable than whatever you’re thinking. Don’t limit yourself to what your environment offers you, seek for more, do your research based on your interests and best convenience, plenty of countries of the European Union support foreign students, some of these countries, even pay for your studies.

If nurturing yourself is what you’re looking for, the quest won’t be long since you have many options to choose from. You can even buy your own website or make a blog at GoDaddy for less than $10. For all of your notes, ideas, thoughts or anything you want organized, use Evernote. You can always count on Craigslist to look up something you need to buy, hire or even to promote what you do.

A lack of resources is no reason to avoid pursuing what you want to achieve, take resourcefulness seriously, I’ve listed some ways to amplify limited resources, social media nowadays it’s a force that can’t be ignored, by simply using #Hashtags via Twitter, Instagram or Facebook you can interact with a ton of people and most importantly, information. Completely free, easy to use, and you can totally benefit from it.

Here are some extra websites that I believe will be useful for you:

Lifehacker.com, tips and tricks to increase your productivity, Groupon will make you keep a couple of extra bucks on your wallet. Another educational source is UReddit, Udacity and Academic Earth; among these you’ll find a myriad of free online courses and specializations. When you have some free time, do yourself a favor and check out: Stumbleupon or MentalFoss, essential facts you don’t want to miss, both of these sites cover really interesting topics from around the world, covering great articles about culture, food, science and among other features it allows you to discover new things.

As you can see, being resourful can be a habit, and now that we’re talkig about habits let me recommend you a fascinating blog: Zen Habits, I’m going to tell you what it is about: ‘is about finding simplicity in the daily chaos of our lives. It’s about clearing the clutter so we can focus on what’s important, create something amazing, find happiness’. It also happens to be one of the Top 25 blogs and Top 50 websites in the world”, I say give it a read.

There’s a million websites out on the internet but I don’t know them all, if you do, write an article and please share it with everyone, helpful free stuff is always welcomed!

If you enjoyed this article, know that it’s yours, put a bookmark on it, or list it with a favorite, I guarantee you will come back to it multiple times as you go forward with whatever you’ve been planning to do.

If this article helps you, and you liked it, let me know, I’d love some feedback and I’ll be more than happy to hear it.

Andrés Cházaro