Three Must-Have Apps for Course Planning

For online course creators. 7 minutes read

As someone diving into the world of course creation, you might find ideas bubbling up at unexpected moments. Having the right course planning tools to capture and organize these beginner insights is necessary. 

(PHOTO: Rahul Chakraborty)

With countless tools to help structure ideas and channel one’s passions, which ones are genuinely essential for those new to this journey?

Here’s a curated list of three user-friendly apps perfect for newcomers in course planning:


1. Notion: Your Digital Workspace Companion

For someone new to course planning, Notion, the all-in-one digital workspace that’s perfect for beginners, offers an intuitive interface that combines note-taking with task management. 

You can start simple, jotting down rough ideas and gradually explore its features to create detailed course outlines as your plan develops.


Why Newbies Love It: Notion is much like a blank canvas, waiting to be developed according to your vision, and its charm lies in its simplicity. New course creators can start their course planning with basic notes and lists and, as their comfort grows, explore its numerous features like databases, boards, and collaborative workspaces.


The Challenge: With an extensive array of features and functions, Notion may initially appear a bit overwhelming for those who are just starting their course planning journey. Fresh course creators may have a big toolbox with many tools and wonder which one to use first.


The Redeeming Factor: Creators will get the hang of it with a little practice. And once they do, they will discover all the cool stuff they can do with it to make their course creation journey more exciting and organized.


Getting Started: For the uninitiated, Notion offers a plethora of templates. Choose a basic course outline or a simple to-do list, and let it evolve as your course material develops. And for those midnight ideas? There’s a handy mobile app ensuring you never miss a beat.


2. Evernote: Your Digital Notebook for Inspiration

Designed with simplicity in mind, Evernote serves as your digital notebook, making it accessible for beginners. It is similar to having a versatile pocket-sized notebook, constantly prepared to capture your thoughts. 

You can kickstart your journey by recording your ideas and then gradually delve into its features to efficiently organize and categorize your evolving course concepts.


Why Newbies Love It:  Evernote is like a universal, pocket-sized notebook, always ready to capture your thoughts. It is simple to use, making it ideal for beginners who want a straightforward way to jot down their ideas. It may be likened to having a trusty notebook that fits in your pocket.


The Challenge: One limitation to keep in mind is that the free version has a monthly upload limit. This can be a bit restrictive if you have lots of ideas to store. 


The Redeeming Factor: The premium version offers a significant storage boost. But even with the free version, Evernote’s efficient organization means you can keep your most crucial ideas at your fingertips. In simple terms, Evernote lets you have that notebook that never runs out of pages.


Getting Started: After a quick setup, start by creating a dedicated notebook for your course. Use tags to categorize thoughts, like “Potential Topics” or “Feedback.” The Web Clipper feature is a gem; save articles, PDFs, or web pages directly into your notebook. Before you know it, you’ll have a rich repository of ideas to materialise into your course.


3. Trello: Your Visual Course Planning Board

Trello simplifies the course planning process through its visual approach. Think of it as a digital pinboard where you can visually lay out your course’s structure, providing clarity for beginners. 

Start with basic lists and cards to outline your course ideas, and as you progress on your course planning journey, explore its more advanced features. 


Why Newbies Love It:  Trello’s interface is similar to a digital pinboard. With cards and lists, you can visually map the flow of your course, making it easier to identify gaps, overlaps, or the next steps.


The Challenge: Trello is intentionally designed for simplicity, which is great for beginners, but it might feel too basic for some experienced course creators who need more advanced features. 


The Redeeming Factor: The beauty of Trello lies in its straightforward and easy-to-use attributes. For newbies, it’s a clutter-free space to see the bigger picture. As you grow, it serves as a foundational tool to be complemented by other, more specialized apps. Trello might not have every tool, but it’s reliable and gets the job done.


Getting Started: Kick off with a board titled “My First Course.” Create lists such as “Brainstorms,” “Confirmed Ideas,” “To Research,” and “Completed.” As you shuffle through the creation process, move your cards across these lists, giving you a clear picture of your progress.


(PHOTO: Nordwood Themes)


As you start your course planning journey, remember that these apps are not just tools; they’re your creative allies. Each one offers a unique way to streamline your initial ideas and transform them into engaging and well-structured courses. 

Should you opt for a single app or combine all three, these digital companions will undoubtedly illuminate your path to successful course creation. Happy course planning!

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