The Best Sites Online for Personal Development & Education

Ross Simmonds

Personal development and life hacking has become a popular topic as of late for bloggers and media outlets. The key to true personal development is self actualization and admitting and identifying the things you do well and things you need to improve. Without performing a personal SWOT analysis, it’s difficult to identify how you can become who you want to be.

The internet is a great opportunity for you to build your skills and talents. There are resources around the web that can help you in everything from learning to negotiate like Ari Gold to building as much confidence as Tony Stark. Furthermore, the internet is giving everyone with high speed an opportunity to be as educated as anyone else. All it takes is dedication, hard work and an open mind. Here are five ways you can learn and become more knowledgeable through resources online:


Of all the sites on this list, I use Quora more than any other channel for developing myself and acquiring new knowledge. What I love about Quora is that it allows me to identify the topics that interest me and deepen my knowledge in that specific interest. Furthermore, Quora provides users with an opportunity to receive advice and information from some of the worlds most knowledgeable people in their appropriate field.

When you find a great answer on Quora it’s filled with interesting insights regarding topics that aren’t necessarily mainstream. A lot of the advice and information you find on Quora is directly from someone who has real experience and wisdom that goes beyond what you can find in a standard textbook.

Here are just a few of the great pieces of content you can find online:

Khan Academy & Coursera

Khan Academy & Coursera will provide you with a great opportunity to learn things you could once only learn in a classroom. The topics vary but they are without question some of the best education resources you can find online. I’ve taken a few classes in on both Khan Academy and Coursera and can attest first hand that these sites are great for anyone who is naturally curious.

Whether you’re looking to deepend your knowledge in Computer Science or simply get a broader knowledge in Gamification; there’s a course on Khan Academy or Coursera for you.

Development Blogs

There are hundreds of blogs online that can provide you with great insights into how to become a better person. Whether you’re looking to live a life of minimalism or a life that is built around becoming successful, it’s easy to find resources to help your personal development.

The fact that there are hundreds of blogs about personal development makes it easy to fall into the trap of reading content that really won’t help you. It’s also easy to become super obsessed with these kind of blogs and not actually implement the learnings from them. Reading blogs on personal development provide us with an immediate satisfaction and the inspiration that makes us feel proactive. It’s important to use these feelings as momentum and actually implement some of these life hacks and learnings into the real world.


So I’ve been following Skillshare for quite a while from afar and just recently have they shifted to a format that actually allows me to use them. This time last year, Skillshare was solely a marketplace for people looking to learn from one another in person. They hadn’t launched in Halifax so I was stuck looking at all of these awesome courses happening from the distance. Recently however, they announced they were going to be opening a new vertical that allowed for online classes.

Yesterday I took part in my first class called “Build an Audience: A Macklemore Case Study in Music Marketing” from Amber Horsburgh who works in Digital Music Strategy at MTV. Pretty cool right? I thought so. Anyways, this is just another channel that you can use to learn from anyone. It gives you classes that are topical and ones that range from Music to Health. Definitely check it out and keep your eyes peeled for a course from yours truly.


In a post where I reflected about the first 9000 days of my life I talked about the importance of self-education. It’s something that I believe is extremely important to personal growth and development. In fact, I think the fact that so many people stop reading after graduation is the reason so many people are struggling to make ends meet.

Of all the videos I’ve seen on Khan or YouTube, this one hits the nail on the head more than most videos I’ve seen. It essentially shows you exactly what kind of world we live in. What resources are out there and how anyone can learn anything.

Hopefully you embrace self-education and can see the value in using the tools I talked about to further develop yourself. Remember what you want to become and identify how you’re going to get there.

And in that spirit, if you want to hold yourself accountable, drop a comment and tell me what you want to become.

About Ross Simmonds

Ross Simmonds is a digital marketing strategist who has worked with everything from Fortune 500 companies to startups to drive results using digital marketing and technology.


  • Daman Bahner says:

    Nice article man – love that you used the Asimov video!

  • Thanks for dropping by, I love that video. It’s quite amazing to see how far we’ve come in regards to technology. I’m excited about the future and have a feeling higher ed is just starting to get a taste of what the future will look like.

  • […] that question with a yes, you need to re-work your title. An example of a clear title is my post: 5 Ways to use the Internet for Personal Development, it doesn’t get much clearer than […]

  • @kamerborn says:

    Nice article. I use khan academy a lot in my studies and it has helped. I want to become a pharmacist though at the same time be an entrepreneur. I am in the process of creatig a blog. @kamerborn.

  • Awesome, great to know the internet is helping you build your skill set. It’s amazing to think of how far we’ve come with self-education…even more amazing to think of what the future will hold.

  • […] of new devices; he was constantly learning. You need to embrace learning as well. There are tons of great resources online for personal development but you can also learn by doing. Through hands-on, experiential, learn-by-failing practices that […]

  • Moe O'Keiffe says:

    cool thanks for the advice.

  • Moe O'Keiffe says:

    cool thanks for the advice.

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  • […] to do new things is the moment we start moving forward and growing as individuals. I’m not personal development coach but I do value the idea of growth. Growth in your career. Growth in your relationships. […]

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