Christmas Wish List for Training Professionals: Part 4 – Software

christmas wish list

This is the last post in my Christmas gift series. Today’s list is my favorite. It’s time to list some of the fun software apps that make our jobs excellent!

But first, let’s recap the first 3 posts:

Part 1 – Books – Most of the books in this list were not training books. And I’d like to add one more: Informal Learning by Jay Cross.

Part 2 – Trainer’s Emergency Tool Kit – This post was inspired by Brian Washburn but I’ll be honest and say that his list on this topic is much better than mine.

Part 3 – Video Recording Gear – I know you don’t think video is something YOU need to concern yourself with because you have “other people” do that for you. But I hope you’ll reconsider and at least equip yourself with the basics.

And so today we list a few software apps that should make the list of every serious training professional. Even if you refuse to move to eLearning, much of this software can been used to create content for your ILT events as well. I’ve decided to keep this list confined to media creation software. In my experience this is where ideas are turned into reality…something tangible for your learners. Authoring tools are great for organizing the media and adding interactivity, but you can’t do anything with an authoring tool until you have created some media content. And the same holds true for LMSs. They can’t deliver anything until the media is created. So with that said, I give you my list of software for your favorite training professional.

Snagit and Camtasia – Everyone in the training world recognizes these TechSmith apps as standard issue. If you are doing training work and don’t have these, then don’t hold out until Christmas. Just buy them now. You won’t regret it.

Screenflow – Recording software tutorials is something every trainer should know how to do. At some point in your career you will most likely need this skill. Screen flow is a popular favorite for the Apple crowd. Many how-to YouTubers use the app and even make money from their tutorials. It’s $99 and well worth it.

Photoshop or Pixelmator – If you know of training professional who is also interested in photography then Photoshop is great. Personally, the cost of Photoshop just became too much for me to justify the expense. I’ve opted for other tools for image editing like Pixelmator for the Mac. It’s fabulous! And much cheaper than Photoshop.

FinalCut Pro – This is the standard in video editing on the Mac. You can do a lot in iMovie, but FinalCut will take your video editing to a completely new level. It’s $299, which makes it a great item for your Christmas wish list. Maybe your manager will surprise you with the app and a fully decked out Mac to run it. Hey, you can dream right?

Scrivener – This is not a tool for the faint of heart. It functions a little differently than other software you may be used too. But once you get the hang of it, you fall in love. As many of my peers know, I’m horrible at writing “long form” content. And honestly, Scrivener was designed mostly for screen writers, authors, etc. Masters of long form. However, it’s also quite fabulous for organizing short form blog posts as well. And other shorter content. I even found a template for writing comic scripts. If you’ve ever dreamed of becoming a writer or know someone who does, then gifting this app is a good bet.

Audible – Buy your favorite training professional the gift of books…audio books. It’s a subscription service but buying someone a year’s worth of Audible would make a great gift.

Free Apps

Audacity, Handbrake…wait… what am I thinking. Just check out Jane Hart’s Top 100 Tools for Learning.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s lists. Let me know how your shopping goes, and if you’ve gifted any of these items this year. @Litmos