Locked Down? Check These Amazing Resources – Updated

Updated: 13 April 2020

Check out these amazing resources online while you and your family are locked down together at home (and now, with the extended MCO, you’ll need even more resources!).

For many, it’s a time to get adjusted to working from home. For others who are not working, this is a good time to catch up on hobbies such as cooking and reading. But the online world is an amazing place with a lot of websites where you can learn something or do something. Here are some of our curated resources that we hope you will enjoy too. We even had a bunch of resources for your children too!

We will be updating this as and when we get some cool, new resource that is helpful and useful either for kids, yourself or the entire family.

Free Online Meeting Resources

UPDATE: This 2 April news reports about Zoom’s vulnerabilities as a conferencing platform so we just wanted you to be aware of this if you decide to use Zoom. As an alternative to Zoom, try out all the other alternatives listed below.

Zoom – Sign up for a free basic account with Zoom so that you can have one-on-one meetings with clients. Besides using this to have online meetings, it’s also fantastic if you want to record your webinar (or voice-over narration with slides) or just record a meeting. The basic account allows you to record your online meetings but if you have more than 2 participants (which means you and 2 other people and maximum up to 100 people), you’re limited to 40 minutes of conferencing. Sign up for the basic account here (and check out their useful tutorials too).

21 Zoom Alternatives – This one is a massive list of web conferencing, video conferencing and online meetings links. Some of our favourites above are also listed.

LiveWebinar – This is a relatively new company but it offers a free account for chatting with 5 people. You can also record your meetings or webinars for up to 2 hours. And best of all, this is made for marketers as marketing automation is included. This means you can hook up your webinar attendee registration info to go directly into any of your email marketing providers such as Mailerlite, Mailchimp etc. The only problem is, you have to play around with the platform as their tutorials are quite basic (search for them on Youtube) and aren’t the best around. Still, it’s a good alternative to Zoom.

WhatsApp – Let’s not forget that WhatsApp allows you to have multi-party calls too. This is also great if you just want to check in with a few people quickly. You can have 4 people in this group call (you plus 3 other people). Here’s how.

GotoMeeting – This is an alternative to Zoom and one of the extra benefits is that you can chat with 3 other people for 40 minutes for free (Zoom only allows you 1-to-1 unlimited chat for free).

Free Online Learning Resources

Class Central – If you want to take this time to learn something, this is a great place to visit. Some 190 universities are offering 600 free online courses ranging from computer science to programming, from data science to humanities, from education to health, business development to engineering and many more. They’re all self-paced so you can take them at your own convenience.

Google News Initiative Training – We stumbled upon this while researching and this is the place to learn how to use Google’s best tools and apps such as Google Search, Google Scholar, Google Crisis Map, Google Surveys and more. All this to make you a more informed, smarter and more engaged user of Google.

StudyBlue – This is the largest online crowdsourced study library with over 400 million flashcards, notes and study guides from students for students. You can share study materials, search for recommended study content, track progress, set reminders, and create custom quizzes. Some 15 million students are on this platform. I wish I had this study resource when I was in university!

Free Business & Marketing Resources

Books, books and more books – We can tell you this for sure, we are who we are because of the books we’ve read over the years. It thrills me to no end when I stumble upon a bookshop in countries we travel to (even as recently in Saigon, we found a quaint little lane filled with tiny bookshops and got excited although we read not a line of the Vietnamese language!). So here’s a resource for you to get all the books you want. Try searching for business and marketing books on this site – they’re so good! Now you may be thinking: if you read the ebook, would you still want to get the real book? As a bookworm, I guarantee you will. The ebook gives you the knowledge but if you’re a true blue bookworm, you will want to keep that knowledge on your shelf for easy reference.

Streamyard – We found this while we were looking for an easy way to stream our Facebook Live interviews. It’s easy to use and there are free and paid versions. Stream effortlessly with split screens or share your screen (yes it’s available even with the free version). Its dashboard is streamlined and neat which makes it easy to understand the processes of setting up your Facebook Live. Plus their tutorial videos are also short and to the point so this gets our thumbs-up! (And if you want to subscribe to their paid version for more features, it won’t break your bank account.)

Online Toolkit – This resource page from Pat Flynn brings together some truly good stuff for your online business. First off, there are two of his books you can read for free. Then there are his short courses (also free for a limited time). We’ve been fans of Pat for a long time and while you’re there, check out his Smart Passive Income podcast too. He interviews a lot of micro-entrepreneurs who are in online businesses.

SEO Training – If you’ve always been curious about search engine optimisation, how search engines work and more then check out Moz Academy’s free SEO training that’s available until 31 May. Just follow the instructions and sign up for free. One thing is for sure, it’s more for people working in the SEO/SEM industry but hey, if you’re up for a spot of learning, why not?

Website marketing – If you’re new to us at Redbox Studio, did you know that you can get 2 free and complete chapters from our book? These 2 chapters give you an idea of what you should be focusing on when you’re planning your website or redesigning your website. Just go to the end of the page to get your free chapters.

Ecommerce how-to – If your retail business is suffering as a result of this lockdown, maybe it is time for you to consider diversifying your business to sell online. We outline 10 of the best steps so that you know what you have to think about before you get started with your online selling. The checklist contains some of our best advice, how-to steps and useful links to help you think about ecommerce before you invest in your online store. Get the free checklist here.

Secret Link For More Business Resources – We have amassed a number of cool links for business owners since we published our book, Web Wisdom. Here are some entrepreneurial links for you to check out.

Google Primer is an app that teaches you business and marketing lessons, for free. Download the app and get lessons on business planning, digital marketing, selling and more to help you strengthen your business skills. The good thing is, all lessons are shareable which means you can share the lesson with partners or employees.

Skillshop by Google is yet another resource that helps you understand Google’s wide range of products that you can use in your business especially if you want to be a smart advertiser. It’s in the form of free e-learning and lets you learn all about maximizing Google ads for your business.

Free Resources for Parents & Parents-To-Be

Parenting Classes Online – Here’s a good list of 50+ online classes for parents and those interested in becoming better parents during this lockdown. These are courses offered by universities i.e. University of Washington, University of Sheffield, Yale, even SDG University (which I suppose is based on UN’s SDG – Sustainable Development Goals). Now, the only thing you need is the time!

Free Resources for Kids

Free Stories – If you have been driven a little batty by your kids at home and figuring out what they can do while you work, get them to listen to stories from Amazon’s Audible. They’ve opened up a big treasure trove of stories for children to listen to (no registration needed). The stories are free to stream on all devices via this link: https://stories.audible.com/start-listen.

Online Zoo Visits – If your kids love animals, try these live webcams from Monterey Bay Aquarium. Watch birds, penguins, otters, sharks and more.

Online Schooling – Keep your children occupied with learning although they’re not in school. Some of the resources include
https://classroommagazines.scholastic.com/support/learnathome.html
https://www.coolmath4kids.com
http://www.sciencekids.co.nz
https://www.seussville.com
https://www.funbrain.com

Educational Games – As we all know, kids learn better with games. Here’s a bunch of fun games to try out! https://allinonehomeschool.com/thinking

Virtual Museums – Now’s your chance to visit the world’s best museums from your couch. Take a tour of the British Museum, Guggenheim Museum, Musee d’ Orsay Paris, Pergamon Museum in Berlin and more.

Free Exercise and Music Resources

Tiny Desks – This is one of the most fun, mini-concerts we’ve seen in a while. It’s by NPR and the series is called Tiny Desks and features bands and music that are played in the NPR office which is a tiny packed space! The one we watched was by Harry Styles but you can check out a whole lot of interesting artists and musicians too.

Music from Around the World – This cool resource came from Malar. You can listen to all the world’s radio stations from your computer. Very cool indeed. Go to http://radio.garden to try this out!

Yoga at Home – If sweating via a yoga workout is what you enjoy, then check out Core Power Yoga. It really works up a sweat and makes you feel truly energized after a 50-minute session. They’re free to watch and follow.

Dance & Exercise – If yoga isn’t quite your thing, try these set of fast-paced dance and exercise videos with great music from The Fitness Marshall. His videos are fun and really help you get your cardio going. Here’s one video that we like a lot!

Workout At Home With Weights – This is a workout with equipment like weights and is said to burn up to 540 calories. Check out these free body pump workouts with fast-pumping music! (Thanks Renu for this link.)

For us, working from home is nothing new (we started out that way in 1998). We’re in the digital services business so these past 20+ days have been business as usual! We’re still working on projects (our own and our clients).

So take this covid lockdown as a chance to spend more time with yourself, have a go at learning something new and interesting and stay optimistic (while staying at home).

For more free tools and apps, check out this article on 11 free productivity tools.

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