Community Discussion: Share Your Timesavers, Shortcuts, and Productivity Tips

It’s a Labor Day weekend Friday, so why not start the three-day weekend with some timesavers,  shortcuts, and productivity tips? Host Luis Malbas talked with Jonathan Rock, Quetzalcoatl Cortes, and Alan Natachu about some of their favorite ways to be more productive L&D professionals.

The discussion covered:

  • Procrastination
  • Taking action
  • Creating productivity rituals
  • Removing distractions
  • Saying “NO”
  • Outsourcing the small stuff
  • Creating schedules and blocking off time
  • Ideal workspaces
  • Stop answering your phone
  • Setting expectations 
  • …and lots more

Here are a few links to useful tools from the chat:

Community Discussion: Share Your Timesavers, Shortcuts, and Productivity Tips

by Jonathan Rock, Quetzal Cortes, Alan Natachu, and Luis Malbas | TLDCast Podcast

From Vaughnsville, OH to 21st Century L&D with Andrew Hughes and Craig Sybert

There are currently 249 people living in Vaughnsville, Ohio. Today on TLDCast, we had two former residents of that small town, both of them now Learning and Development Professionals. Andrew Hughes and Craig Sybert grew up with completely separate lives (although Craig’s father did date Andrew’s Aunt for a few months) and they discovered their common connection at an ATD conference, and have since managed to stay in touch here in The Training, Learning, and Development Community.

Take a listen to their interesting stories, and hear about their childhood, how their roots affected their career choice, and how they evolved with technology as youngsters in Vaughnsville, OH, including what L&D was like then and now.

From Vaughnsville, OH to 21st Century L&D

by Host Andrew Hughes and guest Craig Sybert | TLDCast Podcast

Delighting Learning Appetites with Karl Richter and Host Cara North

Karl Richter is a Chef. But instead of menu prep and food mastery as his medium for cooking up delicious offerings, he concocts “eLearning Blends” — a mixture of design, facilitation, consultation, and coaching — to delight learning appetites.

In this TLDCast, we learn more about Karl’s journey as a trainer – going from college, to teaching abroad in Taiwan and Korea, then his time teaching in the Educational Technology Department at San Diego State University, and eventually landing where he is now: Louisville, KY (the best state in the country, according to Kentucky native, Cara North).

Most of the TLDCast is accompanied by slides, so to get the most out of the discussion, make sure you check out the video recording.

Delighting Learning Appetites with Special Guest Karl Richter and Host Cara North

Ken Brown and The EMU Experience

Ken Brown’s story is an interesting one. A self-described introvert turned college psychology teacher that evolved to corporate trainer, it’s surprising he would eventually create The EMU Experience: Engaging. Memorable. Unexpected.

In this discussion, Ken remarks “when somebody says, ‘Hey, create something new or redesign it?’ I get absolutely giddy. I mean, I’m like a kid in a candy store. Because to me, there are so many possibilities, so many ways you can take it — not just ‘Oh, we’ve got to update our PowerPoint so that we can present this training’ — it goes way beyond that.” 

And “goes way beyond that” means engagement, his primary focus on all of the training he creates. To Ken, it’s the difference between presenting and facilitating, and integrating engagement in facilitation gets you much better results.

Watch or listen to the recordings below and you’ll learn more about Ken and The EMU Experience. Ken offers quite a few examples of engagement (bingo, speed dating, mind maps, and more) and we highly recommend viewing the video so you can see the tips and tricks he shares in his slides.

Ken Brown and The EMU Experience

by Host Toddi Norum with Special Guest Ken Brown | TLDCast Podcast

Kevin Thorn on Instructional Comics with host Kristen Hayden Safdie

Then, what you don’t know that you will know later, is that those stories, and those characters will connect to your audience more than anything else.

When you think about comics, more than likely some of the first things that come to mind are superheroes like Spiderman or Batman in full-color comic books you might find in bookstores or comic book shops. Or maybe you think about “funny pages”, the once popular color inserts in Sunday newspapers with comic “strips” like Peanuts and Garfield.

Well, comics have evolved in many ways. From graphic novels with adult themes to what this TLDCast is about: Instructional Comics. And our guest for this episode is one of the globe’s leading instructional designers producing instructional comics, Kevin Thorn.

Check out this TLDCast and listen to host Kristen Hayden Safdie as she talks to Kevin about one of his most current instructional comic projects. They talk about the project dynamics, how Kevin produced it, what he ended up with, and how it was received.

You’ll also get some great conversation on the evolution of how he started producing instructional comics and why.

Heading to DevLearn? Make sure you attend Kevin’s session Comics for Learning: Use Case in Cultural Awareness.


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Community Discussion: What Are Your Favorite L&D Books? featuring Zsolt Olah

Zsolt Olah has read a lot of books. AND he’s read a lot of L&D books. In fact, over a twelve-week period he read over 100 books in preparation for writing his own book, Engage the WORL&D!: A whimsical, brain-picking “meme-oir” from a creative digital learning strategist. So it comes as no surprise that Zsolt published a popular article about L&D Book Recommendations on

So this is why Zsolt was a perfect guest for our Community Discussion on “What Are Your Favorite L&D Books?”.

As a quick summary, here are the distilled recommendations Zsolt has for reading. Consider it “highlights” from his original article.

Be sure to listen to the podcast or view the TLDCast episode below for more detail about why he recommends each of these books.

Learning (And Doing Business)

The Accidental Instructional Designer: Learning Design for the Digital Age
Bean, Cammie

Make It Stick
Brown, Peter C.

How We Learn: The Surprising Truth About When, Where, and Why It Happens
Carey, Benedict

Design for How People Learn (Voices That Matter)
Dirksen, Julie

Map it! The Hand-on Guide to Strategic Training Design
Moore, Cathy

Disruptive Learning: Discover Your Inner Learning Rebel
Tipton, Shannon

Show Your Work
Bozarth, Jane


Ebook: Design Thinking (Innovation Trends Series)
BBVA Innovation Center

Designing for Behavior Change: Applying Psychology and Behavioral Economics
Wendel, Stephen


Critical Thinking: Tools for Taking Charge of Your Professional and Personal Life
Paul, Richard

Thinking, Fast and Slow
Kahneman, Daniel


Play to Learn: Everything You Need to Know About Designing Effective Learning Games
Boller, Sharon, and Kapp, Karl

Game Thinking: Innovate smarter & drive deep engagement with design techniques from hit games
Amy Jo Kim


The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies
Brynjolfsson, Erik

Learning in the Age of Immediacy: 5 Factors for How We Connect, Communicate, and Get Work Done
Carson, Brandon


Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences
Gardner, Howard

The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It
McGonigal Ph.D., Kelly


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