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To-Learn Lists

Do you have a “To Learn” list? I do. Every day there are things that catch my attention and I want to learn more about. It’s a wide variety of topics and interests. My list isn’t formal, written down, or even checked-off as I learn new things. It’s basically just a collage of things I want to know more about.

Some people have a “skills-I-need-to-get” list. You may be more focused on a career shift, or just keeping up with the changes in your field. It’s important to have such lists.

Jim Collins, in an essay in Learning Journeys, wrote, “A true learning person also has a “to-learn” list, and the items on that list carry at least as much weight in how one organizes his or her time as the to-do list.”

“To Learn Lists” themselves can take the form of:

  • Outlines
  • Mind Maps
  • Concept Maps
  • Documents (HTML, Word, text, .ppt, .xsl, MS OneNote etc.)
  • Web 2.0 (Blog notes, wiki posts, etc)

The reason I’m talking about “To Learn” lists is because we should be looking at how we manage “Informal Learning” and how we reconcile that with our daily tasks. Here’s something that would be cool for all of us looking for new learning opportunities that allow us to grow within our current organization:

Look for opportunities to traverse the opportunities in the company, and compare the skill set needed for that position to your current skill set. This becomes your “To Learn” list. Then you make an action plan, at work, to advance your career and fill needs in the company. Then, people wouldn’t feel like they need to leave the company to advance, and the company wouldn’t lose their investment in each employee. Everyone is happy, we all grow together.

Thoughts? Do you have a “To Learn” list? Tell me about it using the Comments function.

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Categories: learning, retention
  1. Mr. Anderson
    October 16, 2008 at 10:26 am

    I kind of have one but I think I need to update it. I am currently re-learning Italian and I want to learn Mandarin in the future. I also want to learn more about Work Force Planning. Thanks. This post got me thinking!

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