I wish YouTube had existed when I was younger.
It’s not because of the YouTubers (God help us all). It’s not even because of the instant access to billions of music tracks, although that would have been incredible. Unbelievably, It’s not even for the cat videos.
I’m thinking of the massive amount of YouTube tutorials that exist on every subject imaginable.
Whatever the subject is that you’re looking to learn about, a simple search on YouTube for related tutorials always reveals gold. Whatever it is you’re trying to do, somebody else has already created a video guide and uploaded it. It’s a great way of learning something. It’s always going to be easier to learn something by watching someone else do it, rather than trying to decipher written instructions in a book.
Youtube suits me. My method of learning something is to find a handful of tutorial videos, download them onto my phone, and watch them on to the train.
Subjects I have learned using this method include:
- How to do the Fortnite dances
- How lighting circuits work in the home
- How to make perfect pasta
- How to take apart and repair phones
- Growing tomato plants to the maximum height
- Various guides on virtual music instruments
Like everything in life, some of the styles weren’t to my taste. A poorly recorded video or a presenter with an annoying voice is an instant turn-off.
So, when you find out the content you want to watch, how do you organise it? There are two ways to keep the tutorials you want to watch organised. One is to use YouTube’s playlist function. The other is to download it yourself so you can watch it offline. This latter option is handy if you want to save data on your phone, or are going somewhere without a signal.
Let’s say you want to find a bunch of videos on how to make filled doughtnuts. Search for exactly that.
You’ll notice that moving the mouse over a search result brings up three dots on the right. Click on those, then select ‘add to playlist’.
At this point, you need to create a new doughnut related playlist. Fortunately, Youtube playlists are easy to create and maintain.
Click on create new playlist, and then name it. That’s it. You’ve created a playlist and added your first video to it! Now, go adding all the other useful videos to this same playlist. You now have all your tutorial videos in one handy playlist.
The great thing about this is that you can log in to Youtube on any device, and those same playlists will be accessible. Simple and effective.
The second option is to download the files and copy them to your phone or tablet to watch at your leisure. This is handy if, like me, your commute goes through some areas with a crappy phone signal, or if you want to save data.
We can get add-ons for your browser to download YouTube videos but I’ve found them to be a bit hit-and-miss.
The best option is to use a site like Youtube to MP4. Simply paste the link for the video you want to download, click ‘convert’ and you will be given an instant download.
There are a few sites that offer this service, and they’re all free.
Whichever method you use, getting access to the knowledge available on YouTube will improve your chosen subject no end. Whatever you’re planning to learn, good luck!
Cover Photo by Rachit Tank on Unsplash