Creating a course to sell online is a lot of work.
Thankfully, there are a lot of apps, software, and tools that can make that work a lot faster and a lot easier. After all, a workman is only as good as his tools.
Abraham Lincoln said if you gave him six hours to chop down a tree, he would spend the first 4 sharpening the axe. Better tools make hard jobs go better, and easy jobs go faster.
So, for online course creators, what are the best tools of choice?
When I built my first course, about seven years ago, it took me months to complete. I didn’t know what I was doing, and everything I built was from scratch.
Fast forward seven years, and now I not only have a process that I follow every time I develop a new course, but I also have a great set of tools that make the job of course creation much easier. And today, I’m pulling back the curtain and letting you take a peek inside the CourseCoach toolbox!
My 19 Favorite Course Creation Tools
This is my collection of online course creation tools. I use every one of these tools multiple times a day.
Let’s get to the list!
Tool #1: Moleskine Notebook
I never leave home without it. There’s something special about putting thoughts and ideas down on paper. I have a collection of journals that I use, but my favorite are the Moleskine brand.
Every course idea has its beginnings as a scribble in one of these journals.
Shout out to the Joe Montana autograph!
Tool #2: iPhone
A lot of people freak out about technology, me included.
I want my videos to look amazing, etc. etc. But, I have learned that just pulling out your iPhone and shooting a video on the spot can be just as engaging and powerful as a fully-produced video shot on the most expensive of cameras.
I use my iPhone all the time to create content. Especially for social. I do it raw, I don’t care about editing, etc. Just turn on the camera, and go.
People like it.
Tool #3: CutStory App
This app has been a lifesaver! Instagram stories are limited to 15 seconds. I can’t even say hello in 15 seconds. This app takes my long-winded videos and cuts them into perfect, 15-second clips so I can upload them to my stories.
Tool #4: Macbook & Hackintosh
Yep, I use Mac because I like it. Windows is so confusing to me, especially since I really haven’t used it in years.
If I’m away from home, my Macbook is with me. I rarely go anywhere, even to Chik-fil-a without it. It’s in my backpack, and ready for work at all time.
When I am home, I keep my super-powerful custom-built PC humming. I built it myself and installed Mac OS on it. It’s a fully-featured Hackintosh, and I love it.
I also have Windows on it if I ever need to feel bad about myself. 🙂
Tool #5: OBS Studio
I love OBS. It’s free, for one. But, it has such a huge community of people working on it and making it better all the time.
In the old days, I would record my videos to my camera’s SD card. I would then take that card, and put it into Final Cut Studio. Then, I would take audio from some other recorder, and add it as well. Then, I would spend several minutes trying to match the audio to the video. Then, I would edit the video. Then, I would export the video. Finally, I would upload it.
OBS took a long time to figure out, but now I can record everything just like a live stream. When I am done recording, it’s ready to upload. The end!
I love it.
Tool #6: Elgato Stream Deck
See above. The StreamDeck allows me to easily manage the OBS recording/streaming sessions without clicking a mouse. This is my favorite gadget purchase of all time.
Tool #7: Panasonic GH5
I told you I geek out on tech. This is an overkill camera for a course creator, but I love it so much. It shoots 4K video, so I can shoot a really wide shot, and digitally crop the image in to “zoom in” without losing my 1080p quality. It’s like having multiple cameras.
It works smoothly with OBS, and when you shoot on the go, the in-body and in-lens stabilization makes the footage so smooth. And, I’m a shaky person so I really like it.
Tool #8: Heil PR40
I have a thin voice. The PR40 gives it some punch.
I use this mic as my primary input on the Hackintosh. It’s served me well for several years, and I still love it. If you want a super-duper podcast microphone, I recommend the PR40 above all else… at least in its price range.
Tool #9: Teachable
If I’m going to build a course that requires quizzes and advanced LMS features, Teachable is my favorite. I have used Thinkific and Podia as well, but Teachable is my favorite tool. It has it’s pros and cons, but I use it for most of my LMS-heavy courses.
Tool #10: ClickFunnels
ClickFunnels is my workhorse. The CourseCoach website is hosted on Clickfunnels. All of my products run through ClickFunnels. And, all of my courses that are LMS-light are hosted on ClickFunnels.
Get a 14-day free trial now! You won’t regret it.
Tool #11: WordPress
ClickFunnels is a funnel builder, not a Content Management System. So, for my blogging needs, I turn to WordPress. The blog you’re reading this on right now is on WordPress.
If you want to blog, go WordPress. It’s the tool for it, and it makes it super easy. If you want templates, check out Themeforest.net.
Tool #12: WordPress Hosting
If you’re going with WordPress, do self-hosted. Don’t give WordPress.com a go, you need to own your own site. So go to WordPress.org and download it – or just let one of these hosts install it for you.
For my premium, high-traffic sites, I use WPXHosting.
For my budget sites, I use GreenGeeks.
Tool #13: Evernote
I use Evernote ALL THE TIME!
It’s my digital Moleskine, but also a collection of everything else I want to remember, reference, keep… it holds everything!
Just get it, and use it. You’ll thank me when you get past the learning curve.
Tool #14: Google Docs
I don’t like working from scratch! I like to work from templates.
Google Docs is where I do most of my work. My slideshows are in Google Docs, my templates are in Google Docs. I can get anyone’s collaboration when I’m using Google Docs. I am in Google Drive and Docs all day every day, it seems.
Tool #15: 30-Days to Launch Process
Speaking of templates, I also use my own product when I build a course. This is the templated process that I’ve found helps me be successful without working from scratch and wasting time.
Not only are the tasks of planning, building, and launching a course laid out in daily objectives, but I have all the templates and worksheets to help me get it all done very fast.
You can get that 30-Days to Launch Roadmap here.
Tool #16: Coffee
I wear out my Keurig. Colombian from Gevalia is my go-to. I drink it in the morning and sometimes in the evening when I’m about to work on my course. It puts me in the “professor” mood. 🙂
Tool #17: YouTube
If you’re not publishing on YouTube, you are missing out. YouTube is the world’s second-largest search engine. And it’s market share is growing every day.
If you blog, your content may appear on Google, but it will never rank on YouTube. However, your video on YouTube can rank on both!
If you write a blog post, you need to publish that post in a video version. It’s a must moving forward. Make video content. The end.
Tool #18: Social Media
You have to engage.
We’re building CourseCoach from the ground up, as a product and as a CaseStudy on how to build online courses into a business.
When we started, we had 0 on our email list.
- We had 0 domain authority.
- We had 0 website traffic.
- We had 0 subscribers/followers on social media.
In order to build that following, I spend a good amount of time just helping people in Facebook Groups, Subreddits, and other avenues. Just giving them advice, helping them, giving my two cents when it’s appropriate.
This has given me many opportunities to share my YouTube videos or blog posts, and sometimes even my products. When those opportunities come naturally, it’s a huge boost for a business in desperate need of attention.
Tool #19: The Full Focus Planner
I. Love. These. Planners!
I love them so much, I have some backups!
On the other hand, maybe I should stop ordering them until I’ve used a few more.
What are your Favorite Online Course Creation Tools?
Do you have a tool that I didn’t mention here?
If so, let me know in the comments. Why do you like it?