Here are my favorite tools to start & run your online course business. 

(Heads up: There are a few affiliate links on this page. I only share products that I've personally used. If you decide to click on anything, you'll be supporting Zen Courses. Thanks!)

Learning Design Books


Design for How People Learn (julie dirksen)

This is my favorite book on Learning Design. It sits on my desk & I highly recommend that it sit on yours too if you want to create world-class courses. Click here to grab your copy on Amazon.


Make it Stick (Brown, Roediger, McDaniel)

Currently reading. Check back in May for an update.

Domains & Hosting


I buy all my domains from Hover. They're a transparent company. They don't sell your information. Plus, you get free privacy protection with each domain. Check 'em out!


For the record, Zen Courses is hosted on Squarespace. But if I ever move to WordPress again, I'll use Bluehost. They're affordable, reliable and easy to use. All great features when you're starting out. Sign up today.

Hosted Online Course Platforms


Thinkific is the most well-rounded platform available. They've been around the longest and have the most learning features on the market. Oh, and did I mention their amazing support? Check 'em out. 


Coach is a new platform that's not just for online courses, but for building your online business. Easy to use. Outstanding support. Check it out today to see what all the excitement is about.

Email Service Providers



If you're starting out or don't care about content upgrades, there's no better email service than Mailchimp. For only $10/mo, you can create an email course and grow your list. 


ConvertKit is what I currently use. Easily tag your subscribers, create multiple opt-in forms, and integrate with your LMS. Sign up here to get 1 month free


If you have multiple courses and want to create complex sales funnels, check out Drip. It has the best marketing automation of all three options. Starts at $49/mo.

Webinars & Workshops


Crowdcast is my number one choice for webinars and workshops. Period. And I've used nearly a dozen. Plus their customer support is amazing. It's paid, so if you're looking for a free webinar solution, consider Google Hangouts. The engagement features built into Crowdcast will be a game-changer for your webinars and workshops. Check 'em out!


If you're looking for a non-browser based video conferencing solution, you can't go wrong with Zoom. It's got tons of education features, like breakout rooms and whiteboards. It works well in low-bandwidth situations. Plus the pricing is incredibly reasonable.

Screencasts & Video Editing


If you need to create screencasts, animations or edit your videos, Screenflow is my #1 recommendation. It's incredibly easy to use and directly exports to YouTube and Wistia. At $99 it's a steal. (Mac only)


Another option for screencasting and video editing is Camtasia. It's a bit more pricey ($199), but it also has more features, like green screen. There's a free trial too. (Mac & Windows)

Quizzes & Surveys



Typeform makes surveys simple to create and fun to use. You can use Typeform for quizzes too. And questionnaires! And creative stories! Plus, it's free to start.

Pro Profs

If you want to create more complex quizzes or exams for your course, Pro Profs is a popular solution. You can create your quiz or poll and embed it into your web page, share it, etc.

Survey Gizmo

Need to create surveys AND quizzes, but want to pay less? 

SurveyGizmo is your solution. Use them to create complex branching quizzes for your course. 

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