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

(Heads up: There are some 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!)

My favorite New Tools

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My friend Paul Jarvis recently created a directory for online courses. If you're looking for a course or want to list your course, click here to check it out.

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.


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.

Landing Pages

Leadpages is the only tool I use for landing pages and pop-ups. I love it and highly recommend it if you don't have an existing solution.

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.



If you find yourself offering a combination of courses and services like I do, you probably need a tool for managing all your clients, packages, invoices and payments. I Dubsado for that and love it. Before Dubsado, I felt like my processes were all over the place. Now they're just in one place.

Click here to check out the platform and save 20% off your first month!

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