My four go-to YouTube channels for creativity and productivity

I love productivity tools, some which are mainstays like Microsoft Office, or some more emergent like Obsidian (I love Obsidian and talked about it before), and what never ceases to surprise me, is the incredible communities of people who really get great at using these tools and can make something truly amazing. Their ability to turn ideas in to inspiration, or to take data and drive insights, its all very exciting.

What makes these channels stand out for me, is the fact they take the time to explain how its done, how it works, to me, the best experts in the industry are the ones that can explain it in a way that everyone can consume, and these are the channels which really speak to me. I’d love to know which ones are your favorite, so we can consolidate an ongoing list of expert creators.

PowerPoint School

Great for PowerPoint Ideas

PowerPoint School YouTube Page

I came across PowerPoint school one day, looking for ideas for different ways to really express ideas with PowerPoint, and they did not fail to disappoint. They have some incredible ways where they combine visuals and animations to create some striking and engaging slides. Most of their videos start off with the end product, so you can get an idea where they are headed, and as they start to create these slides, you see some really innovative uses of layers, shapes and more… truly clever stuff. They have now also started to do courses on Udemy, but these videos themselves give you plenty to try, even just some of the basic ways to use PowerPoint for impact. Sometimes they are a bit slow to update, but when they do, its usually gold.

PowerPoint School — YouTube

Leila Gharani

Great for Excel

Leila Gharani YouTube page

There are plenty of tech review sites out there, but this is where Leila differs from the rest in my opinion. She will take a specific feature or capability of a product, mostly Microsoft (which works well for me), and go in to detail in to how it works and how it can work for you. Her videos are really well produced and high quality, and certainly her tone and pace, makes you feel really engaged in learning. Of particular note is her incredible depth of knowledge in how to use Excel, every time I think I am a competent user, Leila shows something which is incredible and exposes a new way of doing something in a way that is very compelling. Leila’s site is my go to YouTube channel when I want a quick hit of productivity. She is always producing content, and is always consistent in quality. Recently she has been embracing some of the newer features in YouTube of Shorts as well, so if you want a quick hit, she has the fix.

Leila Gharani — YouTube

Mike Tholfsen

Great for Teams and associated products in Microsoft collaboration

Mike Tholfsen YouTube Page

In trying to become more productive with all the tools I use everyday for work, Mike’s channel is hard to miss out on. He goes through a lot of the core tools that we use everyday for remote work including Teams, Viva, Loop (some of those might be new to you, so check it out), and makes it simple to use in bite sized videos. I love this channel, because I quite often watch the videos and immediately find myself working out how to apply it in my next meeting, especially the Teams videos that Mike showcases.

Mike Tholfsen — YouTube

Linking Your Thinking

Great for Obsidian and super charging note-taking

Nick Milo’s channel “Linking your Thinking” is relatively new on the scene with the first video being published only a year ago, but he has really been my shepherd as it relates to the whole idea of Personal Knowledge Databases. His videos go in to depth about how you can use Obsidian as a platform for ideas, and brings together really interesting people who have shared their own ways of using these sorts of tools. I have been on a number of different note taking application journeys but I really find that what Nick has been doing here is helping me move beyond scratching together digital notes, in to something more meaningful.

Linking Your Thinking — YouTube

Well that’s all of them, I am always on the hunt for other compelling content creators that do these sorts of channels. There are plenty of people I have seen that do great videos on tech reviews, and yeah love em, but I got a very special place in my heart for people who educate others to look great, be more productive, and express ideas in new ways.

Thanks for stopping by, please share your feedback on how you think I could improve these stories for you all, and if you are feeling generous, a clap and a follow would be greatly appreciate as well!



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Matthew Hardman

Matthew Hardman

The thoughts of a technical professional who works across APAC, having the opportunity to see and do a wide range of roles from strategy to people leader.