I have used many software packages through the years to design schematics and to layout printed circuit boards. Some were better than others. I am sure you all have stories of the worst tool you ever had the displeasure to use. About three and a half years ago I was introduced to the best product I had ever seen for doing this type of work. Of course I am talking about Altium. From time to time you will come across a product that is marginally better than another. It might have a few more features or a trick that is really cool, but Altium was different. It was so far ahead of the other products that its competitors were tiny specs in the distance. My productivity went up by 400-500 percent. The level of stress I had felt with using other products disappeared, and I began to enjoy every aspect of circuit design, PCB layout and circuit analysis.
This increase in productivity did not happen over night. It took place over months. I was included in a team of engineers that went to an Altium training facility. Even after the class, learning continued as I reviewed the manual we used in class. We formed a company users group and meet every two weeks. We helped each other figure out new ways of doing things and honed the skills we had acquired. Even today I continue to learn new features of the tool, new techniques that improve productivity and the quality of the final design.
Recently I began watching the 171 videos offered on the Altium website. I quickly found that I was watching videos that I had previously viewed as the site did not keep track of what I had watched. To help me wade through this rich resource, I made up a spreadsheet with all the names of the videos. Each time I watch one, I jot down the date. I thought there might be others out there who would find this spreadsheet useful. It can be downloaded here. Best wishes in your continued efforts to become the best engineer you can.