DekeItarians, you know how it is. You have a system that works. You have deadlines villainously looming over you. And you know there might be a better way to do certain tasks, but you don't even have the context to know what questions you need to ask, let alone time and mental bandwidth to ask those questions.
Over at lynda.com, our good friend Mordy Golding has a series designed specifically for seasoned users of Adobe Illustrator---Illustrator Insider Training. The latest episode of the series is called Drawing without the Pen Tool, and this particular entry is close to my heart, due to my well-documented bouts of penophobia. The idea of the series is to provide Illustrator veterans a chance to refresh their insider knowledge and workflow habits, without having to start from scratch. Read more »
Maybe it's the failed grad student in me, but one of my favorite parts of Mordy's approach to helping rethink Illustrator is to provide each course of the series with a movie that explains historical developments of the software. (I like these movies so much I made sure they were all free to everybody; you can catch the latest one above; links to the others appear after the jump.) This historical context, besides solidifying your graphic software geek education, can really help identify where the learning gaps may have occurred for long-time users of the program. By providing an understanding of where key paradigm shifts might have happened in color, transparency, or drawing tools, Mordy paves the way for you to get back up to speed while maintaining all your hard-won experience and creativity. (You've earned those gray hairs!)