Hi Ann! I think this is a hard one to answer as there are SO many apps, podcasts, platforms etc to learn from. What I've found most helpful is to try a little of everything and see what I enjoy the most - if I enjoy it, I'll stick with it and if I don't I won't. This is what I've tried:
- Coffee Break Spanish - a free podcast hosted by Marc Pendleton who is actually Scottish but has a near perfect accent and very entertaining to listen to. He changes the lessons up each season and keeps things fun, short, and applicable. He teaches castellano but usually includes the latinamerican pronunciation too
- Rosetta stone - this is less interesting to me but still has great learning. Also good grammar practice
- italki - I'm trying to do 3 lessons a week rotating b/n focusing on grammar and just conversational spanish
- Reading - I've chosen a couple of books I've already read in English, so I already know the storyline and don't get too frustrated
- Duolingo - I listen to their podcast, more for the story than anything as they are usually quite interesting.
- Quizlet - a great free app to practice your vocab that you can pull out while standing in line for 5 minutes
- Talking - this is by far what is helping me the most. I have 4 young kids and I try and speak to them in spanish as much as possible. Do they get annoyed? Yes. Do I get to practice speaking without feeling embarrassed? Yep. And anytime I run into a phrase/word I dont know, I pull out my phone and look it up right then if possible
As far as schedule, I try to find time but we're all busy. I run for 30 min each morning which is when i listen to coffee break spanish. In the car, duolingo podcasts are great because they require less focus. Then at night I'll try and do rosetta stone, read some, and of course watch TV in spanish. I'm currently watching Las chicas de cable which is quite entertaining
Bottom line, if you find things you actually enjoy, you'll do them more often and stick to it longer. Hope this helps!