Weekly Digest #121: Organization and Productivity Apps
With the new school year just beginning, you may already be feeling overwhelmed and under-organized, so we thought that you might appreciate a list of a few applications that can be used on your phone or desktop to help you stay organized during this busy time of year. Disclaimer, though: we haven’t actually tried out all of these applications and we intentionally selected those that have free options. Below we will point out ways that each application can be used, particularly with regard to organizing educator and student lives. If you find a great use for one of these in the classroom, leave a note for us in the comments! We’d love to hear more!
Dropbox is a fantastic file sharing device that allows you to access your own files from anywhere, but also allows you to sync those files with other people. Within the classroom, students can create shared folders for different classes to allow for easy collaboration on research projects as well as sharing resources for studying.
Google Calendar is a must-have for tracking your own activities and sharing with others. This application allows you to create multiple calendars so that you can share each of them separately. Using this system, you could have separate calendars for different classes or one to reserve rooms in a particular building. You can also use Google Calendar to create recurring events, so that you can make sure you are spacing out study sessions or plan study groups. By creating reminders and recurring events (like, say, your anniversary), your future self will thank you for the download!
Evernote acts as both a list-making app, but also a note-taking powerhouse. You can use Evernote to take notes during meetings or class periods and then attach files or screenshots to that note so that they always stay in one place. Evernote also allows for easy sharing with others, which could be particularly beneficial if someone, say, misses class.
4) Things (paid)
Our only paid application on the list, Things is very popular and handy. While it contains many of the same list- and note-taking capabilities of Evernote, Things is a bit more dynamic and allows notes within lists within lists. Sounds crazy, right? But let’s say you have a big research project that is ongoing. Things would allow you to create multiple sublists for different parts of the project with different reminders and notifications for different items. Things is essentially a great digital personal assistant.
24me also has some of the same features as Evernote and Things, but with different functionality. It integrates both a calendar and to do list, with some neat extra bonus features. For example, 24me will recommend a specific time to leave for an event by monitoring current traffic in the area or provide warnings based on the weather forecast. Depending on your specific needs, Evernote, Things, or 24me could provide great personal organization. All three could also be used to schedule in study times into each day and create reminders to build studying into your regular schedule!
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Weekly Digest #116: Getting Ready for Effective Teaching