Thing 21: Productivity Tools

Update from Thing 10 Productivity Tools: Every day, I still use Google Drive for lessons, professional development documentation, letters to send home to families and much more. The way I have used Google Drive has not changed. Occasionally, I will use Wunderlist. Instead of keeping the app for a more day-to-day list, I use it for long-term and short-term projects to complete in the library. Whenever a project pops into my mind, I type it into the app, then cross it off as it is completed.

Evernote

I have heard of Evernote, but I have never used the tool until the option appeared in this week’s lesson. Before, I have always used Google Drive or pencil/pad of paper to write down notes from meetings or main points from books I wanted to remember. Stepping outside my comfort zone, I created an account on Monday and have played around the tool for most of the week.

Here are some first impressions I had from Evernote:

  • I like how it has a notepad feature, and that I can separate notes from one another
  • Everything saves automatically; I do not have to worry about saving updated content every few seconds
  • Tags are available for notes
  • It did not seem user-friendly upon first using the tool. It took me a few minutes to get the feel of the website and how it works

I did not use the tool collaboratively this week; colleagues are becoming accustomed to Google Apps for Education at my school. Instead, I used this tool to take notes for a book I have to read for a Leadership Study Group. After every chapter read, I wrote down key points in Evernote. When the group meets this week, I plan to share my observations with assistance from the notes in Evernote.

Additionally, I will complete another study group about the shifts in the standards in January. We have to read another book and share central details from the text. I plan to use Evernote for this, as well. Every few weeks, I try to read a book about education or libraries to further my knowledge in these areas. Right now, I’m going through the modules for the Project Enable website, and I’m writing down key strategies that could be implemented in the classroom in Evernote. I plan to keep up with this process of writing down my observations and key points in Evernote. This tool seems to fit that need perfectly; I do not want to share these ideas on my blog and Google Drive doesn’t feel like the write tool to write down personal thoughts about the books I want to read for professional development.

*I do not plan to use this tool with students, but rather as a personal/professional tool*

Instapaper

I signed up for an account with Instapaper, and tried to use it this week. However, I did not find much use of it for myself. I do think it’s an effective tool, but so far, it hasn’t fit into my routine. When I saw an article I was interested in, I read it then and there. There were a few articles I bookmarked, but I forgot about those in Instapaper queue. I will make an attempt to use this tool for a few more days, but I’m not sure of the likelihood of it becoming a website I use frequently. You never know until you try, right?

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