Thing 21: Productivity Tools

I’m the biggest geek for to-do lists. There are times when I take a break and spend an entire evening making to-do lists for things for the home, the kids, and work. Two things get accomplished: I’m able to move forward knowing I have a set of priorities I’ve penned or digitized and duh! I feel accomplished at accomplishing things on the list.

For Thing 21, I explored Evernote, which I use personally and occasionally professionally (most recently at a conference where I found it easier to jot down the big ideas with my little fingers on my phone rather than carry around a notebook and pen and fill it with nonsense that I never go back and revisit because I’ve crapped it up with my ramblings rather than those big ideas). But I know there’s much more to Evernote that I wasn’t using, including suggestions from the article on the Cool Tools about the teacher using it to create portfolios, so I decided to start. I created a new Notebook and added (using WebClipper) a few articles/links, some attachments and even experimented with the InkNote (so cool!) and the audio note (I felt like a doctor!) When working with a class on long-term projects, I can see this being an easy way to take notes for them and organize (like NoodleTools) if they’re jotting things down on the run. They could take a picture of a page or record a resource that they found. I know I will continue to use the variety of features offered, rather than creating generic notes as I was doing.

I do want to find someone else who uses Evernote to use the Work Chat feature– I experimented by sending a chat message to my husband’s email, but he doesn’t use it, so there was no use. If someone has one and they’d be willing to Work Chat with me, please let me know.

The other tool I began using was an app that I had downloaded about a month ago after a conversation with my colleague about my ongoing sadness that iGoogle was gone (I know, it’s been a long mourning process) and that something like Symbaloo wasn’t cutting it. She suggested Feedly. I downloaded the app, added a few blogs that I had followed via email, and then promptly ignored it. So, I picked it back up again after seeing it as an option and really drilled down to how I liked to view my blogs and sources by arranging them in an aesthetically pleasing way. There’s nothing worse than a tool that just doesn’t look right (I’m calling out Flipbook, which I visually dislike). So I moved the app closer to my home screen on my phone where I can casually scan articles from the blogs I follow without it clogging my email inbox and bookmark the articles that I especially like to revisit later.

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