Five Tools to Be More Productive

I’m trying to get caught up on all my #edublogsclub prompts and number 22 is sharing productivity tools.  Productivity is my favorite category in all the app stores!  Ironically, I’ve spent hours looking at apps and extensions to help me get more done.  These are the ones I use the most.

  1.  Trello– I wrote about Trello before as one of my favorite tools.  Trello is my to-do list.  You make cards and to each card you can add attachments, files, colors, collaborators, due dates, a checklist and a whole bunch of other features I don’t use regularly.  You can add Google Docs directly to the cards so when you go to work on something you don’t have to search for it in your Drive.  What I particularly love about Trello is the flexibility.  Sometimes I want lists that are: Today, Tomorrow, Next week and I can move cards around to fit those and sometimes I want project based lists.  Before I left for summer I organized everything into project based lists which I can then move into into the Today list. Before I leave for the day I try to make sure that my to-do list is up to date so I can get to work right away (after I get my coffee of course.) I’ve seen teachers who have used Trello as an organization board for student work, but I’ve never used it for that.
  2. Buffer– Buffer is social media management for “marketers and agencies.”  I’m neither, but I do manage four other social media profiles and Buffer allows me to schedule posts and post to different profiles in one click.  I have the paid version.  It was worth it to me to sacrifice one Starbucks coffee a month to be able to sit down at one time and schedule all of my posts for the accounts I manage.  This way those accounts “post” several times during the day, but I don’t have to be there.  Powered with IFTTT it’s genius.
  3. Boomerang– Boomerang for gmail allows you to schedule emails to go out.  I send a lot of routine emails about time cards and attendance rosters.  On Friday afternoon, I write and schedule these to go out the following week.  My emails send no matter where I am!  It’s magical.  Boomerang also has a feature to “boomerang” email or basically have it show back up in your inbox on a certain day.  If you get that email that says “do x in three months” you can have it show back up in your inbox in three months.  With the free plan you get 10 scheduled emails.
  4. Time Out-When I went from teaching to a “desk job” I realized I was hardly moving during the day so I looked for something to remind me to get up.  Time Out is an app for Mac that tells you when to take a Time Out from your work.  Mine is set up for a 6 minute break every hour (just enough time to run to the restroom and do a lap around the building) and a couple of 15 second mini-breaks.  You can skip or postpone breaks if you’re in a grove and you can tell it to never interrupt you if you are using certain apps.
  5. Spotify– Last, but not least, you can’t be productive unless you have the proper playlist and sometimes you just want to listen to Ed Sheeran non-stop all day.  I have the paid version- largely because I was getting wildly inappropriate adds when I was at school.  (And only at school– never at home!)  I decided not having to deal with those adds inadvertently one day in class was worth the paid subscription.  Plus you can download songs so when you’re in the middle of Utah and there’s no radio or cell service you still have something to listen to.  One of the features I love about Spotify is its access to world music.  Often when I’m working on a unit I’ll type in some of the words from that unit and see what songs have them in them and then put that in a playlist to listen to while students are working.  I’ve discovered a lot of great new music that way.

What tools do you use to get more done?

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