Favorite Tool #edublogsclub

I am so far behind in my #edublogsclub blogging that I’ve given up caring.  I’ve not given up blogging them, just given up caring that they weren’t blogged during the week assigned.   However,  I am determined to finish before the end of the year.

My Favorite Tool

By far, my most favorite tool right now is Trello, an organizational tool that I find works really well for me.  Here’s why it’s my favorite tool.

Organization

My work is divided between After School, Instructional Technology, teaching, World Language support, instructional coaching, PBIS, and what feels like 15 other categories and Trello keeps me sane and organized.  It is essentially a board made of lists, made of cards with all kinds of information.  Cards can be moved between lists or boards.

I have a to-do list in Trello with lists for each category that I’m working on.  I create a card with a something I need to do, add an attachment or link, label, and a due date.  With the “Power-ups” I use the calendar view to see what I need to get done.  I can add notes and a to-do list for each card or task and check them off as I go along.  I love that I can easily re-name my lists, so I can have a list based on category, or when I’m really busy a list that says “priority.”  Drag and drop to move the cards.

Trello has an option to email to board.  I try to get to “Inbox zero,” so if there is an email that I need to act on, I forward it to Trello and add a due date.  I have all of the information and attachments that I need and my inbox isn’t cluttered.  You can get super fancy in the subject line to automatically add it to boards.  Trello also has a gmail Add-on that allows you to create cards directly from gmail.  This hasn’t been turned on yet for me in my district, and I’m enjoying walking the fine line of asking every day and annoying the people who actually flip the switch.

Cards can be shared so that if you work as a team you can see who has done what and its status.  Most of my work is for my Team of One, so I have not used that feature much.

Project Planning

In addition to my To-do list board, I also have a board for the after school program that includes what needs to be done month to month.  In the case that I am no longer the after school coordinator, someone would just need to look at the after school timeline to see what needs to be done and when with all of the relevant documents attached!  So simple.  (They’ll thank me later.)

I have also planned out our Freshman summer bridge program in Trello.  Everything is included as a card with attachments and notes so that when I go to start planning in March, I won’t have to search for documents or wonder what to do next.  As it comes to planning time, I’ll create lists that say “this week”, “next week” and “today” and move the cards to the appropriate lists.

Bookmarks

I broke up with bookmarking webpages a few years ago because I just felt like I had no good way to organize them or search for them or share them across accounts and I just wasn’t using the ones I had bookmarked.  At the beginning of the this year I even went through and culled all of my bookmarks so that they fit on the bookmark bar because I was so tired of looking at them.  Then, I had the idea of using Trello and it works magnificently!  With the Trello extension, I click and add my webpage to my bookmark bar to the appropriate list (topic) and voilà, a beautiful bookmarking system that works for me.

With Students

I’ll be blogging about my updating of the “town” unit soon, but it centered around a public Trello Board with links to various websites and maps for about 11 different French cities.  Click here to view my Villes en France Trello Board.

The best part about my favorite tool?  On Thursday I think I convinced the principal to start using Trello.

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