Keeping My Act Together, One App at a Time
Many a person has asked me, "Just how do you manage to do everything you do?!" And I respond with that cliche, "There's an app for that." Following are the tools that I use to keep my act together in the face of much multi-tasking, and in spite of the two-year-old twins who do their best to wreak havoc every day. Many teachers are just like me, and while you may not have twins at home, you also juggle many different projects and commitments. These services will hopefully help you to keep your life organized and your sanity intact.
The first thing I do to help myself stay organized is make a detailed To-Do list. I currently use Wunderlist to accomplish this. Wunderlist let's me make several different lists, organized by project or topic. I can assign due dates, send myself reminders, break larger tasks down into subtasks and even attach files to my tasks. I have many professional and personal To-Do lists set up in my Wunderlist account. List sharing is also a nice feature, which means that my husband and I can share a grocery list (since we never know which one of us is going to be able to make it to the store). Wunderlist can be used on the web, and also has Android and iOS apps. It automatically syncs across devices, so you can be sure you are always working from the most updated list.
My other secret weapon is Evernote. Evernote is a note-taking app. I can create a simple text note, add photos, take voice-notes, attach files to notes, or even clip pieces of webpages to a note, and then annotate them all using the built-in annotation tools provided. I organize my notes into several themed notebooks, and then use tags to further categorize my notes, all searchable through the app. Evernote is a very robust app, and there are many more features to the app than I actually use. You can also share notebooks with others if you want, though I have never used this feature. Evernote operates across a variety of operating systems and automatically syncs across my phone, tablet, and computer. No matter where I am when a thought occurs to me, I know that I will remember everything as long as I write it down in Evernote.
And that's it - the secret to life in two apps! I hope that you are able to inject a little more sanity into your schedule this coming school year. No matter what your strategy is, staying organized is absolutely essential when you are a busy teacher. Please share your strategy (or secret weapon) in the comments.
And now for my Big Announcement!
For now, I will continue to post strategies, tools, and resources here at ELL Sense, and you can continue to follow me here. If that changes in the future, I will be sure to let you know!