Ed Tech Tips with E. Mosier

Make your classroom more Efficient!

Tech Tools to Stay Organized

Overview

If you're anything like me, staying organized is important. I still have post it notes stuck to my desktop tower, and handwritten to do lists.But, if you are tech-oriented and enjoy the option of apps and programs that allow you to keep a clear focus on completing tasks in an orderly fashion, there are several tools that can help with that. Below are a few of my favorite digital tools that each have their own unique advantage in helping you to stay organized no matter how complex the task or project.

Google Keep

A nice resource for when you’re wanting to take a quick note, create a brief to-do list, or hang on to information for later is Google Keep. Think of this as a way to create and share digital post-it notes. A major benefit of Keep is the option to create to-do lists. Each listed item appears with a checkbox next to it, so the satisfaction of checking items off is still an option. Or, you can create it as a blank slate to draw on similar to the Microsoft Paint program we are used to. This can be used online or as a mobile app.

Google Tasks

To create a to-do list as you're working, Google Tasks is the perfect tool. Tasks appears in a sidebar to the right side of your Google Drive tools, and allows you to create tasks that you can come back to later. The best part about Google Tasks is that it will embed directly into your Google Calendar. So, if you need a reminder to call someone tomorrow, or schedule that appointment, you can assign it a date, and it will appear in your Google Calendar! This is a built-in application, or you can download the mobile app as well.

Google Sheets

When you think of Google Sheets, you more than likely don't think of it as an organizational tool for tasks. But, with a simple trick, you can organize multiple projects at once. Since there are several columns on a Sheet, each one could be set up for a unit or all committees that you may be a part of. Each column could become tasks or to-dos for a unit, or by the next meeting. Then, in a column next to those tasks, insert checkboxes from the Insert Menu. Then, as they get completed, check the box to show that it's been completed. To take it a step further, with the cell highlighted, click the Add a Comment box, and assign that task to a person in your network!

Trello

Another site that is terrific for complex organization is Trello. A little more complex than the idea of using Google Sheets, these lists allow for more detail and categorization. An excellent example of using Trello would be to plan out Units and Lesson Plans with another teacher. Trello is set up as columns for organization, and each item in the column can include attachments and descriptions. So, if you're planning out a unit, several assignments could be linked to each task, and then be categorized by whichever unit it fits with. Then, add a description for easier memorizing, and completely organize your school year using Trello!

Google Drive Workspaces

A new addition to Google Drive is that of Workspaces. Found under the "Priority" link on the left hand sidebar, Workspaces allow you to organize current projects or lesson plans that you may be working on. The goal, or idea, of Workspaces is that you can group all of the documents that correlate with a given task. So, for example, if you are working on a PLC, or CTT in our district, the form to fill out, the assessment, the results, and all other materials could be combined in one Workspace. This is a great way to stay organized and have all files in one location, so you're not stuck searching the massive amount of files in Google Drive.

The Paint Format Tool

If you have ever noticed a tool that looks like a Paint roller in the toolbar of Google tools, it is actually an awesome resource! If you want to apply the same formatting (text size, color, font, etc) consistently in a Doc, Slide, or Drawing, this is the perfect tool! Once you have your original formatting, simply click the Paint Format tool. Then, highlight the next text to apply the formatting to, then voila! The new text is formatted the same. To apply to more than one bank of text, simply double click on the Paint Format tool and highlight away!

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