Cool Tools for School, Thing 21: Productivity Part II

So last time I shared some of the tools, tricks and products I use to help me feel in control and awesome of my day to day existence. Like I said last time, I was really excited to see this one on the schedule. I definitely love being organized and efficient. I’m always on the lookout for fun new ways to get things done and get more out of my time. Despite my enthusiasm for the topic, it took me a loooonnngggg time to get a handle on this tool though.

You see, I saw some really intriguing tools on the list but, I have a tendency to get excited about new tech tools just because they’re tech tools and not necessarily because they are the right tools for me. I had to keep going back through the list and forcing myself to think less about how nifty the tool was and more about if it actually would help me. Some of them, when I really thought about how I work and best “get it done”, would actually make more work for me. Finally, after some careful consideration, I came up with two tools I’m hoping help me get even more out of a day.

Tool to Try: Pocket

I  am naturally curious and love learning. While this is a great combination of traits for an educator to possess, it also makes me very susceptible to following all the little breadcrumb trails when I go online to research something. I try to be smart about it. Instead of clicking on the link and reading it immediately, I opt to open the link in a new tab. Then, when I’m done with the research I set out to do, I give myself permission to go check out those other tabs. The problem is, there’s always A LOT of other tabs open and those tabs have links in them that create more open tabs and it becomes a bit of a vicious cycle. Before I know it, that quick trip online to do some research has eaten up way more time than it was suppose to and, most likely, way more time than I really had to spend. So, I was excited to read about Pocket (Read it Later). I was even more excited when I found out that in addition to the app, you can install a bookmark tool on your computer.  But, the most exciting part was the ability to add Twitter links right to my Pocket account. I love Twitter but, I have trouble keeping up with it. Now, I can scan my Twitter timeline and add those links to the list for later reading. I’ve already put Pocket on my iPhone, iPad, home computer and I’ll be putting the bookmark tool on my school computer as soon as I get back to work. I’ve already added some articles to the list but since I’ve been on vacation for the last week, I haven’t really had a chance to fully take advantage of the “read it later” part. I’m very optimistic about this tool and can’t wait to start collecting all those little distractions into a list of things to read on the weekend when I have more time.

Tool to Try: Buffer app 

The Common Core puts an emphasis on students as creators of digital content. As the librarian, I have an important role to play in teaching them how to do that. However, I’m guilty of consuming more digital content than I create. I’d like to change that but, it’s tough to find the time. I also love following librarians and teachers on Twitter that have great things to share (and not just clever things to say). I’d love to be more of a sharer and contributor to the conversation than I am right now. That’s where I think the Buffer app will come in handy. Picking a slice of time once or twice a week to sit down and schedule posts to share on the social media sites I already use will be easier than trying to remember to do it day to day, on the fly. Plus, with Pocket storing all the random things I want to read, I’ll have a ready supply of things to share when I sit down for my weekly scheduling!

This may be the vacation buzz still talking but, I’m feeling really optimistic about these two productivity apps and working them into my current routines. Here’s hoping I still feel that way in another week.

2 responses to “Cool Tools for School, Thing 21: Productivity Part II”

    • So far I love it but I’m also trying really hard to put myself on schedule. Right now, I try to go through my Twitter feed on my lunch break (that’s where most of the things I send to Pocket come from) every day. Then, on the two days of the week I stay late, I try to go through my back log of Pocket “articles” and see which ones I want to add to the library Pinterest account. Hopefully, I can keep to the schedule!

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