Holy Productivity Tools Batman!

Evernote. Drop.io. Dropbox. Remember the Milk. Delicious. Diigo. Jog the Web. Heard of one or more of these? I’m guessing you have. Does anyone else have an almost obsession to use (or at least try) all these great web-apps? I do! Hello my name is Kyle and I have a web-app addiction!

However, it begs the question: Can one have too many tools in their “web” utility belt? I feel like there’s too many good ones but I want to try them all. Sure, I use some way more than others. There are some that don’t even make it past the initial sign-up process for me. There are 3 things I hope to identify as quickly as possible when I learn about a new tool:

1. A clearly defined purpose – What does it do?
2. Is it user-friendly?
3. Does it show educational use? (see my last post on the 3Cs)

Web-based tools that help me be more productive in my personal and professional life are really appealing. Should we as teachers and lifelong learners try to keep ourselves “in the know” as best we can about these tools? Do you rely on your PLN to try to keep up as best as you can? Do you share these tools with your students?

I welcome your comments as always. Thank you for reading.

11 thoughts on “Holy Productivity Tools Batman!”

  1. Kyle. Information overload is real! I find that at times I will sacrifice depth of learning for breadth when it comes to these tools. I have to make a conscious effort to stick with something if it is working and only look at something else if there is a feature that I am missing. Otherwise I am not being productive with these productivity tools, instead I am spending all of my time investigating new tools. Take task-management for example. I signed up for RTM like two years ago and liked it, but every time something else came out I would sign up for that and use it for a bit. Now after all that investigation I am back to the tool that I started with. How much productivity did I miss out on in the meantime?

    1. Chris & Helen,

      Thank you for the comments. I think it’s good to try a wide variety of tools, but Chris I would have to agree with you in that overload is very real. I think trying to use too many ends up decreasing productivity.

      Helen you’re right about these tools helping to organize and share your brain. I was late in the game getting on the Delicious bandwagon. I’ve only been using it about 4 months I think and I love it.

  2. I use Evernote. Dropbox. Delicious. As a teacher I find these valuable resources to organise/share my brain, work and teaching. I have seperate Delicious. feeds for my research and sharing links with students and use sqworl. to share websites with fellow teachers without these and an a reader I do not know how I would ever be able to find locate and organise information, thoughts and resources again.
    I would love to find one place that have the flexibility to allow me to do all of these things in one place without confusing other users but so far I have not…hence why I try everything.

  3. I too am a tech tool addict. The first step is to admit your problem, right? But what if you like your problem?

    It’s so easy to become overwhelmed by all of the apps out there. I think the best solution is to find what works and be okay with sticking with it. Newer is not always better. Your 3 questions to assess the tool seem perfect.

    I also think that Tech Integration Specialists/Instructional Tech Specialists are a great asset to any district. These faculty members can help organize all of the options out there. It is difficult to be a content area expert and stay on top of all of the technology too.

    My classroom is heavily Google based, and it works. There is no need to overwhelm my kids with the overabundance of what is out there. However, every other month or so, I challenge them to use a new tool for extra points on projects. It works, and they pull that new tool into other classes as well.

  4. I love Diigo! It has helped me stay orginized and bring important resources to my students and the teachers in my district. I recommend it to all teachers trying to organize their web content.

  5. I like your idea to identify 3 criteria to determine if a new tool is worthwhile. I’ve had a much more haphazard approach that is dependent on how much time I have and often based on first impressions or number of ratings from others.

  6. I have been told that I make people’s heads spin as I pass along all of the great new tools that float my way via Twitter. I like to think of myself as a Jack of All Trades, but then there’s the Master of None side, right? And honestly, I often don’t really get into the potential of a tool because I’m too busy checking out something else. Not good. I guess it’s time to stop and smell the roses, or determine if something is even a rose? I like your 3 criteria. Thanks for getting me thinking!

  7. I’m a tech tool addict myself, and I recently set out to define not only what tools I use, but how I get them to work together:


    It’s not a perfect arrangement, but it was worth thinking about. (Wisely integrating Google Buzz isn’t easy, and I still have doubts about it. But I’m standing fast on not buzzing tweets!) As these “flows of information” become better developed for individuals, I believe they’ll become more standardized for online communities. We’ll all still have personal tool preferences, but understanding how we collectively act and react to content will make that content more accessible to all.

  8. Hello my name is Kelly and I have a web app addiction.
    I’m right there with you. My current favorite for organization is Simply Box because it lets me visualize all the sites I save….helps me to remember why it was worth boxing in the first place!
    Productivity apps are great but they have to work for you, I need to remember this!

  9. To answer your question “when is technology integration is going to be the new “traditional methods of teaching”?” – when today’s students are tomorrow’s teachers.

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