Monday, November 26, 2012

Narrowing Down the Field To Get More Productive (Unless You Can Change My Mind)

I love finding new apps, sites, and software to improve my productivity.  In fact, I like this stuff so much, I've actually gotten to where I have so many resources, it's counter-productive.  So, I realized it's time to stop and make decisions about the ones I'm going to use regularly.

This is no easy task, mind you!  I'm prone to saying "What If..."  when I start to delete something because I think I might want it again someday.  Some might say I should just leave them and use the ones I want. I guess I'm not that strong because when I see the choices, I want to use them all.  I know, it's a little ridiculous but it's the truth.

You know, the more I think about this, the more I realize how true this is.  The integration and tools that I consistently used, even if they had faults, were the ones that impacted the students the most in a positive way.  That is because I used them and learned about them, figured a work-around for issues if need be, and optimized their strengths.  I'm not doing this these days because I'm constantly looking for better.

So, now comes the painful part.  Making a decision and then sticking with it.  Well, I'm 99% sure I'll stick with it but I reserve the right to change that decision.  So, I'll be chronicling my journey and my choices in this blog as I make them and then sharing if it makes as big a difference as I think it will.

I have made some decisions already.  These are decisions that really make sense because it is what my district is using and that means it's what I need to know to support the teachers at my school.  Some of these decisions are because I have gotten to know the product very well and know it's the right one.  In almost all cases, I have tried the rest. In those cases, I'll be sharing what the other products I tried were and why they didn't make the cut of the ONE app that I'm going to invest time and information in.

I'm still conflicted about some productivity apps and I'm going to make myself make that decision because I'm bouncing between them and scattering information.  That is certainly no road to organization.

So, I'm going to start with one that I committed to (again) yesterday:  Remember The Milk.

Don't laugh, but I have tried the following and decided against them.  They just never clicked.  And to be fair, I subscribed to Remember The Milk before and didn't use it much.  But, the days I did use it and did have the list, I was much more productive.  I probably didn't use it much because I was looking at all the other apps I had available. LOL.  But the reality is that I went back to it because I need something that is going to work with my iPad, iPhone, Outlook at work, Google Calendar, GMail at home and, because I have a real love of new phones, will work with just about any type of phone I might eventually get (Android, Windows).  Remember the Milk was that app.  Not only was it compatible with all of this but it even had Firefox browser add-ons that enabled it within Firefox.  Slam Dunk!   So, Remember the Milk it is.

Google Tasks
Outlook Tasks
Timeli App
Priority Matrix
ToDo For iPad
Do Social Productivity

As to why I'm not using these I've listed, there is no good reason.  I really like Any.DO.  Listary charged me for purchasing their app but I never did.  I should have contacted someone but I figured I'd give it a try.  It was expensive relatively speaking and I haven't figured out why I'd want it yet.  (Listary, if you reading me out here!  Why?)  The main reason is the compatibility with so many different formats. It's hard to beat that.

Also, I tried most of these using AppsGoneFree.  What happened with Listary stands out because I just don't buy them usually.

So, what are you using?  Tempt me to revisit one of these or to try a new one. If you believe in your app, tell me why.  I'll admit it, I'm weak.  I'll try it and post about it here! Or, convince me why I made the right choice.

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