For about 25 years, I got through life by procrastinating on my obligations until an emergency arose and then used my intellectual brute strength to avert disaster. About halfway through my first year of teaching, I realized this was not sustainable, and I started trying to strengthen my organizational game.

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You might imagine that I would be a big fan of using novel presentation technologies like Prezi or FlowVella. I am… sometimes… but pretty rarely. Much more frequently I would prefer to use Google Slides or PowerPoint. I also think it is a better idea to teach students how to use these ubiquitous tools rather than have them rely on a flashy and/or proprietary format.

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There is a (misattributed) Mark Twain quote that is used in productivity circles that goes like this:

If the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long.

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Rosemary Orchard, writing for The Sweet Setup:

Drafts is much more than a quick way to take a quick note and has become the app I go to for all my writing because it’s easy, simple, but still powerful when I need more features.

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I plan on writing a post all about Hazel in the future but I wanted to share a specific use case for Hazel that others might benefit from.

In short Hazel is a very cool macOS tool for automating the moving and naming of files. I know that does not sound very fun but it is awesome. Again I will talk more about that in the future but let me just show you what I wanted to do:

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Apple really ramped up its health efforts a few iOS versions ago and one of the sleeper hits (pun intended) is the bedtime feature.

Buried in the clock app on iOS is a tab called bedtime. In here you can set your wake up time (this also sets an alarm) and how long you want to sleep. Once you do this, you get a bedtime reminder every night and sleep data populated into your Health app. If you set the option your phone will also turn on Do Not Disturb mode during your sleep.

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Video calling is becoming more and more common in both personal and professional communication. Here is how I prepare for a video call.

I find mindmaps to be helpful tools and I love MindNode the macOS and iOS app for making very pretty mind maps. Unfortunately, MindNode is not a collaborative app. lets you make very nice mind maps collaboratively!

Producing and using your own videos in your classroom is as powerful as a cheat code. However, it can take too much time to do this well, unless you use Clips for iOS.

“Memorization” is not a dirty word in education. However, it should be technology (not teachers) helping students memorize facts. Honestly, Quizlet is probably better at it anyway. Read this post to find out why you should be using Quizlet in your classes and how I have implemented Quizlet in mine over the past 3 years.

Teachers in my building wanted an easy, high-impact way to send positive notes home to parents. I designed and sourced a custom postcard to add this tool to teachers toolbelts. I also saved my school a considerable amount of money over buying this product off the shelf.

This summer I directed some time and energy to make my school a little bit better. I planned out and designed airport style navigation signs for my school to help people navigate the large building.