Tools for Administrators

If you are anything like me, you love a few good apps that can make your life a bit simpler.  For me, this list is always fluid.  I find new great apps to add to the list while others fade away and I find myself using them less and less.  I will keep this list updated with what currently is working to simplify my life!

1.  Feedly:  I used to use Google Reader, but when they eliminated that tool I switched to Feedly.  I actually like it better once I got my many blogs and news sources categorized in a way that made them easy for me to digest.  It is easy to add feeds and delete feeds.  This is the main tool I use to keep current on what is going on in the world.  I schedule time each morning to read using Feedly.  This tool makes it easy to skip over items that do not peak my interest and mark entire categories as read if I have fallen behind.  I give myself permission not to feel guilty when I mark a category as read even if I haven’t skimmed it!

2.  Twitter:  You can follow me by searching for @DrStaceySchmidt.  This is a newer tool in my arsenal.  I had personal and business accounts before, but was not using Twitter to it’s full potential.  After hearing George Couros’s presentation on being a networked educator, I jumped in with both feet merging my personal and business accounts into one.  Once I found tool #3 and combined it with tool #1–it became simple for me to share tools I was finding online with others.  After learning more about hashtags it became easier for me to find the information I was seeking.  Next up for me is increasing my personal connections to others on Twitter–making it more of a relational tool for networking rather than me just sharing the great things I’m learning every day and reading what others are learning.

3.  Buffer:  This is awesome!  I’m not sure it helps me with my goal of being more relational in my use of Twitter–but it sure makes posting to Twitter easy without overwhelming the reader with too many posts at one time from me.  When I read something interesting and want to share it on Twitter, I can pick the Buffer option (after installing it one time) and it will posts my tweets based on a schedule that I have set for the day.  Super simple!

4.  WordPress:  This is the tool I use for my blog.  I have used other tools before, but this one is easy to use and sophisticated in design.  While it has taken more time than I initially thought to design and layout my blog, it was easy to import content from my previous blog.  I’m happy that I have moved to this tool!

5.  Facebook:  I do have a personal Facebook page that was originally intended to help me keep up with my friends from high school and college since I have moved out of the area.  However, it rapidly became a place to connect with everyone I know.  While I strangely do like to know what you are up to, professionally I have designed a Facebook page for our school system to keep parents and community members informed of the great things happening in the district.  It is a quick and easy way to spread the word through our community!

6.  Pocket:  How many times did you find something online that you really liked–but when you went to find it later could not remember where it was?  Hopefully I’m not the only one that had that happen all the time!  Good thing I found Pocket, a handy app to use when you find something online you want to save.  I have a tiny Pocket icon in my browser and when I’m on a webpage I want to easily find again later, I click on my pocket and it saves the page for me!  Brilliant!

7.  Diigo:  Diigo is very similar to Pocket, just more advanced.  Diigo also allows you to collect, analyze, and organize the things you find online and also share them with others.  I have seen many presenters use this tool very effectively for sharing tools with their audience.  I admit I haven’t mastered the use of this–but it is a great tool!

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