Monday, March 15, 2010

Dealing with all of the information, ideas and projects

Supporting innovation and continual growth is an important part of the job of an administrator. Seeking ways to model and encourage integration of technology, building a vision for the future and staying on top of new developments and research can be a full time job. The use of social networking tools in my professional life like Twitter, and Ning helps me access the information I need to do my job. However, I find that often when I am filtering the information flow that my focus is on tools, research, or ideas that will empower  the teachers and meet specific needs they have identified.But sometimes we also need to ask what tools are best suited to support and help administrators?

Looking through my toolbox, I rediscovered a tool, which I would argue, has huge potential to organize and simplify my life as an administrator. There are other tools I use but Evernote is a game changer. One of the most difficult things about administration is the multitude of roles, concerns, projects and stakeholders we work with on a daily basis. Evernote works with all your computing devices and is a place to put all of that information whether it is project ideas, to do lists, expense receipts, business cards, web pages, notes from a meeting or conference, or a voice memo about a classroom observation. This blog post steered me back to Evernote and one of the things that really makes this work for me is the concept he mentions of keeping it simple by having a default inbox where everything goes. Often I am clipping web pages, making notes or collecting business cards on the fly and then I can take a few moments at the end of the day to reflect, tag and categorize. Perhaps the most amazing thing about Evernote, in my opinion, is its ability to search photos of hand written text, or of business cards. At the conference I attended last week I snapped a picture of each business card as I received it and through Evernote it was synched to all of my computing devices and I could search by any information on the card to find it again.

Every day is a busy time for administrators and right now we are looking toward the end of the year and planning for next year. Perhaps, Evernote is one way to make all of that work easier. What tools would you suggest to support and help administrators?

Cross posted LeaderTalk

Photo from Flickr by verbeeldingskr8