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The Teaching Space Podcast

The podcast is on pause for a year (as of August 2021) as I am tackling the final year of my masters in education (which I am doing alongside my full-time job). In the meantime, please revisit the considerable back catalogue of episodes. Also, give me a follow on Twitter, where I am still very active and sign up for my personal newsletter here. You can visit The Teaching Space website here: theteachingspace.com.

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Oct 19, 2019

Episode 71 of The Teaching Space Podcast explores how to get started with productivity apps and tools.

Introduction

If you’ve been listening to the podcast for a while you will know I love a good productivity app! If a new one comes out I will be first in line to try it. However, the massive range of tools and apps available can be overwhelming, particularly if you are just starting your journey to becoming a productive teacher.

Even if you’ve been working on improving your productivity for some time, it’s easy to focus on apps and forget the productivity strategies you need behind them. So that’s what we’re looking at today. We’re going back to basics.

 

The Productivity Trifecta

I suggest the following tools are needed for improved productivity:

  1. Calendar
  2. To-do list
  3. Project management

A calendar is essential - without having one safe place to note times and dates of events and meetings, you’re going to struggle. A calendar can also be used to time block (see episode 62 of The Teaching Space podcast).

All tasks you need to achieve, both personal and professional need to come out of your head and into a trusted place - this is likely to be a to-do list. David Allen explores this idea of “a trusted place” in his Getting Things Done methodology. This isn’t just a productivity necessity - it’s a positive mental health practice.

As projects are made up tasks, you might need to go a step further and have a system to manage projects. It might be that you have one tool that integrates date, task and project management. Or you might prefer different tools for each. That’s what we will explore next.

Analogue or Digital?

Before we talk tools, we “could” get into the analogue versus digital discussion… but let’s not! You absolutely must work in a way that suits your needs, regardless of trends or peer pressure!

I’m a digital gal but that does not mean digital is better, it is just right for me.

If you are comfortable and happiest with paper then perhaps look at the Bullet Journal. If I was a paper person, it would definitely be the approach that interests me most, not least because you can manage tasks, projects and dates in one trusted place. You can also design your Bullet Journal exactly how you want it.

Let’s not forget the fabulous Filofax either. While it isn’t quite as flexible as the Bullet Journal, you can still customise a Filofax with different sections and cover the Productivity Trifecta with ease.

Apps and Tools

Allow me to talk digital for a few moments. Here are some tools and apps I like:

  • Calendar
    • Google Calendar for EVERYTHING (check out episode 62 to find out more about how I use Google Calendar)
    • Integrated calendars in certain to-do list or project management tools such as TickTick or Asana
    • Calendly
  • To-do list
  • Project management

Wrap Up

Support the Show

That’s it for today. Before I go I have a small request: if you enjoyed today’s episode, please support the show by either:

  1. Leaving a positive review on Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen.
  2. Buying my book, The Productive Teacher, on Amazon or Kobo (find more information at theprodutiveteacherbook.com).
  3. Making a small one-off, or monthly, financial contribution to the running costs of the show on my Kofi page which you can find at ko-fi.com/theteachingspace.

… or doing all three if you are feeling super generous! Any financial contributions go directly towards the running costs of the podcast so you are investing in future content. Thank you.

Questions? Comments?

If you have any questions about the show or thoughts you’d like to share you can do so by either:

  1. Leaving a comment on this episode’s show notes blog post.
  2. Posting in our Facebook group: TTS Staff Room.
  3. Posting on Twitter (I’m @MartineGuernsey if you want to mention me).
  4. Contacting me via The Teaching Space website: theteachingspace.com.
  5. Leaving me a voicemail on Voxer.

The show notes for this episode include any links I’ve mentioned; you can find them at theteachingspace.com.

Thanks for listening and I hope you’ll join me for the next episode.