I’m an educator. I’m a pretty damn good potter, an avid doityerselfer, and a wannabe geek. But at the end of the day, I’m an educator. But, lately I’ve been struggling with my own levels of productivity.
I know I can get more done during my day at school and at home, but so many things get in the way.
So, when I came to the first GGM over at Patrick’s house and started perusing his journal, his efforts at coming to terms with his org-fu, as he calls it, struck a cord with me. The theme of de-cluttering rings true with me, as does the mantra of less, less, less.
I signed up for a free Backpack account and started using it as my website at school for parents and students to visit for assignment information, extra credit offers, additional information for curious students, etc. I thought I’d give it a try before ponying up the $5 per month that they ask for for a real account. And, happily, that’s lasted me for quite some time.
Here’s one of the uses I came up with: Spanish Immersion Backpack page
But, the ghosts of scattered brains still haunt me.
I emailed the nice people at 37signals.com in response to their offer of a free Basecamp account for educators. They hooked me up and I dived right in, trying to see if this were the tool for me. It’s more than I need. And it’s really geared toward project management and collaboration, which isn’t really waht I need. It’s myself I need to collaborate with most of all!
So now I know what BP can do for me and am familiar enough with it to say that I think it could help in other aspects of my life- Today I made the decision to really give Backpack a try and I upgraded my account. I think there’s money to be made in creating a webapp like Backpack for teachers…
I’ve created pages for different home projects, areas of my professional life including the two thinking-skills initatives I’m leading at school, a text formatting tips page for easy access, and a page dedicated to creating a business for my pottery.
I’m more curious now then ever to see how Patrick is organizing his pages, and I’m wondering if any of you geeks out there are also using Backpack. (If not, just mention my referral number when you sign up ;) )
I suggest we have a GGM centered around organizational tools we all use- tools that really help, rather than bog you down.