working out loud

Tools I Use to Manage a Lot of Work and a Hectic Life

tools_to_manageFor a long time now I’ve been wanting to document and share the tools I use to help me manage communications work at the National Writing Project, and really, life in general. My motives are two-fold: maybe it will help others and maybe I’ll get some good suggestions by putting this out there.

First, some criteria I’ve established for myself:

  1. Whatever the tool is, it must actually make my work easier or more manageable in some way. Just because something is pretty or nifty is not enough of a reason to use it. That being said, I’m shallow. I like pretty if I can have it.
  2. It must have a desktop/web version and a mobile app.
  3. I’d prefer not to pay for stuff, but I do believe in paying for well-crafted tools/services.
  4. It must have collaborative features so I can share work and processes with others, and to that end, it must be available on PCs as well as Macs, iOS as well as Android.

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working out loud

The Making of Making Learning Connected: My Part in #clmooc

making_clmoocOne of our initiatives at the National Writing Project this past summer was planning, building, and implementing our first-ever MOOC (though instead of Massive Open Online Course, we changed the “C” to mean Collaboration). It was part of the Summer of Making and Connecting, and as intriguing and exciting as this concept may sound to you, I am not here to actually talk about the “what,” but mostly my part in the how. (Not wanting to leave you hanging though, this post by Terry Elliot, one of the facilitators, will give a good idea of some of the theory behind the #clmooc endeavor.)

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working out loud

Out of My Cage for Personal and Professional Growth

f2fI love working from home. Yes, it has taken some time to figure out and define boundaries with the other occupants of my “office,” especially the three shorter ones, but I’ve gotten better at shutting doors and using my noise-canceling headphones without feeling cold or neglectful. And, of course, you can’t beat the dress code.

That being said, I’ve discovered that while I often feel more productive at home than in the “real” office, there are times I miss the face-to-face interactions that being in a traditional office affords. My work teams have been doing much more video conferencing via Google Hangouts, but it’s not quite the same.

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working out loud

Working Out Loud

working_out_loudAt the National Writing Project I’m the manager of much of NWP’s presence on the interwebs, and I’ve recently had the privilege and opportunity to work with teachers from around the country who are helping to create, facilitate, and implement some of our summer initiatives. This is the Summer of Making and Connecting and besides getting to observe some pretty amazing work around the country, it’s been refreshing to take a new look at what I do professionally.

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