A Blog post
Three apps to keep a student organized and on task
- Mar 28, 2018
- Jared Wells
- In Uncategorized
- 0 Comments
I am big on paper planners. They are easy to use and very flexible, and to me, the act of writing something down adds an intentionality: it makes the item more “real” for me. The time it takes to write something down give me a moment to focus all of my attention on that task. But for students who are resistant to using planners, carrying around an extra book is just an extra annoyance and point of friction that is going to lead to inconsistent use. No matter how much we might know that they NEED to learn to plan, if we give them a system they find cumbersome, it is not going to work. However, students always have their smartphones with them, making them less cumbersome. Here are three very easy to use planning apps that I recommend. myHomework: Of all the scheduling apps that I’ve seen, this one best combines easy of use with a strong feature set. Almost every student will find that this app can handle their schedules and task. Even more importantly, adding events is simple after a bit of initial set up (creating a profile and adding your classes). It allows you to add different types of events (so you can add your test date to a calendar, and also schedule study time for that test!) You can also program reminders for the items you schedule. I’m big on scheduling things, and the calendar view lets you see how many things you have scheduled on a day pretty easily. But for me, the most important aspect is how simple it is to schedule a item. Tap “+”, select the type of event from a dropdown menu, a date and time to put in on the calendar, and write a short description. If you want, you can add a reminder as well. myHomework is available on iOS, Android, Windows, and on the web in a browser. Wunderlist: Very simple, but powerful to-do list app. It syncs cross platform like myHomework, and adding items here is even faster! It also handles reminders and due dates very well. You can create lists with different contexts (so for students, you might have a list for each class, a list for sports or other extracurriculars, and lists for personal/family to-do’s). The great thing about wunderlist is it’s flexibility and extreme easy of use (which, for students who are resistant to using planners, easy of use is essential). It has lots of optional features you can add to each item (you can add notes or subtasks to a task, for example) but they are strictly optional. The only downside to Wunderlist is that it does not have a calendar view (though you can sort items by due date, and there is a way to sync wunderlist to outlook...but that’s introducing a second app which adds unnecessary complication IMO) Wunderlist is available on iOS, Android, Windows, and on the web in a browser. 30/30: once you've got your plan, how do you stick to schedule? 30/30 is great for morning routines that you repeat every day, and for consciously creating a plan to get everything done afterschool. In 30/30, you will list the tasks that you want to accomplish, and the time you will spend on each one. Start the timer, and it will keep you updated on how much time you have left for the current task, and will notify you when to move on to the next one. I use this for my morning routine (helps make sure my daughter and I are out the door on time every morning without being rushed!) and the ability to save task lists that are routines you do frequently is very helpful. It can also help a student stick to the plan they, in their good intentions, created but find themselves getting pulled off task. Especially good for helping students start to learn how to estimate how long things take versus how long they actually take! 30/30 is available on iOS What apps do your kids use to help stay organized? If your son or daughter needs help keeping everything in their life organized, we can help. Give me a call at 858.551.2650 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, and let's discuss your child's needs and challenges. -Vince
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