Daily Planner

daily plannerWe lead busy lives. We need to find ways of keeping ourselves on top of it all and organised. How you plan will make a difference to how you manage and thrive. Carrying everything in your head or in a way where you never truly have it clearly set out, means you are using up unnecessary  emotional energy. Habitica is an app I have blogged about and that really does keep you organised and in control. You don’t have to engage with the gaming and questing part of it in order to benefit from the app. You need an internet connection, though.

Daily-Planner is a pre prepared downloadable pdf which comes for free from the Paulina website. You might like to buy her a coffee if you use her ready made planning tool. She likes scrapbooking and graphic design and is creating some very helpful tools. The pdf has an A4 format with two days per page or an A5 format with one day per page. You can print it or screenshot it and fill it out in a paint programme. The main thing with this design is it covers some  health and fitness for you as well as the things to do and the interface is clear and well laid out. You can have it on your desktop or phone /tablet screen. You can pin it up in front of you  way or another.  It’s versatile as well as helpful. One page at a time means you’ll stay in the here and now and won’t feel swamped. Visual planning allows you to see what you need to do but it also gives you ready feedback on what you have achieved.

One Note 2016

The new 2016 version of OneNote comes free now with Windows 10 which is a real bonus if you haven’t used it before but it has been stripped down to perform more like a tablet app rather than a fully functional version of what used to be a purchased piece of software. I own  OneNote 2007 and have used it a lot but it won’t work now the new free version is on my computer. I cannot find it and I cannot reload it. Windows 10 offers to repair or remove which isn’t a lot of help. End of complaint. I have just started to use the new OneNote because it is a very handy app for planning and organising and it does help me to set things out clearly and logically so that I have all the information, pictures, resource links and ideas together in one place. If you don’t know it , give it a try.  You can add Onetastic or just Onecalendar which increase the functionality of OneNote.  They too are free. The Microsoft OneNote site gives more information.

P.S. It is 2 hours later and since I wrote this post my 2007 version of OneNote now can open and access the numerous  .one files I had saved. Now I have the benefit of both worlds and thank Windows 10 for hearing my thoughts and taking action.

Habitica

habiticaI  lost 3 mana points just by being there this morning. The red bar is health, the yellow experience and the mana is blue. It was a new bar which came up when I went up a level and I was just doing my usual of checking things off and getting things set up for the day and boom! 3   mana points gone. I shall try and work it out myself , if not, the Habitica help guild is very prompt in getting a reply back if you need help. I have been on Habitica just over a week and there is plenty to do and learn. In my last post I said I would trial it for a month. I have learned a lot in a week and can only expect to be so much more in control by the end of a month. That’s the thing. You have to give new apps and sites an opportunity to allow you to learn before you make any real judgements. I have found I have distinguished between what I want to form as habits as opposed to those things I want as a daily routine. I have then been able to add the things I want to do each day and this site is stopping me from doing things and not acknowledging them. I put everything on there and so I notice what I am actually doing. I don’t do things and then wonder where all my energy has gone. I took a look at the guilds and they are really impressive in their breadth of interest so that like minded people can encourage each other. I was really pleased to see one for Duolingo because it’s an app I have recommended, one I use and one we used to use in class. The guilds really do cover some interesting topics. I worked out how to grow 3 pets and feed them and how to create my avatar picture. I keep looking at those little pixilated pictures and thinking they would make cute little cross stitches. So the plan is to find out about mana and how it works. I have put it on my to do list. I have always been organised but Habitica is enabling a clearer version of my organisational skills. I’d like another list where I could put a wish list of things I want to complete but am waiting for the right time or equipment or whatever. You can put checklists under the main headings and so on. With  a wish list you’d have time to work out what you needed to do in order to achieve that wish. It would be like forward planning. As it stands I do that in my paper journal . The gaming aspect of Habitica isn’t something which appeals to me at the moment or something which will encourage me to do better. It certainly has some real pulling power with others, though,  and you can see that on the site. They do involve themselves in the gaming aspect of the site and love it. It does help them to do better and improve.

Planner Plus

I only downloaded this app yesterday and already it is my best friend. When my Samsung 5 updated to the new OS it lost my icon for the calendar. I could access the calendar from quick search but that wasn’t the point. I have actually got the icon back now but in the interim I had downloaded the free Planner Plus from the Google Play store. You can also get it on iTunes. I was expecting a calendar and I can’t say that I am overly fond of digital calendars.Planner Plus Planner Plus can be tabbed or it can just present itself cleanly. I can add notes, to do lists and events. It is so easy to fill out, so easy to prioritise and in the morning it comes up with my reminders and overview. I have waited for years for an app like this and I love it. I am not sure as yet if I will get the premium version. This is also a really good and fair way to trial apps when you have a credible free version and then the option of having extra functionality or advantages if you take on the premium version. The site for the app is here.

Versatile NoteLedge

NoteLedgeI have used the free, older version of the NoteLedge app on my iPad and there is a MacBook version as well which is pretty handy. NoteLedge is easy to use, offers some good note making options and is something which suits a classroom well. If you look at the images you can see my original handwritten ideas are much neater than the stylus writing. To be honest, I am better on a graphics tablet and with something like Tux Paint. Is it me? It is the app? I look at it this way. If I use it the developers will see how bad I am with a stylus on an iPad and make the app more responsive. It prints quite well but , you know, I am an adult, I want to use cursive. If I wanted to print , I would type. That said, you can look at the screenshots on the app site and it may just be I need to practise more. Electronic things can develop as you do and they become familar with your way of doing things as you use them. My next thought is a perennial one. Should I pursue handwriting on the iPad or just keep it to my graphics tablet? Do I pursue something which looks pretty sloppy or do I use the tool which makes me look effective? My answer is a bit of both. Keep practising but use my graphics tablet when I really need to have a credible image. I have tried different styluses and so far…no. Not that good. Last week I was able to get NoteLedge Ultimate for free on App of the Day. I really like it. My handwriting is a bit better but there is so much more with this one. It is 9.99 paid so you would really want to know that this is something you would use regularly and would be of good help. I started to work more effectively with this version because it runs really smoothly. One good thing about NoteLedge is you can export it to different file formats. The free version is very effective, though, and you can sync across devices.

If I am using something like this in class for the first time, we do the 5×20. 5 things in 20 minutes. It could be 5 things I like, 5 things about winter, 5 things I want to do, 5 things I did at the weekend. Sometimes I get the students to load their efforts onto the LMS so I can have a good look at what hey have done. Other times we just do show and tell and oral feedback. Students love using new things, they love exploring and they love reviewing. I always tell them that we won’t know if this is any good for learning or not unless they try it out and tell me what they think. I usually use Edmettle to get the feedback. Meanwhile, I shall keep practising.

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