Tools of the trade – How I get stuff done

For Christmas this year, I received a leather cover for the notebook I use at work, so I thought I’d share a little bit about the tools I use to get things done.

First, the analog stuff.

The Notabilia notebook with the leather cover I got for Christmas
The Notabilia notebook with the leather cover I got for Christmas
  • I use a Notabilia composition book from Levenger to keep all of my meeting notes and general ideas.  I’ve tried various online and software solutions to keeping notes, but I like having everything in one place, and the ability to (occasionally) go without a computer.  I like the fact that the pages in a composition book are bound, and the paper quality in this one is excellent.  I received a beautiful leather cover for this notebook for Christmas (Thanks, Mom and Dad!)
  • I get pretty picky about my pens.  I use black uniball vision elite pens for all of my note taking.

  • I keep a small moleskine notebook to help me organize my day.  Now, all of my meetings and classes are recorded in my online schedule, but I need some way to structure my “unscheduled” time (when I have some).  So in my small notebook I  just jot down which projects I will spend my time on that day.  Low tech, but useful.

Then, the digital stuff.

  • Oracle Calendar.  This is perhaps my least favorite online calendar, but it is the one my organization uses, so I live with it.  My colleagues can add meetings to my schedule and easily see if I’m busy (and I can do likewise).  Through some clunky third party software I can get this on my iPhone, but I really can’t wait until my organization drops this in favor of Google Calendar, or just about anything else.
  • TaskPaper.  My to-do list.  Lots of folks swear by the more complex personal project management software, but I really like the simplicity of this project, and I like the fact that I can sync it with my iPhone.
  • Google Docs.  Essential for working on documents on multiple computers and sharing stuff with other folks.  I get really annoyed now when folks just want to send .doc files back and forth via email.
  • Microsoft Word.  Having said that, I still use MS Word for a lot of my lesson planning.  I like the “Notebook” template that allows me to keep my library instruction lesson plans
  • Coda.  Great program for editing code.  I don’t do this as much as I used to, but it is a great program.
  • Adium.  Useful for getting stuff done with colleagues and students.  Also useful to avoid getting stuff done.
  • Tweetdeck.  Best way to keep up with folks on twitter.

What analog and digital tools allow you to get your work done?

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