5 Best Educator Productivity Apps for 2015

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If you are like me, I imagine you are starting 2015 with a list of resolutions. Eat less, exercise more, become more productive, spend less time on email, etc. There are 5 productivity apps that have a permanent place on the home screen of my iPhone, and I’m not sure I could do my job without them.

1. Unroll.me

Unroll.meUnroll.me is actually a web program that helps you manage your email subscriptions. Sign in with your email credentials and the program finds every group that is sending you an email. You have the option to either unsubscribe, roll up, or leave each email in the inbox. A daily digest is delivered to your email and Unroll.me informs you of how many new subscriptions you have. You can click a link and quickly unsubscribe if you choose. This program is a massive time-saver and I honestly don’t know how I dealt with email before it! Unroll.me makes reading subscription emails much easier.

2. Acompli

Acompli is a mobile email app available for iOS or Android. I struggled for years with finding the best email client that worked for me. This is it. Acompli brings all of your email accounts into a shared inbox. You can then archive, delete or schedule an email. The schedule function is what has saved my sanity! My email box is no longer cluttered with ‘to-do’ and flagged emails. If I have an email you don’t need to take care of immediately, you can schedule it for another time. It then comes back into your inbox at that scheduled moment for you to handle as necessary. All scheduled emails are always available in a folder with the same name.

My favorite part of Acompli is the toolbar at the bottom. You can search all files that have come in your emails, a “recent people” tab to quickly compose, and a “calendar” button which your calendar can be synced to. This allows for a very quick reply to a meeting invite. All dates are hyperlinked in the emails and when you choose the date it asks you if you would like to “view your calendar” or “create a meeting.” Very, very helpful to be able to take care of all of this in one quick action.

3. Evernote

EvernoteWhat hasn’t been said about Evernote? It is a web platform as well as iOS and Android apps. Evernote allows you to keep everything digitally. It has recently been updated to include scheduled notes, to-do lists, shared notebooks and “Work Chat”. I personally use Evernote for everything in my life. I share a folder with my children’s school work. I keep all of my staff lesson plans in a folder. I have a doc for our podcast. I email conference confirmations so I have them all in the same place. Any meetings I attend, I open a new note and keep it all together. I use Genius Scan (see #4) to take photos of conference materials and send them immediately. Everything that is scanned in or taken a photo of becomes searchable.

4. Genius Scan by The Grizzly Labs

I mostly use Genius Scan for making a pdf of music I own to send to my iPad. As mentioned above, it is great for Evernote or taking photos of materials at conferences. Genius Scan is available for iOS and Android. You can take a photo or use what is currently in your photo library, add multiples in and create a pdf. This file can then be emailed, printed, faxed, sent to iCloud Drive, Dropbox , Google Drive, OneNote or Evernote (many of these require the Pro subscription).

5. Drafts by Agile Tortoise

Drafts is currently only available on iOS, but you can sign up for alerts when the Android version is available here.

Drafts is a “catch all” for thoughts. I personally use it for blog posts or quick lists that may later need to be to-do lists (groceries, conferences, etc.) Drafts is similar to any note app in that a blank screen opens and there are a list of previous notes available.

Once you have completed your thought or need to move it to another app, you use the “share” option which is where Drafts really shines. The options are almost endless as to where you can share your note. It supports services such as Facebook, Google+, Messages, Reminders, Dropbox, Evernote, GoogleDrive, “Open in” (with allows for most every app you have on your device.) Drafts is a great place to start your blog posts, notes, lists, emails, etc. and then send them where they need to go. Part of being productive is being as efficient as possible, and I use Drafts to help me do this.

Now that you have my Top 5 Must-Have Productivity Apps, what are yours? Do you have experiences with the apps I have shared, or others that you feel work better? Please share them with Brilliant or Insane by commenting below.

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Theresa Stager

Theresa Stager is a Pre-K through Grade 8 Principal in Michigan. She is co-creator of the #PrincipalPLN podcast, has presented at many professional conferences and has been a guest on multiple leadership and #edtech podcasts.

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