Check it! Getting things done!

It’s week 4 in CEP 810 and that means taking a good look at productivity with David Allen’s 5 stages of workflow and being ‘appropriately engaged with what’s going on’ as he points out in his Tedx Talk .  These stages have some ways to incorporate technology:

1. Collect – Google Docs

  • This stage is all about figuring out what needs done and while you could use Google Docs and access it anywhere, I find that I work much more productively with a good old checklist – usually nostagically written on an envelope because that’s what my mom did (and still does), and as a single mom of 2 *perfectly angelic* kids who worked full time and went to school in the evening, I think it is safe to say that she knows how to get things done!  Plus, I can take this envelope with me anywhere and post it wherever is most logical at the time – on my keyboard for an email, by my phone to schedule an appointment, on the corner of my desk to grade papers…and how rewarding is it to cross things off!

2. Process – Outlook

  • Okay this one is tough.  I know there are many folders and tools to use in Outlook, but I find this more time consuming and easier to ‘lose’ things in the process so I just go back to my good old checklist and move things around or highlight things that are urgent, circle if they should be done that day, etc.  It may seem like a whole lot of random arrows and nonsense to everyone else, but hey, it works for me!

3. Organize – Schoology

  • This is one I love!  It is great for class managament and keeping the students on track.  It even has a great gradebook and a dropbox for online submissions.  While this one is more for day to day class work, I would like to give Diigo a try to organize ‘bigger picture’ educational articles and techniques I run across for changes I would like to implement in the near and ‘far’ future.

4. Review – Schoology

  • This one goes along with whatever organization tool you use and for class work that is Schoology, which is rather easy to take a look at what is coming up, but generally review for me means going back to the checklist and identifying what was done and what needs done.  This is daily for ‘do now’ items and weekly for those further out tasks.  I am thinking Diigo could really help with those ‘big picture – not immediately actionable’ items.

5. Do

  •  What needs done? Do I have the time and energy to do it? Is it a priority now?  Then do it and check it off!  Small Victories = Big Productivity!


Allen, D. (2001). Getting things done: The art of stress-free productivity. New York: Penguin.


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