So, with that inspiration, I thought I’d share a few of the technology tools that I use on at least a weekly basis that really make a difference for me. I hope that one or more of these will be useful for you, too. In the comments, please share your own tools that you find especially helpful.
Best To Do List App
Todoist is the best task management/to do list application that I’ve ever used (and I’ve tried almost all of them). Todoist can be used through the Web browser, with Windows and Mac desktop apps or through a smartphone app for just about every mobile operating system. They have even recently introduced an Apple Watch app as well. The best thing is that all of these different apps stay in sync. All the time. This is big for me, and it’s a problem I’ve had with many of the other options available. Once you’re in the app, you can set up different projects with lists and sub-lists of different tasks. For each task, you can set starting and end dates, add tags, comments, and with the Pro version ($29/year), you can even attach files to each task. You can use Todoist completely on your own, or you can add collaborators for different projects and categories. It has all the features you want and a really clean, simple user interface.
Honorable mention: Wunderlist
Best Twitter Client
I’m still relatively new to using Twitter (@markhofer). I'm nowhere near a power user, but am starting to figure out that at least some features are important. You can use the Twitter website through your browser, but there are a number of dedicated apps that provide more functionality. After trying a few, I’ve found that I really enjoy Tweetdeck on the Mac. You can do all the basics in the app (reviewing your feed, searching for hashtags, replies, etc.) and a whole lot more. You can create as many columns in the app window as you want for a variety of purposes. You can create a column with a hashtag search, a list of users around a certain topic, notifications, and messages. This column-based approach makes it much easier to monitor all the activity that matters to you. It also allows you to schedule posts on a specific day and time. I’m sure there’s a lot more you can do with Tweetdeck. All I know is that it does everything I need without much fuss.
Favorite IOS app: Tweetbot
Favorite Note-Taking App
There are a number of really good note-taking apps available as desktop and browser-based apps. The two “big dogs” are Evernote and OneNote. I like both, and use both tools for different purposes. Both have great features that allow you to capture notes, insert images and other files, search, and tag items in a variety of ways. Both have good browser plug-ins and smartphone integration to easily save content from websites into your notebook. If I had to choose one, though, I’d choose OneNote. The primary reason is the “inking” capability I have with my Microsoft Surface Pro 3. It has a great stylus and the OneNote app allows me to take handwritten notes. Amazingly, OneNote can even search the handwritten content along with typed text. You can’t go wrong with either of these apps. Whichever you choose, be sure to also get the smartphone app so that you have all your notes with you all the time.
Favorite Cloud Storage App
I’ve used a number of different cloud storage and syncing services. I was a really early user of Dropbox several years ago. I’ve also used OneDrive (formerly known as SkyDrive) for quite a while. They each have Web and smartphone interfaces, but the best part is the ability to sync the files to your desktop computer. You can actually sync files to all the computers that you have. This is a lifesaver both in terms of backup and just having access to your stuff wherever you are. Both of these services are great, but on and off I’ve had some issues with syncing. If there is some kind of syncing error and you don’t notice the very subtle notification, you won’t realize that your files aren’t syncing. This means that you may not always have the most recent version of a file on a given computer. Enter Box. This service wasn’t even on my radar until our university began to provide free accounts. What I’ve found, though, is that the sync is rock solid. I’ve never had an issue in several months. It also has great features for sharing files and folders with collaborators.
Favorite Screencasting App
Screencasting applications allow you to record your screen, microphone and other content to create videos. These videos can be used for online and hybrid classes as well as creating content for flipped classrooms . I’ve been doing a number of these recordings lately and have really enjoyed using Screenflow for the Mac. It is intuitive, feature-packed, and really easy to edit the content you create. It has a number of export and captioning options to create accessible content for a variety of purposes. The only downside that I’m aware of is that it is Mac-only.
Windows option: Camtasia
What technology tools do you rely on?
Please post your comments below.