1/26/2012

External memory

Today I had so much to do I barely had time to stop for lunch. The day started with a long list and then I started to get emails requesting technology help and teaching opportunities.  Without a list, I would have been sunk. I just cannot keep all the information that I need inside my skull. Physical notes are fine, but with the tools Google provides me, I don't even bother.

When I need extra memory for the day, I turn to Google. Their most important product for me is Gmail. This is a service that goes way beyond typical email programs. Oh, the email is great but it is so much more than that. First of all, the search capabilities are lightning fast. When I need to find some piece of information, I typically type a few key words and viola! I have what I need. I can also sync my Gmail to any other system from Outlook to Apple Mail.

Better yet, every email is tied to my contact list so that when I click on the name of the sender and I can see important information like their class schedule or room number. That allows me to stop by whenever it's most convenient for them.

The part of Gmail that really helps me out are the tasks. I can convert any email into a task on my to-do list. That's great for a couple of reasons. First of all, it's a quick way of creating a reminder straight from someone's request. When I'm reading an email, I just need to click on the "more" button, then click "add to tasks". Done.

GoTasks
It gets better. While I'm moving from place to place helping people, I want to travel light. Besides a few odds and ends, I really just have my iPad. On it, is Gotasks. It's on my phone as well, but I mainly use it on the iPad. This is an app that syncs to my Google tasks. It allows me to keep my to-do list in front of me at all times. I can even rearrange my tasks in any order I choose. So completed items go on the bottom and high priority ones are at the top.


With this small arsenal of tools, my memory can expand beyond the limits of my skull. Good thing, too. I'd never be able to keep track of everything without a little help.