Thursday, September 11, 2008

23 Things: Thing 13 Online Productivity Tools

Which start page did you choose? Why did that one appeal to you? Will you make it your permanent home page? I used iGoogle, mainly because my RSS reader is on Google too. I liked how it all came together, and although I know I can change my theme (there were well over 100 pages to search through), I probably won't...although I think it's kind of neat how even a start page could be completely customized like that. No, I don't think I'll make it my permanent home page...I tend to change my home pages to reflect what I'm currently interested in, or working on. Even having the choice of what I want on my start page is great, though.

Did you find a tool that has some uses for you at the library or at home? Which tool(s) would you recommend to others? You know, the more I thought about it, any of these tools could be used on the library staff computers. At first I was trying to think how they could be useful for library patrons. But, even as I was thinking about how we periodically revamp our Project List, I was thinking that these kinds of tools could be useful in that setting. Once our new project list is compiled, we can test it out using one of these tools (I'm leaning more toward the "Ta-Da List" right now...).

How can the online calendars be useful to you?The online calendars can be accessed by anyone who can get to the Internet. Instead of having to print them off repeatedly after scheduling changes have been made...just change the calendar once online & everyone can login to see it. Since I'm still working on my MLIS, having the reminders sent to my e-mail (which I do check) would be kind of handy.

What about the to-do lists—helpful, too much work…? Hmm. I do make to-do lists for myself, yes, but I do them on paper. I think trying to remember to go online and mark what I've done off the list would probably not go well. a work setting, I think they could be used rather effectively. I know even though in the library we're really good about leaving notes for each other, sometimes they're overlooked, recycled, put somewhere safe...none of which actually helps get the job done. For long term projects, an on-line to-do list could really be an asset.

Did you try out Backpack? What did you think? I've used different aspects of Backpack, but not the entire thing--I don't want to pay for it. There are other web 2.0 programs that can accomplish the same thing for free. I do like the fact that a group can use it for projects, and that everything is right there on the page. I think that Backpack is a great concept...just wish it were free.

I enjoyed learning about the different online productivity tools, but I have to admit that in some respects, using technology for technology's sake only adds to my everyday 'noise' level. In my personal life, paper and pen are just fine. On the other hand, I can (and do) see the value of having these tools, especially when working with a larger group that needs to stay on top of a project. Do I think I will use any of these? Well, I wouldn't rule that possibility out...but it won't be 'just because I can'!

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