Tag: Trello

  • Taking the stressful edge off of November

    Taking the stressful edge off of November

    After 22 years as a student or professor on semester systems where fall semester runs mid August to mid December, I feel pretty confident saying that November is the most stressful month in this semester, and possibly the entire academic year (April, the spring parallel month, is also a contender). Early in my career as a professor, I remember fantasizing about November/April overnight camps for academic children, where I could send my children just for these months, to make them a little less overwhelming. While the reality is that I would probably miss my kids too much to actually do this even if it existed, I have spent a lot of time thinking about how to make these months more manageable, and I wanted to share these thoughts in this post. Some of these items are easy to implement on an individual level, whereas others require long-term structural change. For me, it’s important to take this whole range into consideration, so I can get some immediate relief while also advocating for structural changes.

  • Systems versus Tools

    Systems versus Tools

    Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about the difference between systems and tools. This is partially because of the Organize Your Language Teacher Life course I’ve been working on, as well as my own recent decision to make a major switch to the digital tools that support my own planning system. With digital tools in particular, I’ve noticed there’s a tendency to see the app itself as the system. I’ve even contributed to this myself in my posts about digital tools, with post titles like Using Trello for Home Management, or Trello for Travel. These titles make it sound like Trello is the key to managing these areas, but in fact Trello (or any digital app) is just a tool for making a particular system work in this area.

  • Using Trello for Future Plans and Project Limits

    Using Trello for Future Plans and Project Limits

    In my post on using Trello for Home Management, I mentioned I had a future section of my Trello board that was likely deserving of its own post. Since 2020 is drawing to a close, and December is when I start thinking about plans for the upcoming year, I thought I would dedicate this last post of 2020 to this future planning section! Although I mentioned it in my home management post, I use the same system in the Trello boards for other areas of my life, such as work or dance, so it should be widely applicable.

  • Using Trello for Home Management

    Using Trello for Home Management

    Although I’ve written before about how I use Trello to manage my academic work, travel, large events and projects, and teaching, I realized I’ve never written about using Trello for home management, even though this is arguably the most complex area of my life in terms of managing projects and tasks. So, in this post I thought I’d give a tour of my home management Trello board, and explain how I use it to keep track of everything in this area.

  • Trello Templates for Repetitive or Recurring Tasks

    Trello Templates for Repetitive or Recurring Tasks

    I am a longtime fan of checklists, especially for repetitive types of things like packing, teaching prep, weekly planning, etc. Recently, Trello added template cards, which as the name suggests allow you to create new cards from a template, rather than a blank card. Trello cards also allow you to add checklists, which means that this is the perfect system for creating checklists for repetitive or recurring tasks! So, I thought I’d use this post to discuss all of the ways in which I use template cards for checklists in all areas of my life.

  • Trello for Travel

    Trello for Travel

    As a general rule, I enjoy traveling, and obviously I chose to make the majority of these trips. However, I’m less thrilled about the logistics of traveling, such as packing, purchasing flights/hotels, arranging entertainment, etc. These have gotten even less thrilling as I have to pack and make arrangements for more people and spend time looking for extra funding/creative and budget-friendly ways to travel as our travel budgets are cut.

    So, Trello to the rescue! Because I have three main types of travel (conference, dance, and family) I have three Trello boards that serve as templates for this type of travel. When a new trip comes up, I copy the relevant board and rename it for that specific trip (e.g. ACTFL 2019).

  • Back to School Preparations

    Back to School Preparations

    So, back to school . . . This has always been one of my favorite times of year, so probably not that surprising that I ended up as an academic :-).  Since the public schools in Albuquerque start August 12, and my university classes start August 19, I basically consider the beginning of August the end of summer and the beginning of back to school prep.  

  • Organizing my work with Trello

    Organizing my work with Trello

    I’ve written previously about how I use Trello to organize my teaching and large programs/events, so in this post I thought I’d take a look at my Trello “Workbox”, which is the overall system that links these together at work (I use similar boards/boxes for home and dancing). I call it a workbox as I’ve borrowed concepts from the Organize365 workbox system. I’ve also borrowed from the Getting Things Done (GTD) system.

  • Using Trello to organize large events and programs

    Using Trello to organize large events and programs

    Last Fall, I wrote about how I use Trello to organize my teaching. Another area I find Trello very useful for is organizing large events or programs, in my case dance competitions and our summer Arabic STARTALK program. Although a dance competition and a summer program for middle and high school students seem like very different events (and they are!) the structure for organizing them is similar. So, while I’ll focus on planning the STARTALK program in this post, I think a similar structure can be used for any event.

  • Using Trello to Organize Teaching

    Using Trello to Organize Teaching

    Trello is my favorite digital organization tool, and I use it to organize basically everything in my life.  It essentially consists of “cards” that you put into “lists” on a “board”.  I make a board for each class I teach where the lists are the weeks of the semester (including the week before and after) and the cards are things I need to do for my class each week.  There’s also a “Done” list that cards get moved to as they are completed.