Sunday, July 7, 2013

Optimum Organization Linky Party

Anyone who knows me
Knows I have many strengths...
But organization is NOT one of them.

So I was reading some amazing things that Kristen,
Over at Ladybug's Teacher Files was posting about
And I stumbled upon the Optimum Organization Linky Party!

Emily has joined some organization Linky's before,
But I have yet to take on a challenge.
Until now...
So I have decided to link up with Kristen from Ladybug's Teacher Files and Elizabeth from Fun in Room 4B
Click the image above to link up and join the organization fun! ;)

I was thinking...
What do I need to organize most in my teaching world?
I stress teaching world because my apartment is COMPLETELY another story.
So am not going there. lol

One of the most important things in my world of Teaching and Learning Coach is my notebook of notes from training and grade level meetings.

This kind of reminds me of the days of keeping track of conferring notes.
I tried so many different methods,
But always seemed to go back to a notebook.
So that is what happened with my new position.
After all, working with teachers is kind of like conferring.
At least I look at it that way.

So here is my first notebook:
It's cute isn't?
On the outside!!!
The inside is quite a different story.
It was a complete mess on the inside!
You can see from the pages that it was well used.
I persevered through almost a semester.
I wasn't going to waste such a cute thing.
Why was it a mess you may wonder...
Well it wasn't organized at all.
I am between two schools.
I work with 12 different grade level groups.
Two principals.
And district trainings.
I couldn't find anything because my notes were all over the place.

I needed something different!
I needed something where notes were grouped together.
I was so happy when that cute little notebook was full.

Here was my second attempt:
I took this the wrong way and am too lazy to take another lol!

So as you can see from the not so great pictures,
I added labels.
This notebook is divided into 5 sections.
I used the first two sections for one school and the next two for my other school.
The final section, which wasn't nearly enough, was for my district level trainings.

I had a tab for grade levels and a tab for individual teachers.
With principals, I had a professional development tab (PD), a BLT (Building Leadership Team) tab, and a building tab.
The district level one ended up being a mess though because I go to so many different trainings.
I am still in the thought process for this section.

I definitely like my second method better,
But next year, I want to make it even better.
I am leaning towards doing a notebook again because it works for me.
So I am thinking about, maybe, going with this:
This program became popular with many people this past school year. (At least from what I noticed.)
Have you heard of Microsoft Word Notebook?
It is pretty much what I use, but electronic.
Oh and it has a microphone to record.
My notebook doesn't have that. lol

As you can see, the toolbar isn't much different than any other Microsoft toolbar.
They page you type on looks just like a notebook,
With tabs and all.
You can add tabs by clicking on the plus. (See image below)
 I created a mock page in the document so you can see what it looks like.
It is super easy to use!
I am still a little nervous about making this transition.
I want to play around with it more before I make the final decision.

You might wonder why I haven't done so already.
The main reason is because my buildings weren't wireless.
They should be by now though.
I'll let you know what I decide. :)

I watched a tutorial from Mrs. Stanford's Class on how to create signatures.
Thought I'd try it out.
Her's a way cuter!! 
It is still a work in progress. lol
I went with orange to try to go with our blog color.
I added blue because it's my favorite color.
It is a complimentary color to orange!


  1. Great minds think alike! I used the Notebook layout this year for conferring notes! Upside: it can be saved and edited at any time. It has space for a bunch of tabs. I just saved it on my desktop. Downside: for conferring it was hard to keep track of when I had met with each kid.
    My next step Evernote. (Challenge, it's online. Benefit: it's an iPad app.)


  2. I played around with Evernote last year also. I liked it for the most part, but there were some parts that I didn't really like. It wasn't very organized either, but maybe it was user error! lol I need to be better at using my iPad next year.
    Using the computers with the kiddos isn't always easy. I always encourage my teachers, who used computers, to make sure the computer wasn't right in between them and the students. Takes away from the personal bit of a conference, I think!

  3. I tried to leave a comment earlier (from my phone) so if you are getting this message twice-I apologize!
    I love the idea of the Microsoft Notebook (especially because of the microphone...) I have never heard of this so I will have to check it out. I use Evernote too for some lists but to be honest (in my opinion) sometimes there is nothing better than a good old fashioned notebook right?!!? Especially one with a pretty cover! :) Love your idea of adding tabs-so simple yet I have never done it. Definitely going to give this a try! Thanks for sharing!

    Learning to the Core

    1. Hi Amanda-
      This was the only comment I saw! :)
      I with you on the good old fashioned notebook. I always end up reverting back to one. Second semester was so much easier, and organized with those tabs.
      Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Wow, that is awesome! I've never seen that before! Thanks for sharing. :) I am REALLY bad about taking meeting notes, PD notes, etc. on whatever notepad or notebook is laying in plain sight right before the meeting, so my stuff is always all over the place, too. I just created a binder resource with note-taking pages, etc., and I'm hoping I'll remember to tote my binder with me everywhere this year...we shall see. :)

    Teach On.

    1. Hi Gayla-
      I was the exact same way. Grab whatever was lying around. It drove me crazy. I knew with my teaching and learning coach position that I needed to be better with note-taking and organization. So hopefully next year will be even better! :)
      Thanks for stopping by!

  5. That Word Notebook looks VERY cool! Thanks for sharing! Thanks for stopping by our blog today!
    Tamra and Sarah

    1. I am happy you guys liked it! It is very user-friendly. We shall see if I stick with it though! ;)

  6. I've never used this program, but it looks like a great way to stay organized. I really need to do a better job of keeping notes on my students. This might be the perfect way to do it! Thanks for linking up this tip with us :)

    Fun in Room 4B

    1. I struggled with keeping notes with my students also. Last year was the first year I felt I kept fairly decent notes and it was with the teachers. lol
      I'm looking forward to trying this out and seeing if it helps.
      Thanks for stopping by! :)