Best thing since sliced bread

September 16, 2007

First, I need to make a confession; I am a very unorganized person. I have developed elaborate systems over the last few years to compensate for my lack of organization, such as buying post-its notes in bulk. I usually kept post-its around my monitor reminding me of things to do, important email addresses or web sites. To keep from losing them, I wrote them down just in case my computer crashed (again).

As a doctoral student and a high school Chemistry/Physics teacher I have found myself living online for my graduate classes and researching for my own teaching. I have slowly accumulated tools from classes and my own wanderings that I use on a daily basis to make my life easier.

Del.icio.us is an online utility that I use to keep my bookmarks close at hand no matter where I am. As long as I have an internet connection I can log in and get to websites that I visit often or just don’t want to forget. I really enjoy the ability to surf the web anywhere I want, and if I find a good website I can flag it and categorize it in my system so that I won’t lose it for later use. I really enjoy having the ability to make a folder full of links just for physics or chemistry.

Another utility that I have found very useful is the igoogle page utility. I can add all kinds of things to my home page that save me time in my daily life. I usually eat breakfast at my computer before I go to work, getting caught up on all of my interests such as my blogs and emails for the day. I can also check the weather, my stock quotes and read a literary quote all in one glance instead of navigating between numerous bookmarks. iGoogle really does make it easier to find all of my information in one concise place.

These tools allow me to put all of the stuff I want to see in one place and in turn saves me  time in looking for information that I am find interesting.

Here is a list of a few other utilities that I use as an online teacher/learner.

Gmail-I use gmail as a storage device since I can mail up to 2GB of files to myself. It is a very good email provider with a search option for old messages.

Google reader: I use this for all my blogs. It is also on my iGoogle page.

Firefox: The best browser in my opinion.

Open office: This is the freeware program that I use in lieu of Microsoft office.

I use these tools to allow myself more time in digesting and thinking about the materials instead of spending valuable time just trying to find the information.

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