Monday, July 14, 2014

Organization 1A .... YOU can DO it! Go paperless!

Today I'm linking up with Busy Bee speech and we are discussing organization! If you are an itinerant SLP, you KNOW what a nightmare keeping everything organized can be! You have IEP meetings to schedule, phone calls to make, emails to send, assessments and therapy to track. HOW do you do it?

Here is my situation and what I did!

I am assigned to 3 schools. Two days of the week, I have to split my day. One of the schools has no consistent space for me. At that same school I have NO computer, NO phone, NO storage, etc. My overall caseload was 65 the year before last, with me assigned as case manager for 39-40 of those students. I was calling parents from school “A” while at school “B” and receiving emails about someone at school “C” while at school “A.” You get the picture!! YIKES!!

With all of the “running around” (you itinerants KNOW what I mean!), something had to change. As a LONG time SLP, I have always depended upon my date book to stay organized. Well, it was time to CHANGE! Here is how I did it.

Cloud storage! What is THAT? Digital data when stored “in the cloud” is located on a server. The beauty of cloud storage is that you can access your stuff anywhere. This has been a LIFESAVER for me and could be for you too!

Let’s talk about different forms of cloud storage and how to use them!!

FIRST, at my sons’ insistence, I signed up for Google Mail, better known as gmail.  Google has some EXCELLENT apps that I depend upon and you MUST have gmail to access these apps!

1) Google Calendar!

Everything, yes I mean EVERYTHING goes onto my Google calendar. Why? Because I can access it virtually ANYWHERE. School. Home. Smartphone. It works beautifully for me. NO MORE PAPER datebooks!

2) Google Drive!

Again, Drive is a Google product, so you must have a gmail account. Drive is GREAT! I store materials-especially black ink-only materials.  Those can be quickly and easily accessed at school for printing (which is why I offer many black ink products in my TpT store). This is also a place to store forms you may need. And let me NOT forget---you can actually print docs  stored on Drive from your smartphone!!!  Woo-hoo!!

3) Google Keep!

I LOVE Google Keep!  This is one of Google’s newer apps. You can see above what you can do with it. These are digital sticky notes-all in one place. Accessible at school, home and by smartphone. At the end of the school year, I made a quick list to remind myself of a few things that would surely be forgotten over the summer (no, NOT what is pictured above). I love, Love, LOVE Google Keep!!!! It helps me KEEP my sanity!!  :)

4) Dropbox!

Similar to Google Drive, Dropbox is another method of storing in “the cloud.” This method of document storage has been an absolute life-saver for me. Dropbox can be used at school, at home, on your phone. I use it to store TpT materials. Occasionally, I have access to a color printer at school, and Dropbox works well for this. Dropbox is not a Google product. 

Click on the picture above to sign up for Dropbox! Disclaimer: Dropbox will reward me with a little more space if you sign up via this referral by clicking the photo above.

I strongly urge you to consider going paperless! It has made my insane school year MUCH more manageable.

Have fun!!


  1. Going between multiple schools and not having a place to work consistently last year, I totally get going paperless even though some thought I was crazy for attempting it. I am definitely going to check out google keep--I hated myself for using sticky notes as reminders then forgetting them when I was at my other campus. Thanks for the info!

    1. I know what you colleagues think I'm a bit nuts--but I have the heaviest load combined with travel. Yes, DO check out Keep. I think you will love it! :)

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  3. Great idea, I too travel from school to school and have a Google account. Never has it crossed my mind to utilize them in this way. Thanks!

    1. I hope it helps you out! It took me a while to get used to using this method....but now I would never go back!

  4. I use the Google products all the time, too! You can sign up for them using an existing email address, as long as you click a box under your name when registering that says, "I want to use my own email" or something along those lines. I have my Google stuff through work under my school email account, so that if I share anything (meeting notes, agendas, etc.), it comes from my work email account so people recognize it.

    1. Excellent! Thanks for the comment! :)

  5. I've had a google account for years, but don't use drive much. I'm trying to learn what all you can do with it. The problem I have with google calendar is my personal stuff. I can't figure out how to separate my accounts so my personal stuff doesn't show up on my work computer.
    I started off the year paperless with my calendar, but ended up going back to paper after the school system cut out our ability to check Outlook (where my calendar was) from home.