Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Paper or Paperless?

This time of year, it's extremely difficult for me to restrain myself from buying cutesie calendars & planners.  From TpT to Office Supply Stores, there are more than a few choices.  I use my utmost restraint and don't buy them.  Some people say they have to have the paper in their hands, and that's okay.  Sometimes I feel the need to have something to hold, too.
What's the alternative?  Last year, I discovered that my Outlook Calendar was underutilized.  Not just by me, but by the teachers in my schools as well.  I absolutely love using Outlook.  I have access to my calendar on my computers at both of my schools, I can access it on my home computer, and it syncs to my iPad.  
I color-code my categories:  To Do, Tentative IEP Meetings, Scheduled IEP Meetings, etc.
It has saved me an enormous amount of time when scheduling meetings.  I double click on the date I want, and type in the subject as well as the other information.  Then, I click on "attendees", type in their addresses, and hit "send".  When the attendees get the email, they either accept or deny, and I get the response.  If they accept the day/time, it automatically appears on their calendar.  If they deny it, I know to try again.  You just wouldn't believe how much time this has saved.  
Unfortunately, one of my schools isn't quite a tech savvy as the other one, so they are having an adjustment period.  I told the faculty in a meeting that I have gone paperless with meetings, and that they would no longer receive a paper invitation to meetings. 
 There is a way to track your responses to your invitations so you can refer back and resend the invitation if needed.  If you need to change the day/time and the attendees have already responded, you can go into the calendar, click on the meeting, change the information, and you will get a pop-up box that asks if you want to send the revision to all attendees.  It's that easy.
Does your school system use Outlook or some other program that will do the same thing?  Or, are you a "paper person" & like it that way?

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