There was a time when I would start my day by opening the post, physical post that is. Those of you born in the 1950s (like me), 1960s and maybe 1970s will no doubt have done the same. My main means of communication would have been the telephone and there was even a time when I used a dictaphone (tape) for my admin to type up for me. I hasten to add this was working for a national nursing organisation, not in teaching, though even in teaching there was a time when handouts were done on a banda machine and acetates were prepared by hand with overlays that you physically, well, over-layed.
But times have certainly changed and my day has a very different rhythm now.
My day often starts in the middle of the night. If I wake up I often check my twitter stream thanks to having my iPhone at my bedside. My favorite app for this is TweetDeck for iPhone. I also use Flipboard for iPad, which although it uses the same stream gives a very different perspective and often throws up things I didn’t see in the raw stream. I retweet things I think will interest my followers, and mark those I think are worth writing further about.
When I actually get up up I check Twitter again over breakfast and also scan my blog feed via Google Reader, again using my iPad. Having more mobile gadgets means I am often checking feeds while doing other stuff which doesn’t need my full attention.
Then I head for my email. Check junk to see any email hasn’t fallen there that shouldn’t have, delete the rest. Scan less important email and delete/file. Answer those that need answering. Add follow up dates where necessary.
I always have some projects (some paid, some voluntary like providing ICT support to a local school) on the go and project management is an area I could definitely do better in. Procrastination at times rules and I don’t always do things in the order I should. So this year I must do better at this.Chris Brogan (@chrisbrogan) has some great posts about this and my friend Kati Jacobs teaches really good stuff on this. But I still struggle.
I leave email on, and it pings me when it comes in. I say I will only answer the really important stuff, but perhaps I have reached a crossroads where I turn it off and only deal with it at certain times of the day.
I always break for lunch. This is the time I network with colleagues or spend time with my other half. I do have my iPhone with me but I only get out if I am showing an app to someone trying to demonstrate its usefulness. Edutech sceptics abound.
Evenings are pretty sacrosanct. Time for partner and friends, Lions or dog training.
So the telephone has largely gone. We do have a fax (part of an old multi-functions scanner/printer) but we haven’t used it for that in ages. The telephone line is mainly used for broadband these days. Even son has finally bought a web-cam and surprised us on Christmas Day with a Skype video call. Snail mail we still get but it’s usually bills and even at Christmas we only sent cards to family and friends without email, the rest got a Christmas newsletter, which was hopefully more interesting and saved some trees. Handouts for class are web-based these days and acetates have been replaced by PowerPoint et al.
I interface with a lot more people now that’s for sure, and technology enables me to do that. Buy we need to take care of the face-to-face stuff too. There is something really good about going to a conference and actually meeting the people that you previously only new as @twittername before.
So how has technology changed your day? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Banda Image via Wikipedia