Prezi is an alternative to Powerpoint and Keynote. As you can see from the video it’s a more artistic and entertaining presentation than what you create with the traditional presentation tools. It bills itself as giving you the opportunity to tell your story in a natural flow, and the audience no longer needs to sit through boring presentations.
I have seen enough powerpoint presentations as a student and working in a graduate program to know that yes powerpoint is boring. You can find any number of articles about how powerpoint is evil and ruining business, education and society. I’d have to agree. I think Prezi is a great way to tell a story rather than dump bullet points and statistics on an audience that wants to be educated.
Prezi could really make a difference in the way information is related to people. Of course the ability of the presenter to both create an entertaining story and tell that story are still important. Prezi has the ability to entertain and educate at the same time, but I don’t think it’s a sure thing. I would love to see these types of presentations, but how will I feel when i’ve seen hundreds of them like powerpoint, or just plain bad ones? As with most technologies in education, the potential is there, but it still relies on people committed to making it work.
With classes over and more and more projects starting everyday, this seemed like a good time to revisit the Great To-Do List Experiment. To recap, I starting working with three lists. The first was “The Big List” which was everything that I needed to do. The second list was a short list of a couple things from the big list that I wanted to accomplish that day. Finally, there is the 10 minute list (things I can accomplish in 10 minutes) which I would clear on Fridays.
Let’s start with the “Big List”. It is great to have everything in one place for me to see. I’m confident that almost all of my items are listed there and that I will be able to better organize my work. However, once you cross things off the list you eventually have to rewrite it in order to make it legible. The pro to that is you are forced to review everything on your list, you don’t get to just gloss over it everyday. The con is it takes time. Because of this I searched around and tried a few third party apps that could manage my list. I’ve decided on Tudumo which is a GTD application. I’m not interested in most of the functions, but I do like how I can control my list and view it with tags or start / due dates, and break them up into projects.
Tudumo also lets me replace my short list with the GTD ‘action items’. Each day I go through my list and mark items as ‘next action item’ which creates a pseudo short list of what I want to accomplish that day. I can sort the list to only show me those ‘next action items’ which I find helpful.
The 10 minute list seems to have become neglected. When Friday comes I usually like to continue whatever project I am working on and not take the time to cross off the other items. Instead I’m making an effort to complete any task that takes under 10 minutes as soon as it lands on my desk. This way it never makes it to the big list and doesn’t sit there for too long. Of course sometimes when I am into another project I won’t drop everything to do a new task. It’s still a work in progress but it’s an improvement over my old way of doing things.
So after a few months of this I’m confident that my list is an accurate picture of what I need to do, and with the help of Tudumo, I now have a version that is easily updated, maintained and produces the filters that help me get things done.
In my never ending search for productivity and efficiency I’ve decided to test out some of the ideas that I have read about in terms of To-Do lists. I’m a big list person. I like to see everything on paper and know that I’m not forgetting anything. Not having random thoughts about what I have to do and if I am going to remember them takes a lot of stress out of my day. The problem with this approach is that my To-Do list at work now fills a legal sheet of paper and shortly I will be starting on page two.
This has the desired effect of giving me confidence that I have everything there on paper (I might be missing one or two new things) and not floating around in my head where it’s most likely never to be heard from again. It also has the undesired effect of being rather overwhelming and sometimes just down right depressing. I find that when my list gets too long it just appears as a page of words with no real meaning.
What I have started to do is pick three or four things off the big list at the start of each day. Those will be the tasks that I know I can accomplish even with the inevitable problems that have to be dealt with on a normal day. The “short list” is now less daunting. At least at 7am. The idea of the short list is to provide me with a focus. It seems a little counter intuitive but with the “big list” freeing my mind, I have room to keep track of the “short list”.
The major problem that I have encountered so far is that somethings seem to never make it to the “short list”. For a few items that isn’t an issue since they are tasks that are part of my own bigger projects that I hope to accomplish at some point. But others are tasks that really do need to be done but aren’t that urgent. So to combat this, I’ve decided that Friday will be my ten minute day. I am going to make a third list which is made up of anything that I can complete in ten minutes (I know. You’re saying how can three lists possibly be productive. That’s why this is an experiment. Graph to follow). Then I will go down that list completing items every Friday so that they don’t nag at me forever. It’s also nice to be able to run through a list fairly quickly.
So three lists. One to free my mind, one to focus it and one to ease it. I think the most important point is to keep small working list. Once you finish it you can always make another.