Using Agenda in teaching

workflow

#1

I’ve just started using Agenda as a teacher planner, and so far it’s exactly what I’ve been searching for for years.

I have Fantastical 2 + dual Google Calendar account backend. The four (edit) things I’m able to do in the single app:

  • Week tasks: I have calendar entries set up that span Mon-Fri labelled as Week 1, Week 2 etc of the term. To these I’m able to attach a note that contains a checklist of stuff I need to get done that week - personal and work. But, I also have the following week’s list ready if I need to move things.

I think non-teachers could benefit from this workflow. I could setup weekend events to attach lists to too. The note stays front-and-centre on my screen.

  • Assessment Tasks: I don’t have these attached to any date, but it’s really handy to be able to plan them in the same app. I’m constantly getting new ideas around the tasks I’m planning.

  • Lesson plans and tasks: I have repeating events in my calendar for each timetabled lesson and now, thanks to Agenda, I can finally have quite lengthy, multimodal notes attached to each timetable entry. Functionality to have a checklist, links and jottings in one note for an event is something I’ve struggled to find. I teach technology subjects so I’m constantly finding articles and resources that suit upcoming lessons. And now I can sequence them without them getting lost in my overflowing OneNote and Evernote notebooks.

  • Student notes: It’s nice to have a note for these in the same app as my planner. I can add to these notes as students do awesome things in class ready to create an award for, mention to their year advisor or to their parents at parent/teacher night or I can attach them to a lesson event like I would a sticky note in a paper diary. The same goes for wellbeing|discipline|attendance concerns, but let’s focus on the positives!

Agenda is also much prettier and cleaner than most school planner apps. I can attach notes to my Fantastical 2 entries, but they aren’t the focus like they are in Agenda. I’ll be recommending it to other teachers that don’t like paper planners.

A big thumbs up and THANK YOU from me. I subscribed to premium right away.


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#2

Thank you so much for sharing, that’s brilliant!


#3

It’s ironic because the app icon is a pencil, which is an icon often associated with teaching. But I’m thinking the fact that this app wasn’t specifically targeted at teachers is why it’s going to work so well for me. I don’t need all the bloat about roll marking, class lists, professional development etc that I’d usually rip out of a paper teacher planner.

Can’t wait for the iOS version. Keep up the amazing work.


#4

Thanks for sharing this! The “week tasks” framework is really clever, and allows Agenda to very efficiently handle many of the roles of a traditional task manager app. You definitely don’t need to be a teacher to use that idea effectively.


Include a "This week”, “This Month” tab
#5

Do you “attach a note” by exporting them as PDFs or do so via Agenda’s calendar integration?


#6

I just use the built in functionality. Apart from when I need to see my timetable for the whole week in Fantastical, I’m basically living in Agenda now.


#7

I think I know what you mean with the Week tasks, but any chance of a screenshot?


#8

Sure. Here’s how the event looks in my Fantastical 2 (or any calendar app) as an all-day event spanning the whole school week:

And here’s how it looks in Agenda where I attach the note:

And I dare not show you the list of tasks I need to get done in the actual note :stuck_out_tongue:


#9

Thanks very much. Am I right in thinking that the Week 4 calendar item doesn’t have anything inside it, i.e. all the content is in the linked note in Agenda?


#10

Yeah it’s really just a label for the whole week in my calendar. In Australia we have four school terms that are about 10 weeks each, and we refer to “day # of week #” more often than we would specific dates. So having the ability to have a note for a whole week is a huge deal for me :slight_smile:


#11

Update: I think you’ll like to hear that we have a very nice feature in the 2.0 update that works especially well in combination with the idea of a week based note linked to a 5 day calendar event. In the next release of Agenda you will now see all events for the whole week in the related sidebar instead of just one day:


#12

This will be SUPER handy - THANK YOU.


#13

I assume that means all the notes are associated with a specific instance of a repeating event—so to find all the notes attached to one repeating event, you need to click through each instance?


#14

I find project view and naming each individual note with a subheading of sorts tends to do the trick. No need for extra clicking.


#15

That’s exactly how I feel about using Agenda for organizing writing projects - it doesn’t tell me what it thinks I ought to be recording & lets me get on with organizing my projects exactly as I want to :blush:


#16

Could you say a bit more about how you manage categories, projects, and the notes within them? I currently have a category called teaching and a project for each of my courses, but I’m worried about finding and managing notes. I thought about making each class a category and then having projects for lesson plans, assignments, etc, but I worried that my sidebar would be a mess.


#17

I don’t need a plan for every lesson so that keeps things to a minimum for me - we utilise Google Classroom and Slides for hosting much of the instructions for students. The lesson plans I keep in Agenda aren’t ones I’ll reuse. They’re just a plan of what I need to run through or remind students about at certain topic on a certain date - very informal.

I have a category called Lessons with each course I teach as a category within that. Individual lessons are then notes attached to calendar entries as I have my timetable as repeating events in my calendar. Another category called Assessment is where I plan assessment tasks, feedback etc. Another Category for P/T interviews, wellbeing etc. That’s about all I need to manage in Agenda in terms of notes. Task management is my biggest use.


#18

How about something in between, like upgrading your current projects into categories & showing your class details as projects? Hopefully that would keep your notes coralled where you can quickly & easily find them, without having too many categories to keep an effective overview of them :blush:


#19

These posts are both helpful. Thanks! I’m going to experiment with projects, categories, and saved searches when I set up my fall courses. I will be sure to share my approach.


#20

Good - will be interested to hear how it works out! :blush: