Educational technology tips for teachers, librarians and schools.

10 Best Tools for Teachers to Manage Holiday Season Chaos

10 Best Tools for Teachers to Manage Holiday Season Chaos

By Raphaela Brandner

It’s supposed to be the season of joyful family gatherings, good food and relaxation.

But for most of us, the holiday season is one of the most stressful times of the year, with countless errands to run, projects to finish, parties to plan and exams to grade.

Now more than ever, good time management and a well organized to-do list can make all the difference when managing that holiday chaos.

Here’s a list of 10 useful tools to help you make it through the holiday with your sanity this year.


Google Keep

Web, Android, iOS

Google Keep is a free note taking app that’s ideal for short-form notes. The app organizes your notes in a color-coded system that’s easy to understand and search through. One of its greatest features are location-based reminders, which can remind you of a note when you reach a specific place, such as a grocery store or your home.

Overall, Google Keep is a great little helper that you can use throughout the holiday season to quickly jot down ideas, notes and to-dos.

Google Keep alternative: Bear

More: 8 Best Tools to Share Notes Digitally



Web, Windows, Mac, iOS, Android

MeisterTask is a simple and intuitive task manager that lets you organize all of your to-dos in visual project boards. In their simplest form, boards offer three stages for tasks to move through, called ‘Open’, ‘In Progress’, and ‘Done’. However, you can adapt these boards to your individual needs, creating the perfect workflow for both personal and school projects.

Consider using it with your students for organizing end-of-quarter projects while staying sane.

MeisterTask alternative: Trello



Web, Windows, iOS

Mural is a web-based whiteboard app that lets you draw or type ideas on virtual sticky notes, which you can arrange freely on the digital canvas. You can add images, links, and videos to your notes and easily share boards with others so they can add their own input. Mural is a great tool for all types of brainstorming and planning purposes, such as planning a holiday party.

Mural alternative: Realtime Board


Eisenhower Matrix

Web, iOS

Oftentimes, when you feel overwhelmed, the problem is not that you have too much to do, but that you’re not prioritizing your to-dos properly and delegating the ones you can. The so-called Eisenhower Matrix is a simple and effective way to prioritize tasks by urgency and importance. With the practical Eisenhower app, you can now also do this on your laptop, iPhone or iPad.

Eisenhower alternative: Focus Matrix


Google Calendar

Web, iOS, Android

Using a calendar is one of the simplest and most effective ways to manage your time and ensure that important to-dos don’t fall through the cracks. There are a lot of great calendar apps available, and which one is right for you depends largely on the environment you work in. That said, Google Calendar is an all-around great option as it runs on most devices, is very customizable and offers shared calendars that you can use together with friends, colleagues and students.

Google Calendar alternative: Fantastical 2

More: 15 Gmail Hacks for Busy Teachers



Web, Mac, Windows, iOS, Android

Evernote is a feature-rich note taking app that lets you create notebooks for all occasions and capture everything from web clippings to voice notes and from photos to handwritten notes. When it comes to getting through the holiday season chaos, Evernote is a great allrounder you can use to collect and organize all types of notes, from Thanksgiving recipes to inspiration for your next great project.

Evernote alternative: Microsoft OneNote



Mac, iOS

OmniFocus is a pretty powerful task manager that lets you organize your whole life and can be used in combination with the GTD (Getting Things Done) methodology developed by David Allen. In OmniFocus, to-dos are called ‘actions’ and are grouped into projects. With the ‘perspectives’ feature you can plan your whole day, while the ‘review’ feature lets you evaluate previously completed projects.

OmniFocus alternative: Things



Web, Android, iOS

IFTTT (If This Then That) is a platform that lets you automate processes both at work and at home. Not only can you connect different apps and tools to create workflows between them, you can also make your home smarter and save time by automating menial tasks. Want to get a text message when your washer cycle is almost done? No problem. Automatically turn on the coffee machine in the morning or arm your security system when you leave home? All is doable with a simple IFTTT recipe.

IFTTT alternative: Zapier



Web, iOS, Android

MindMeister is an online mind mapping app that lets you brainstorm and plan projects visually. Maps can be shared with an unlimited number of people and allow for real-time collaboration, making it a great tool for all types of creative teamwork. If you’re a visual thinker, mapping things out can be a great way to see the bigger picture, find out how things are connected, and make decisions.

MindMeister alternative: Mindomo


Focus Booster

Web, Mac, Windows, iOS, Android

Focus Booster is a time tracker based on the popular Pomodoro technique. As the name suggests, the app aims to improve your focus and help you avoid distractions, making you more productive in the process. Focus Booster is designed for freelancers who need to track time for their client projects, but it can just as easily be used by students and anyone who wants to get more done in less time.

Focus Booster alternative: Be Focused

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10 Best Tools for Teachers to Manage Holiday Season Chaos

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