Organization 1A …. YOU can DO it! Go paperless!

Please welcome Tracy Moran from Gold Country SLP.  She was one of the winners in my New Blogger contest!

Gold Country SLP - Speech Therapy in the California Foothills

If you are an itinerant SLP, you KNOW what a nightmare keeping everything organized can be! You have IEP meetings to schedule, phone calls to make, emails to send, assessments and therapy to track. HOW do you do it?
 Here is my situation and what I did!
I am assigned to 3 schools. Two days of the week, I have to split my day. One of the schools has no consistent space for me. At that same school I have NO computer, NO phone, NO storage, etc. My overall caseload was 65 the year before last, with me assigned as case manager for 39-40 of those students. I was calling parents from school “A” while at school “B” and receiving emails about someone at school “C” while at school “A.” You get the picture!! YIKES!!
With all of the “running around” (you itinerants KNOW what I mean!), something had to change. As a LONG time SLP, I have always depended upon my date book to stay organized. Well, it was time to CHANGE! Here is how I did it.
Cloud storage! What is THAT? Digital data when stored “in the cloud” is located on a server. The beauty of cloud storage is that you can access your stuff anywhere. This has been a LIFESAVER for me and could be for you too!
Let’s talk about different forms of cloud storage and how to use them!!
FIRST, at my sons’ insistence, I signed up for Google Mail, better known as gmail.  Google has some EXCELLENT apps that I depend upon and you MUST have gmail to access these apps!
1) Google Calendar!
Everything, yes I mean EVERYTHING goes onto my Google calendar. Why? Because I can access it virtually ANYWHERE. School. Home. Smartphone. It works beautifully for me. NO MORE PAPER datebooks!
2) Google Drive!
Again, Drive is a Google product, so you must have a gmail account. Drive is GREAT! I store materials-especially black ink-only materials.  Those can be quickly and easily accessed at school for printing (which is why I offer many black ink products in my TpT store). This is also a place to store forms you may need. And let me NOT forget—you can actually print docs  stored on Drive from your smartphone!!!  Woo-hoo!!
3) Google Keep!
I LOVE Google Keep!  This is one of Google’s newer apps. You can see above what you can do with it. These are digital sticky notes-all in one place. Accessible at school, home and by smartphone. At the end of the school year, I made a quick list to remind myself of a few things that would surely be forgotten over the summer (no, NOT what is pictured above). I love, Love, LOVE Google Keep!!!! It helps me KEEP my sanity!!  🙂
4) Dropbox!
Similar to Google Drive, Dropbox is another method of storing in “the cloud.” This method of document storage has been an absolute life-saver for me. Dropbox can be used at school, at home, on your phone. I use it to store TpT materials. Occasionally, I have access to a color printer at school, and Dropbox works well for this. Dropbox is not a Google product.
I strongly urge you to consider going paperless! It has made my insane school year MUCH more manageable.
Have fun!!

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Nicole Slough

    I love this idea. I am constantly trying to find ways to make things easier and more streamlined. In our district this year, we are looking to create Medicaid forms to be submitted electronically. Do you do any of your notes/Medicaid electronically? What do you use and what do you do about an original signature?

    1. Hi NIcole, We actually bill via a web site…NO forms…so truly paperless. You might check with the person in your district who is responsible for MediCaid billing. There are entities out there who will do web-based billing. I have heard of paper forms based on Excel. When we used to do paper forms, I took an old-fashioned approach….I signed a piece of paper in blue ink, scanned it, uploaded it, saved it as a jpeg and inserted it into whatever form where it was needed. Actually, I still use the jpeg of my signature when I do reports now. Again, talk to your MediCaid contact person and see if your staff can go truly paperless!

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The views expressed in this blog are my own and are intended to inspire other speech-language pathologists in their own practice. If you are a parent, teacher or other educator, these ideas are not intended to take the place of treatment by a certified clinician. Read full disclaimer here.