Top Pick

Awesome Productivity Tools for Back-to-School

Both students and teachers can benefit inside and outside of school from organizational tools like calendars, presentation templates, and note-taking apps. Whether students are setting goals, receiving homework reminders, using mind maps, or tweaking their schedules, they are sure to be building long-lasting skills. Teachers can also use these tools to curate the best edtech, easily grade student work, and organize lesson plans. We've found some of the best and served 'em up here.

Need help developing norms, routines, and procedures for all this technology? Check out our Teaching Strategies page on Digital Classroom Management.

Note-Taking Apps and Sites

Pages Publisher: Apple
Impressive word processor and publisher with great sharing features
Grades 3-12
Type App
Price Free, Paid
Platforms iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Evernote Publisher: Evernote
Impressive organizational tool has limitless uses
Grades 6-12
Type App
Price Free
Platforms Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Kindle Fire, Nook HD, Chrome, Windows Phone, Apps for Windows
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Microsoft OneNote Publisher: Microsoft
Mobile version of a note-taking giant, now built for flexible, collaborative work
Grades 6-12
Type App
Price Free
Platforms Android, iPad, Kindle Fire, Chrome, Windows Phone, Apps for Windows, Mac Apps, Fire phone
Common Sense Rating 3
Teacher Rating 4
Notability Publisher: Ginger Labs
Flexible note-taking tool empowers learners of all abilities
Grades 6-12
Type App
Price $2.99
Platforms iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Common Sense Rating 5
Teacher Rating 4

Resources for Gathering and Organizing Ideas

SymbalooEDU Visit Website: http://www.symbalooedu.com
Organize favorite educational links into handy grid
Grades 1-12
Type Website
Price Free, Free to Try, Paid
Common Sense Rating 3
Teacher Rating 4
Mural.ly Visit Website: https://mural.co/
Multifaceted message boards help kids collaborate
Grades 2-12
Type Website
Price Free, Free to Try, Paid
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
MindMeister Visit Website: http://www.mindmeister.com
Powerful mind mapper aimed at adults, simple enough for older kids
Grades 5-12
Type Website
Price Free, Paid
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
WorkFlowy Visit Website: http://www.workflowy.com
Simple tool helps teachers and students make lists, get organized
Grades 5-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 3
Teacher Rating Not Yet Rated
LiveBinders Visit Website: http://www.livebinders.com/
Cool organization and eportfolio tool; watch out for privacy features
Grades 6-12
Type Website
Price Free, Paid
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 3
Google Drive Visit Website: https://drive.google.com/
Nifty tool for collaboratively editing docs and syncing files across devices or online
Grades 9-12
Type Website
Price Free, Paid
Common Sense Rating 3
Teacher Rating 4

Scheduling and Goal-Setting Tools

Goalbook Toolkit Visit Website: https://goalbookapp.com/toolkit-info/
Set tailored targets with pricey but worth-it kit of tools, strategies
Grades Pre-K-12
Type Website
Price Free to Try, Paid
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Remind Visit Website: https://www.remind.com/
Teachers' text reminders give students -- and parents -- a reason to check their phones
Grades 1-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Time Timer Publisher: Time Timer LLC
Easily conceptualize, manage, and visualize time
Grades 1-12
Type App
Price $2.99-$4.99
Platforms Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Showbie Publisher: Showbie Inc.
Flexible desktop, mobile assignment tool works best with pro features
Grades 5-12
Type App
Price Free, Paid
Platforms iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Chrome
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Google Calendar Visit Website: http://www.google.com/calendar
Simple calendars aid communication and keep kids up to date
Grades 6-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 3
Teacher Rating 3
My Study Life Publisher: My Study Life, Ltd.
Organizational tool makes managing complex schedules a cinch
Grades 10-12
Type App
Price Free
Platforms Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Chrome, Windows Phone, Apps for Windows
Common Sense Rating 3
Teacher Rating Not Yet Rated
myHomework Student Planner Publisher: Rodrigo Neri
Digital planner makes scheduling easy, if paired with teacher app
Grades 7-12
Type App
Price Free, Paid
Platforms Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Kindle Fire, Chrome, Windows Phone, Apps for Windows, Mac Apps
Common Sense Rating 3
Teacher Rating Not Yet Rated

Templates for Presentations

Educreations Interactive Whiteboard Publisher: Educreations, Inc
Enliven lessons and presentations with easy-to-use presentation tool
Grades 6-12
Type App
Price Free
Platforms iPad
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Tiki-Toki Visit Website: http://www.tiki-toki.com/
Create eye-catching multimedia timelines for any purpose
Grades 6-12
Type Website
Price Free, Paid
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 3
Explain Everything Classic
Powerhouse tool for creating stellar multimedia presentations
Grades 7-12
Type App
Price $7.99
Platforms Android, iPad
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Prezi Visit Website: http://prezi.com/
Stylish presentation creator with a unique 3D zooming effect
Grades 8-12
Type Website
Price Free, Paid
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 3