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Josh Shoulta

Get smart(phones) with apps

Kentucky School Advocate
November 2019

By Josh Shoulta
KSBA Director of Communications

They are called smartphones because of the information available to the average user by way of mobile applications (or “apps”). Getting driving directions to a restaurant. Checking the score of the big game. Composing an email. Snapping a photo of your grandkids. There is seemingly an app for every conceivable task. According to BusinessofApps, a website that follows the app industry, nearly 2.5 million apps were available to smartphone users in 2019. I am not suggesting you use all of them. I would, however, recommend researching a handful of apps that can make your days more productive, organized and stress-free. 

Balancing board service with other priorities – family, job, volunteer activities, self-care – requires thoughtful organization and time management. Here is a list of helpful apps for juggling all of life’s demands.

Task management apps – There are a variety of apps on the market (including many that are free) that help you attack those pesky to-do lists each day. For iPhone users, the Reminders app is a simple tool that can give you a nudge when its time to do something. The Calendar app on Android phones works similarly. For instance, try setting a reminder to review materials ahead of each and every school board meeting. Don’t just say you will get around to it. Carve out specific time and hold yourself to it.

Alternatives: Google Calendar, Wunderlist, Todoist

Meditation apps – Did you know that meditation can sharpen your attention, reduce stress, decrease blood pressure, improve sleep and even make you a kinder person? Find time during the day to be quiet and uninterrupted, allowing your brain to recalibrate. Apps like Calm (for iPhone and Android) offer guided meditations, breathing exercises, white noise, affirmations and even soothing bedtime stories. 

Alternatives: Aura, Headspace, The Mindfulness App

Tally Counter – Do you ever count the number of people who attend school board meetings? Do you ever keep a tab on the number of questions/complaints you hear on an issue facing the district? Do you track the number of school events you attend on a monthly basis? Tally Counter is a free iPhone app that serves a singular purpose: counting. Never lose count again! 

Alternatives: Counter+, Counter (Android)

KET Legislative Coverage app – As champions for public education, school board members often monitor decisions in Frankfort that impact their districts. Kentucky Education Television puts state legislative coverage at your fingertips. Watch legislative committee meetings and chamber sessions live. Users may also access archived video of previous committee meetings and sessions. 

KSBA Events – You didn’t think we would leave this one off the list, did you? Our customized conference app provides everything you need during KSBA’s three major events (Summer Leadership Institute, Winter Symposium and Annual Conference). Instantly access your personalized conference schedule, hotel floor map, attendee directory, session evaluations and more. Make the most of your conference experience! 

All of the apps listed above are available for iPhone in the App Store and for Android in Google Play.

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