Monthly Archives: July 2014

Originally published on the Leadership for Educational Equity blog.

Let’s face it: we could all use a few more hours in the day. But 24 hours is all we have. And with a good chunk of those hours devoted to getting some sleep (hopefully!), we often find ourselves desperately trying to do more and more with seemingly less and less time to get things done.

Enter technology (ahh, technology). Turns out there are a lot of great apps out there designed to help us work smarter and boost productivity. Need help getting your things in order? There’s an app for that. Looking to make better use of your time? There’s an app for that, too.

If you’re like most LEE members, you’ve probably got a lot on your plate. So we thought we’d try to help you get the most out of your day by sharing a few apps designed to help you be the most impactful, efficient (and productive) advocate for kids that you can be.


As part of the Communications Team at LEE, we pride ourselves in staying connected. One of our go to apps for productivity is Trello. Our team is located in two different offices, so Trello is a great way to keep the whole team updated on current projects. Easy to use; you can create multiple boards, checklists to keep track of a project’s progress, comments to update your co-workers, attachments for photos and videos, and much more. Since you can add multiple users, it’s a great way to work on projects with your whole team.

Price: Free

Available: iOS, Android


A popular and some would say classic app for productivity, Evernote is a multipurpose app that allows users to create to-do lists, notes and tasks in an organized format. It also easily syncs across all devices and platforms.

Price: Free

Available: iOS, Android, BlackBerry and Nokia


Full allows you to schedule set goals you have throughout your busy day and it will also show you the progress of those goals. For example, if you wanted to try and read more or exercise more, but have failed to do either, Full will let you know through their color-coordinated system that you haven’t met your goal.

Price: $0.99

Available: iOS


Instead of constantly checking Facebook or Twitter for news updates, Feedly provides a way to combine all of your favorite websites into one continuous stream. (A great replacement for the sadly discontinued Google Reader.) You can organize by topic, read the content right on the site and easily share with others.

Price: Free

Available: IOS, Android, Pure Web Interface

Focus Lock

For all of you who can never put your phone down, Focus Lock is an app that blocks all distractions from your phone. This helpful Android App allows you to add the apps you want to be locked out of based on a certain amount of time. You’ll still be able to get phone calls and emails, but there won’t be as many “irrelevant” updates (ex. sports or entertainment news).

Price: Free

Available: Android


Dropbox is a cloud storage and backup system that allows you to store multiple documents for free for the first 2 GB of space. It can be used as a way to keep clutter off of your hard drive or to share documents with multiple users syncing on multiple platforms. There is also a paid Pro version of the app but you can also earn more free space in a variety of other ways.

Good alternative: Google Drive

Price: Free

Available: iOS, Android


Originally published on the Leadership for Educational Equity blog.


Welcome back from what we hope was a relaxing 4th of July holiday!

We hope you had a chance to relax, refresh, and maybe even start digging into your summer reading. But if not, don’t worry — there is still plenty of time left to start.

We’re pretty avid readers at LEE (we’re looking at you, Victoria Ford). But rather than keeping our reading recommendations to ourselves, we thought we’d give you a peek into what’s on our reading lists this summer.

Here it goes…

Neeta Sonalkar, Director, Leadership Development & Design

Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress—and a Plan to Stop by Lawrence Lessig

Republic, Lost is the sixth book by Harvard Law professor and free culture activist Lawrence Lessig. Neeta says it “should be required reading for anyone who cares about our democratic process and how it isn’t working for us right now.”

Jazmin Cameron, Data and Program Coordinator

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah

Ishmael Beah’s memoir provides a firsthand account of the decade-long civil war in Sierra Leone and the ongoing plight of child soldiers in conflicts worldwide.

Jerry Gonzales, Senior Director, Talent, Learning, Culture

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

Quiet is a collection of real life stories about introverts in an “extroverts world” and how we should change our views about introverts, as well as how introverts should change their views on themselves.

Stacey Moore, Director, Regional Impact

Cage-Busting Leadership by Frederick M. Hess

An educator, political scientist and author, Frederick M. Hess has a provocative take on the underlying issues in the education system and how we must talk about what leaders can do, rather than what they can’t.

Victoria Ford, Program Director, Leadership Development & Design

The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert

Set in the 19th Century, the story is about scientist Alma Whittaker and her family, and their trials and tribulations. LEE’s Victoria Ford reflects on how she finds books The Signature of All Things, “I get suggestions from the NYT Review of Books, conversations with friends, lists of hot new books, and all sorts of other places. A dinner with LEE colleagues in Venice Beach last fall resulted in a dozen new books on my list! I don’t remember where The Signature of All Things came from, but I’ve been hearing good things all over the place.”

Elizabeth Spriggs, Vice President, Technology

There Are No Children Here by Alex Kotlowitz

Journalist, Alex Kotlowitz’s 1991 biography is the powerful account of two remarkable boys struggling to survive in Chicago’s Henry Horner Homes, a public housing complex disfigured by crime and neglect.

Mehreen Nayani, Coordinator, Strategy and Operations

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

The Goldfinch is a work of fiction by Tartt which chronicles the life of a teenager who is flung into a world of privilege and wealth, after the loss of his mother and abandonment of his father. He emerges himself into the art to deal with his loneliness and torment of his new classmates.

Bonus Picks:

The Game of Thrones series by George R.R. Martin

The Divergent series by Veronica Roth

Hard Choices by Hillary Rodham Clinton

Share with us on Facebook and Twitter what is on your summer reading list! @LEE_National #LEESummerReading