I’m taking an idea from one of the blogs I read on a pretty daily basis, Zen Habits, where each daily writing is theme-driven. For instance, Monday on Zen Habits is “Productivity and Organization Day.” I think that’s a pretty good way to start off the work week, so for this blog, Monday will be “Getting Organized Day.” Of course I’ll tag this posting as a “getting organized day” and try to stick with the theme. So, let’s get organized!
Today I want to tell you about Trillian.
Trillian is an Instant Messaging service that allows you to include all of your IM accounts. So, instead of logging into MSN Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, and all of the others you might use, you use just one IM service–Trillian. Below you’ll see a screen shot of my Trillian dialog box (I use the Scheduled Tasks feature in Windows to automatically open this for me. See this blog posting to read how to do this!)
If you don’t use an instant messaging service, you might consider it, especially if you are an online instructor. Having a quick and easy way for students to contact you online is an excellent way to increase student satisfaction, reduce perceived distance between instructor and student, and can save you time in the long run by responding to questions immediately. Of course, if you are in a meeting or busy, you shouldn’t feel obligated to respond to an instant message. (You can indicate if you are away or customize your message if you like.) And another word of advice: Tell your students to include their REAL NAME in their email account/IM service. That way, you can identify a student from someone you may not want to chat with!
Take a look at the Trillian website, download the software and give it a try. I am a convert.
(Thanks to Allan Heaps for telling me about Trillian.)