YA Clicks February 2016
Keeping It Together
Rebecca Purdy and the Web Surfers from the Central Rappahannock Regional Library
For your teens who are trying to organize a few tasks or entire projects, the Web Surfers have checked out and chimed in on which websites and apps they recommend to keep students organized.
Through YA Eyes
4I 4R 5U
Are you the type of person who hates writing down an endless to-do-list of daunting tasks? Gone are the days where people have to memorize grocery lists and deal with the consequences of forgetting to study for an important exam. Now you can be reminded with the super-convenient task manager app Any.do which is available for iPhone and Adnroid users. Any.do is also available on PC for those who like to view their tasks in a larger format. It includes different categories for personal errands, groceries, work projects, and even more fun lists like books to read, movies to watch, and places to visit. One of the best parts is its versatility; you can sync the app with your Google account or Facebook and have your information on your phone, computer, or tablet. The app is simple and effortless to use, and you will be notified up to a week before a deadline or appointment. You can even share your to-do lists and projects with others. Those daunting tasks will seem much easier to tackle when you see how easy it can be to organize your busy life.—Rachel Gonzalez
5I 5R 5U
M J S A/YA
Do you have trouble keeping organized? Google Keep is the right place for you! You can quickly type what is on your mind and it will remind you at any given time or place. Need a reminder to pick up the groceries? Set a location-based reminder to pull it up right when you get to the store! If you are in a hurry, you can speak a voice memo and it will be written for you. Take a photo of anything: a poster, receipt, document, etc. and easily organize it or search for it when needed. It makes it easy to keep a thought or list for yourself, and you can also share it with friends and family. You can keep it on your phone, tablet, and computer. Everything you add transfers to all your devices so you can easily get them wherever you are.—Hafsah Hussain
5I 3R 5U
M J S A
Getting things done has never been so fun, thanks to Habitica which turns your tasks into a game. If you have trouble with remembering homework, volunteering, or even little things like chores, then this is right for you. All you have to do is sign up for a free account and get started. After you join, you can setup different types of tasks: to-dos (they can have a set due date, but don’t need one), habits (for feedback; whether it’s good or bad), and dailies (these have to be done in the amount of time given or you’ll lose health points). Tasks can have subtasks, and you get to set how hard or easy each individual task is. There are rewards and consequences, which are determined by the difficulty level of and the ability to complete each task. By completing tasks you earn experience and gold, which helps you level up your avatar. Designing your avatar is one of the first things you do, and when you’re done you can change it at any time. You can buy different outfits, armor, and even pets for your avatar with the gold you earn. You can unlock skills, quests, and fight monsters, all while keeping organized. From people who need help with staying motivated, to forgetful people who need a reminder, this is the perfect “habit-builder” for everyone.—Becca Brown
Remember the Milk
4I, 4R, 1U
Remember the Milk comes to the rescue; you won’t ever forget anything again. It not only has a catchy name, but is also very useful for the busy life of the average teenager. The best thing about this website is that you can also download the Remember the Milk app on your smartphone. Both the app and the website are super easy to set up and start using right away, and are great for anyone who has a bunch of things to remember or a busy lifestyle. It can help you remember all sorts of things like doing your history project so you don’t get a bad grade, or things like soccer practice after school. So don’t waste your time creating anymore paper lists or forgetting assignments, use Remember the Milk to live a more organized life with everything you need at your fingertips.—Noah Higgins
5I 3R 5U
For keeping track of an ever-growing workload, I’d suggest using Toodledo. Toodledo is pretty much a one-stop-shop for anything and everything related to managing your workload and daily schedule. The site offers an area for storing notes, tasks, lists, outlines, and even has a place to help correct your bad habits. To use Toodledo, you have to make an account, but it’s completely free. On the top of the site, you’ll notice a bar with different sections. This will help you find your way around the site very easily. Under the features category, you’ll see some really awesome stuff that you wouldn’t normally expect on an organization website. For instance, Toodledo lets you share and assign tasks with other users, and it even has IOS apps, so you can get reminders of what you have to do on your phone. My favorite feature would have to be the statistics option- where you can see how you’re doing on your tasks and goals with more than just a bunch of numbers. Overall, Toodledo is the perfect site for those of us who can’t organize all the test dates, projects, assignments, and homework in our heads.—Eliza Falk
5I 4R 5U
Whether you need to get organized for school, sporting events, grocery lists or just want to plan for your day to day, Wunderlist is an excellent way to keep your life in order. It is available as an app for all Apple and Android products and can be downloaded onto Windows computers and Chromebooks. Wunderlist has a very appealing format and the navigation is straightforward and easy to use. You can even create and share lists with friends and print them out. One of my favorite features is the ability to chat with friends, via message, that you’ve shared lists with. You can also receive notification when someone else in the group has added something to the list. This website is very simple but convenient. I would definitely recommend this site, especially if you have a lot going on in your life!—Holly Wilson
Kudos for Library Teen Sites
Oak Park, Illinois
Visual appeal is one of the most important characteristics of any website, but especially when teens are the audience. Oak Park Public Library succeeds with lots of white space, a large slide which is changed often, and easy to read text. The slide shows an award cup wearing a top hat and black suit. If you think that is reminiscent of Abraham Lincoln, you’re correct! They’re promoting a “Tournament of Abes,” in partnership with two area high schools, “to support learning, literacy, teen reading, and the importance of voting.” Teens will choose from among twenty titles, narrowing down the list each week until the culminating event, a Debate Showdown where “community members make the case for why their favorite books should win the Abe Lincoln Award.” A list of upcoming teen events, to the right of the slide, includes dates and times and each is hyperlinked for more information. Buttons above link to “Homework Help,” which includes “Ask a Librarian” and their databases, and “Teen Volunteers,” with an impressive array of choices. There are too many opportunities to list here, but highlights include “Playologists,” who interact and play with young children, “Local History Detectives,” who learn about their community and then share it with others, and “Yarn Spinners” who learn how to knit and crochet and then donate their creations to local charities. Oak Parks’ Teens page does a terrific job of clearly conveying the many wonderful opportunities they provide to their teens.
Rebecca Purdy is the youth services coordinator for the Central Rappahannock Regional Library system in Fredericksburg, Virginia. The Web Surfers are a collection of teens willing to volunteer some of their time to see their names in print and help young adult librarians find good sites for their library blogs and Web pages.