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                                                   Squareleaf   

                                                             

What are the uses of Squareleaf?


The main use of Squareleaf is to allow people greater organization of their lives using online technology. People who like to be prepared for the happenings in their lives often use sticky notes to remind themselves of things they need to do, and Squareleaf is a website that provides everyone with their own personal whiteboard and allows you to post and arrange free sticky notes online, accessible at any time.

What does it do?


Essentially an online organizer, Squareleaf allows anyone to jot down tasks, lists, information, or events on a simple whiteboard without fear of losing it in the clutter of their lives.  Squareleaf also lets the user save their work so that it can be easily accessed the next time it is needed.


                                         

Who uses Squareleaf?


Squareleaf is used by people of many different ages ranging from elementary school children to businessmen and women. Though these different groups of people will use the site for different purposes, they each have the same motivation to be on the site: organization. School children can organize their homework while businessmen and women can organize their to-do lists with ease. Anyone with Internet access and a desire to stay on top of their daily lives can simply log on to Squareleaf and do just that.

I. History                  


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I.1. Development

Squareleaf.net was launched on Thursday, November 19, 2009 by software engineer Steve Claridge. His blog offers insight into his own personal experience while creating his website as well as ideas for future website creators. In his blog he describes his motivation for creating Squareleaf as such:

I built Squareleaf to scratch my own itch. I’ve been using online to-do lists for a while but the usual list style is frustrating because you have to click-to-edit, then click-to-rearrange and then click-to-save. We do Agile software development at work and we have a whiteboard a post-it notes to manage the scrums – I wanted something like that for my to-do lists and Squareleaf is the result.

          

I.2. How does Squareleaf work?

Squareleaf works as a personal post-it board.  With the ability to post your very own sticky notes in different shapes and colors, this application helps to keep even the busiest of students well organized.  After creationg an account, one can manage his or her daily life with the virtual post-it notes. By keeping the website up during a busy day, one can easily pull up their sticky note wall and post quick reminders to keep themselves on track throughout the day.  Also, by being able to delete a sticky note, the user can easily delete any old notes that are either already past, or have already been completed.  The ability to easily manage your everyday note taking process by cleaning up the clutter of real paper notes, and replacing them with virtual notes, this website easily takes the place of the now out dated yellow sticky note.

Below is a tour illustrating how to use this application and how to create your own Squareleaf page.


I.3. Additional Information about Squareleaf

Pros

Cons

Squareleaf is free, easy to access, and simple to use.

There is not a feature for video or photo attatchment.

There is a tour to teach you the skills needed to create your virtual post-it notes.

There is not an open url for multiple people to use your Squareleaf board unless the other people know your email adress and password.

There is not a maximum character limit for the Squareleaf notes.

There is not a communication tool with Squarleaf.

One can rearrange and organize the sticky notes by size and or color.

Squareleaf is not accessible without internet connection.

Squareleaf can help organize single or multiple events in a pleasing and concrete manner.

Squareleaf does not have a spellcheck option or an autosave option.

Squareleaf is an alternate to list-making and can reduce the clutter of tangible post-it notes.

 

Sqaureleaf can teach people can teach people organization and time management skills.

 

Squareleaf is useful to many different groups of people.

 

Squareleaf can be accessed from any computer with internet access.

 

Squareleaf allows editing of saved notes.

 

 
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II. How does Squareleaf relate to other Applications?


II.1. Comparison to Competitors

Squareleaf bears a shocking resemblance to Listhings (http://listhings.com).  Squareleaf and Listhings basically have the same application with a different looking interface.  The Listhings interface looks more like a bulletin board while Squareleaf has a simple white background. The main features of Listhings are: 

  • Multiple boards.
  • Re-size and organize your notes by color.
  • Drag and drop interface.
  • Ability to share with others.   
                                                     

Squareleaf is similar to a website called Pindax (http://www.pindax.com/), which allows the user to create and manage their sticky notes, but also includes additional features, such as group managing notes. Pindax is essentially a group version of Squareleaf monitored by an administrator. The main features of Pindax include:

  • Create interactive message boards.
  • Add message boards to your website.
  • Real-time chat and discussion.
  • Post text, images, files, videos, tasks and polls.
  • Send posts via email and get reply notifications.
  • Easily embeddable via widget / API.

                                                         

Squareleaf is also comparable to WallWisher (http://www.wallwisher.com/), though WallWisher seems to be more advanced with many more options than its competitor - Squareleaf.  After looking at the features of WallWisher, it seems their major adaptation is that the board can be shared with others if need be and can also allow images and videos as well as text into their wall.  The features of WallWisher are the following:

  • Create interactive notice boards online.
  • Customize boards with a custom background, title and background images.
  • Allow users to add sticky notes with text, images and videos.
  • Set preferences on who can edit and view the board.
  • Drag and drop notes anywhere on the board.
  • Sign-in using their Google accounts.
  • Share boards with others.

                                                       

Squareleaf basically works like many other sticky note applications, another one of which is the Windows 7 sticky note application.  This application is more advanced than Squareleaf and it allows one to create sticky notes that can be placed anywhere and everywhere.  While Windows 7 does allow you to do more within the application, this does not mean that Squareleaf is a waste; this website has its own personal feel to it because you have your own little page to put notes on as opposed to your desktop that anyone might see.

II.2. Unique Uses

Since Squareleaf is a relatively new website, there haven't been many upgrades or additional features added to the program that set it far apart from the rest; this will be changing when the Pro version emerges though. However, due to the site's freshness, there are no ads or pop-ups on the site, which is beneficial for someone who just wants to get their work done. Squareleaf does not need to be downloaded onto a computer and can also be used straight from the Internet.

 
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III. Real World Applications

For years people have used sticky notes, but the problem is they are not 100% reliable. Squareleaf is a site that manages your "sticky notes" without the fear of ever losing them. This application can be used for students needing an everyday schedule, business men for meetings and projects, moms that need to prioritize their busy days, and everyone else that would like a nice easy way to put their days in order.

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III.1. Educational Lesson Plans
i. Kindergarten Lesson Plans

Title:

Learn Your Colors!

Grade:

Kindergarten

Overview:

Kindergarten children will learn the basic colors of the rainbow in this exercise and be able to point them out when prompted. Using an interactive whiteboard showing Squareleaf, the students will identify which color name corresponds to each sticky note. At the end of the lesson, the students will color a picture of an outside scene using the correct coloring that they have learned.

Objectives:

Students will be able to:

  • Distinguish the basic colors from each other with the aid of Squareleaf.
  • Recognize the colors in everyday life.

Document:

Learn Your Colors!

PDF:

Learn Your Colors!

Title:

Money Matching

Grade:

Kindergarten- 2nd grade

Overview:

Students will use their knowledge of money and money value to match values with the appropriate money combinations. Using an interactive whiteboard and personal computers or handheld tablets with Squareleaf opened in the browser, the students will identify the money names with values and money combinations with values. The students will match the virtual sticky notes with corresponding money combinations and values. At the end of the lesson, students will have a better understanding of money and money values.

Objectives:

Students will be able to:

  • Distinguish names of coins and values. 
  • Recognize money names and combinations with values.

Document:

Money Matching

PDF:

Money Matching

ii. Elementary Lesson Plans

Title:

Plants and Their Properties (STEM Lesson)

Grade:

3rd

Overview:

This lesson was created for 3rd grade students in order for them to fully understand the manner in which to correctly use the scientific method through an experiment determining the basic physiology of plants.

Objectives:

Students will be able to:

  • Explain the basic physiological needs of plants and how each factor contributes to the plant’s survival.
  • Describe the main components of the scientific method and what should be included in each.
  • Understand how to use their current knowledge to create a hypothesis, predict what will happen, collect evidence, and interpret data using Squareleaf.

Document:

Plants and Their Properties

PDF:

Plants and Their Properties

Title:

Story Writing

Grade:

4-5th

Overview:

This lesson is intended for students in grades 4-5 to learn how to write a well-developed narrative using Squareleaf. Using the site, the students will design an outline for their story, making sure to include all parts of the story, i.e. orientation, resolution, etc. Each part will be represented by a different color sticky note on the site.

Objectives:

Students will be able to:

  • Write an outline in 40 minutes using Squareleaf.
  • Design a story and incorporate all the necessary parts.

Document:

Story Writing  

PDF:

Story Writing

Title:

Fur, Gills, or Wings? (STEM Lesson)

Grade:

5th

Overview:

Students will fully understand the differences between mammals, fish, and birds by using Squareleaf.net to organize and classify each one by their distinguishing characteristics.

Objectives:

Students will be able to:

  • Effectively use Squareleaf.net for future projects and develop organizational skills.
  • Explain the three different types of animals and their unique characteristics.
  • Describe how each of these animal classifications survive using their distinct evolutionary adaptations.
  • Understand the different ways each group reproduces and the effect that it has on the parent-offspring dynamics.

Document:

Fur, Gills, or Wings?

PDF:

Fur, Gills, or Wings?

iii. Secondary Lesson Plans

Title

Graphing Equations

Grade

7-9

Overview

Students in Algebra 1 will use Squareleaf to help them graph simple equations. Each different color will represent a different step. 

objectives

  • Students will be able to find the essential parts to graphing an equation.
  • Students will be able to show each step in a neat manner and use squareleaf to do so.
  • Students will be able to draw graphs of equations.

Document

Graphing lesson plan.docx

PDF

Graphing lesson plan.pdf


Title

Pinewood Derby Challenge (STEM Lesson)

Grade:

6-9

Overview:

Students are to use the engineering design process to construct a Pinewood Derby Car.  The cars will then be raced on a track to see who has the most effective design.

Objectives:

Following this lesson students will have knowledge of:

  • The engineering design process
  • How to use the required tools
  • How to organize the design process using Squareleaf.net.

Document:

Pinewood Derby Challenge

PDF:

Pinewood Derby Challenge

Title:

Roles of the U.S. Government

Grade:

8th

Overview:

Students will fully understand how the three divisions of the U.S. government (legislative, executive, and judicial) divide their power and the manner in which they each work together and separately.

Objectives:

Students will be able to:

  • Explain the three different branches of the government and their characteristics.
  • Describe how each of the three branches divide their power as well as how they share it.
  • Understand the mechanisms of checks and balances and how each branch works with the others in order to maintain social order.

Document:

Roles of the U.S. Government

PDF:

Roles of the U.S. Government

Title:

Skillful Speeches

Grade:

11th

Overview:

Students will prepare a persuasive speech on a topic chosen by themselves as well as analyze the speeches of their peers based upon the effectiveness of their presentation. Their speech will be organized and drafted multiple times during the lesson using Squareleaf to receive credit for the assignment.

Objectives:

Students will be able to:

  • Understand the developmental process that goes into creating an effective presentation through the use of Squareleaf.
  • Utilize pathos, logos, and ethos to successfully sway their viewers toward their point of view.
  • Formulate thoughtful judgments about the effectiveness of their peers’ speeches.
  • Present information in front of the class in a clear and confident manner with little or no use of written prompts.

Document:

Skillful Speeches

PDF:

Skillful Speeches

iv. Post Secondary Lesson Plans

Title:

Revealing Religions

Overview:

The students will understand the main tenants of Christianity, Buddhism, and Islam using Squareleaf.net to construct an outline of each. Afterward, they will write an essay based around the points made in their outline.

Objectives:

Students will be able to:

  • Effectively use Squareleaf to create an outline.
  • Explain the philosophy of all three religions.
  • Describe the prominent figures within each religion and how they are important.
  • Observe the parallels between the religions.
  • Include all of the important attributes listed above within their Squareleaf page in a clear manner so that the rest of the class will be able to understand the flow of information.

Document:

Revealing Religions

PDF:

Revealing Religions

Title:

Decomposing Mathematics (STEM Lesson)

Overview:

Students will use Squareleaf.net to decompose a chosen mathematical process in order to explain the procedure to the rest of the classroom.

Objectives:

Students will be able to:

  • Utilize Squareleaf in an efficient manner.
  • Effectively explain the process that goes into a mathematical equation.
  • Describe each step of a math equation and why the stage is necessary to accurately compute the answer.

Document:

Decomposing Mathematics

PDF:

Decomposing Mathematics

Title:

Organ Organization (STEM Lesson)

Overview:

Students will develop their understanding of the different organ systems within the human body: the mechanisms within, the main functions, and their connectedness with the other systems. Squareleaf will be used to plan a speech as well as be used within a PowerPoint presentation as a guide for the class.

Objectives:

Students will be able to:

  • Organize the body systems using Squareleaf.net.
  • Discern the key differences between the organ systems.
  • Describe how and when the organ systems work with each other in order to complete certain body functions.
  • Explain how each organ system works and why it is necessary.

Document:

Organ Organization

PDF:

Organ Organization

III.2. Teaching Setting

Squareleaf is free and thus well-suited for classroom use. Squareleaf can help students manage their individual tasks (such as homework, upcoming projects, etc) or even for group tasks. You can use different colors for each member so you know who is doing what part of the project. 

Squareleaf can be used in classrooms in many inventive ways.  You could use this in a kindergarten classroom by letting students experiment with the 2 shapes included - rectangle and square.  They can also use it to explore colors and shapes.  In older primary classrooms it could be used as a means for students to write down their homework for the week or their to-do lists that can then also be seen by the parents.  Teachers would be able to incorporate technology in the classroom while getting simple tasks completed.  Students in grades 1 and 2 could also use it to see how squares and rectangles are tessellating shapes.

Squareleaf can be used as a tool to help plan and execute in the design process.  For example, there are several processes used for engineering and design that involve anywhere from 4 to 18 steps.  The students would plan what steps they would take in order to complete each design process step.  Not all steps are planning, however the students could then write about what went well and what they would do differently next time.  The sticky notes and drag and drop function will make it easy for the students to keep their notes organized for a lab report at the end of the project.  Since it is all online, the student would be able to access their notes at home to write their report.

III.3. Business/Industry Setting

Working in a business setting always entails paperwork, meetings, important dates, and many other events that require a list to keep track of. While a person could write down every single one of those tasks on little post-it notes (that fall off easily) or on a calendar (that fills up too quickly), Squareleaf is a much more efficient way to keep everything in order. Easy to access and easy to use, Squareleaf can allow people in the business profession to stay well organized and punctual. The site can organize each event by color, size, or position and any of the notes can be deleted with the click of a button. Thus, when an event has passed, you can simply delete the note and re-arrange the remaining notes if necessary.

Another function of Squareleaf in the business setting is for group management. A manager could employ different workers for different tasks and keep tabs on each employee and what they are assigned to do. For example, if one employee is assigned to placing business calls while another is sent to work on community outreach, they can report to their boss and he or she can log what they have accomplished onto Squareleaf. In this situation, it could also be a shared whiteboard between the group members where they can each log on under a shared e-mail address and update their work as it happens.

In either case, Squareleaf is optimal for use within a business setting because it is handy for any sort of organizational purposes. Be it for punctuality, group management, or even just to separate one’s personal life from their work life, Squareleaf can easily solve any business-related problems of disorganization.

III.4. Personal Life

Not only is squareleaf good for teaching and business, it is also very helpful for anybody. Anyone can get on and use it to keep their day organized. I could be a stay at home dad and that site could help me plan out a week of meals for me and my family. It would also help me just get everything done like cleaning, mowing the yard, and picking up the kids from school. Squareleaf isn't just for the business people, its for everyone that wants help with organization. 

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IV. How is Squareleaf used Internationally?

Squareleaf was created by a web designer in the United Kingdom, meaning that in America, we are using it internationally.  According to a January 2010 post from Steve Claridge's Twitter.com account, "support for foreign text [is] coming soon."  However, since the site is written in English, it is best if the users know English.  This tool can be used anywhere there is an internet connection that can reach the Squareleaf server. The widespread accessibility is beneficial for travel, especially if you are unable to take your personal computer with you and must use public computers instead.  In a nutshell, this organization tool will always be there for you.

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V. References


The following are references that were used while compiling information about Squareleaf:

http://www.pindax.com/

http://www.listhings.com/

http://www.wallwisher.com/

Barker, P. (2010). Pindax.com - Stick Your Messages Online. Retrieved from http://www.killerstartups.com/Web-App-Tools/pindax-com-stick-your-messages-online.

Byrne. (2009). Squareleaf - Your Online Sticky Note System. Retrieved from http://www.freetech4teachers.com/2009/12/squareleaf-your-online-sticky-note.html

Claridge, S. (2010, January 16). Support for foreign text coming soon. Code finished and just testing it now. [Twitter post]. Retrieved from http://twitter.com/Squareleaves/

Claridge, S. (2009, November 9). Squareleaf: Online notes, to-do list, organiser and more. Message posted to http://www.steveify.com/get-stuff-done/squareleaf-online-notes-to-do-list-organiser-and-more/

Goldsmith, J. (2010). SQUARELEAF: Free, Online Message Board. Retrieved from http://www.detools.ca/?p=2807

O’Neill, M. (2010). Squareleaf: Post Notes On A Personal Whiteboard Online. Retrieved from http://www.makeuseof.com/dir/squareleaf-personal-whiteboard/

RogerH. (2009). Squareleaf.net - A Way To Organize Just Everything. Retrieved from http://www.killerstartups.com/Web-App-Tools/squareleaf-net-a-way-to-organize-just-everything#ixzz0lPo2LOkq

 
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6 Comments

  1. Unknown User (kneumann)

    Hey guys, I added to the "Comparison to Competitors" section of the page, so I hope that's not an issue. Anyone can change it or add to it in any way they desire, I just felt like doing some more work on the page other than the lesson plan.

    1. Unknown User (kneumann)

      ...and to a few other things.

  2. Unknown User (jheiges)

    <p>Hey everyone.  I made a few minor adjustments in the text.  All of the misspelled words, and grammatical errors should be gone now.  I also added to the How to Use section.</p>

  3. Unknown User (smit1000)

    Hey guys, Are we supposed to have anymore information up by tonight? Also, who had the screen shots? What happened to them?

    Cheers

  4. Unknown User (kneumann)

    I think George was working on the screen shots, but I'm not sure what he's done with them (except for the one on the research page).

    Thanks for fixing the errors, Justin. I kinda just went through and copied some of what was on the research page, so some of my splicing and rearranging of the text probably turned out wrong :)

  5. Unknown User (gkroes)

    Hey guys i added a back to top button, it goes to the actual top of the page, i thought this was better than going to the context part, because there is information befor that part.