Created By: Samuel Hawke, Keith Corbin, Nikki Vulpitta, Joshua Wall, Mary Michel, Danielle Wetzold, Christopher Shoults, and Mark Knight
Photo courtesy of: http://larryhendrick.com/main/wp-content/uploads/2007/09/zoho1.GIF
What are the uses of Zoho Planner? What Does it do?
What purpose does it serve?
The purpose of Zoho Planner is to allow people with internet access to plan and organize schedules.
What does Zoho Planner do?
Zoho Planner is part of Zoho office suite.The site provides an easy way to help people organize their daily lives.
What can members do?
- Create to-do lists
- Add notes and reminders
- Set up their account to receive email reminders
- Add attachments
- Add tags to make your page easily accessible
- Create multiple pages
Who uses Zoho Planner?
Anyone who wants to organize their lives through the web and email updates. It is a good tool for people on the go with internet access.
Table of Contents
To access Zoho Planner go to: http://planner.zoho.com/
Zoho Planner is only one small facet of Zoho Office Suite, which was developed by a division at AdventNet.com (http://www.adventnet.com/), a U.S.-based software company. Zoho Office Suite was originally created in 2005 as a word processor, but since then many additions have been added to the program, including Zoho Planner. "Although some applications, e.g. Zoho CRM and Zoho Projects, have additional features available for a fee, the company has stated a commitment to maintaining a free tier of entry-level applications with free registration." (1)
Zoho is one of the brands from AdventNet, a software company started in 1996 focusing on building affordable software for businesses. AdventNet has served a diverse range of enterprise IT, networking and telecom customers. "We know our customers have a choice of many vendors, and we want to earn their business and their trust by working hard for it. And having earned their business, we want to keep them happy so they will choose to do business with us again. These simple ideas have served us well, during good times and bad. AdventNet has achieved impressive growth, and has emerged as a rock-solid supplier and partner, with sound financials." (2)
Zoho Planner is a tool that can be accessed by anyone with the internet to plan and schedule. Students in a classroom can use Zoho Planner to keep track of due dates, group meetings and other important notes all in the same place. Zoho Planner, as it is with the rest of the Zoho applications, was designed to be as user-friendly as possible. The Zoho program is also free of charge. Zoho Planner could be used in place of a traditional planner providing easy access for anywhere internet is available.
Zoho Planner can be used to create a page for a task a person may need to be able to complete. Each task, or page, will contain a description, attachments a person may have uploaded, a To-Do List, appointments list, and tags that a person may have assigned to the task he or she is completing. E-mails can be sent to a person about when appointments are or when To-Do List items need to be done, kind of like a reminder... just in case. Zoho Planner can be useful when it comes to a one-stop shop for anything- tasks, meetings, or documents- that are related to some sort of project a person may be working on. Zoho Planner also offers a very good amount of flexibility because a person can choose if and when they want to receive any reminder e-mails. A person is able to easily reprioritize tasks and the design helps differentiate between major tasks and their subtasks.
Zoho Planner is a great way to bring people together to share information. Pages can be created and shared with multiple people across the internet. By using the e-mail function of Zoho Planner, pages can be quickly sent to employees, colleagues, or friends. Information can be set to read only or read and write. If you wish to give someone priveledges to adapt your page, you can send them the read and write function.
When a person uses Zoho Planner to organize a review search that is systematic, they can choose to share their systematic review page with librarians or researchers that they are working with. They will be able to see how their search process is going. Another feature of Zoho Planner is the ability to chat with other individuals who access Zoho Planner. They are able to review pages and share pages while both of you are online. Zoho Planner also has a simple syndication functionality (RSS). A person can subscribe to feeds of the pages and they will be updates if any changes occured. That could be really useful for someone who is using Zoho Planner as an organizer for a collaborative project. Just make sure that you check the feeds to see if any changes have actually occured with your project.
Here is an example of the calendar option and the sharing option that Zoho Planner offers:
I.2 How Zoho Planner Works
"Zoho Planner is a free... hosted system that allows you to create multiple pages on which you can enter your to-do's, appointments, notes, and attachments. You can tag pages with certain keywords (like the del.icio.us and Technorati tagging systems), and Zoho Planner encourages collaboration with the page sharing feature, which allows you to invite people to view your pages. This is useful if you are working on a project with other people, and you need to manage a project task list together." (6)
Zoho Planner is very easy to use, even the very first time you use it. First, set up an account with a Google e-mail address or a Yahoo! e-mail address. After logging in, you will be greeted by the home page. On the left hand column is a list of all the functions that Zoho Planner can perform. By clicking throgh the sub-menus and adding text where prompted, you will be well on your way to utilizing the full features of Zoho Planner.
Sharing information with others on Zoho Planner is as easy as clicking on the "page sharing" option. This will prompt you to add e-mail addresses of your friends. By adding them to your list, you can allow others to read and edit your page.
Adding multiple pages to your document is quite simple. Under the menu function is a title that says "My Pages." You can combine all your projects under one folder which makes managing multiple tasks simple. This is an effective way of adding all your to-do list, schedules, and calendars under one page.
Picture provided by: http://blog.circlesixdesign.com/wp-content/uploads/zoho-home-page.jpg
The Zoho Planner Home Page
To sign up for a Zoho Planner account go to this webpage: http://planner.zoho.com/login
Or check out the sample web page we have created, using this account:
Once you are logged in you can navigate the home page by clicking through the various links. You can create calendars, reminders, and to-do lists. There are numerous features to Zoho Planner that will become apparent after navigating through the test page.
1.3 Getting more out of the Application
To-Do List: This is where you'll enter specific tasks you need to accomplish. They can have optionally-assigned dates and reminders tied to them, per user preferences. They show up as a list on the Home Page and can be reordered.
Appointments: These can be meetings you need to attend or calls you need to make. They have dates assigned to them, and you can create them as multiple occurences and optionally set reminders for them.
Notes: A free-form text area to add other information that does not fit anywhere else. It recognizes a URL if you enter one. As it is a plain text area, there is not a way to put any other special formatting on your note.
Attachments: You can upload a photo, document, etc., so long as it does not exceed 10 megabytes.
Tags: This allows you to tag your page. Tags are what helps the site's search engine to find your page via key words. For example, you might enter the tags Zoho, Planner, Project, Purdue, and EDCI 270 so that other members of the Purdue community can search for your project page.
On the left hand side you'll see more options. You can list your pages, look at pages that have been shared to you or the public and see a calendar overview of your To-Do list.
Reordering lists: When you are in any list there are two options at the end, one of which is Reorder. To use this feature, click on Reorder, which will place your cursor within the listing. The list items are then able to use the drag-and-drop editing feature. This makes moving items around much easier. For example, if part of a project increases in priority, it can be moved higher up on the list.
Reminder emails: Although there are no audio reminders, if you set up an optional reminder for an Appointment or To-Do item, you receive an email from Zoho at your e-mail address. The email comes from firstname.lastname@example.org, and is harmless enough that it can make it past standard e-mail junk filters without an issue.
Email items: Zoho Planner's page has an associated email address, to which you can email items. There is no record of where the information came from, but if you have your page's accessibility/security set up properly, there shouldn't be any concerns over who is posting information.
II. How Zoho Planner Relates to Other Applications
II.1 +Comparison to Competitors+
Zoho Planner has similarities to many other organizational tools. It is also compatible with multiple other programs!
Google Calendar, 30 Boxes, iCal, and Hyper Office calendar systems are several of the programs that are available. Using these in much the same way as Zoho Planner, you can add birthdays, events, and other plans in a calendar format.
Hyper Office Calendar
II.2 Unique Uses
Zoho Planner is unique even though it shares several similarities with the other applications. Zoho Planner is task based, and does not rely heavily on the agenda. While the agenda is an important part of Zoho Planner, the creators emphasized personal tasks and lists. Zoho Planner is great for anyone who needs to write something down quickly and come back to it later.
Zoho Planner is much more than an online planner. Access the many other amazing features of the technology and you will begin to unwravel all it has to offer. To-do lists, web sharing, and calendars are just the beginning of Zoho Planner. Also, Zoho Planner is 100% free. This is a great benefit of Zoho Planner which is unlike some of the other applications. Many applications charge a fee to use.
You can integrate your lists and reminders in Zoho Planner with programs that support iCal (this would include popular online calendars such as 30 Boxes and Google Calendar). At this point in time, synchronization with Microsoft Outlook is not possible. According to Thane Chambers, the downfall of Zoho Planner: "Figuring out how to integrate Zoho Planner with other online calendars is not simple for someone who has never done it before. Hopefully, the help features of Zoho Planner will be improved in the future.
"Although you can organize yourself with a pencil and paper, the Zoho Planner is for those who "[live their] lives on the web and those who like having a central place to keep track of projects with contextual information, Zoho Planner is definitely a tool worth trying out," said Chambers. (10)
Recap this information and more at the following: http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=2568843
Check out what a Zoho fan had to say: http://ioannusdeverani.wordpress.com/2006/08/28/online-organisation-software-zoho-planner-vs-google-notebook/
Miriam Schwab gave a brief rundown of a few unique features that Zoho Planner contains. "You can tag pages with certain keywords (like thedel.icio.usandTechnoratitagging systems), and Zoho Planner encourages collaboration with the page sharing feature, which allows you to invite people to view your pages. This is useful if you are working on a project with other people, and you need to manage a project task list together. There you can see all your to do's, both open and completed, and you can choose to view them according to their urgency: Overdue, Today, Today + Overdue, Tomorrow, Next 7 Days, All Open." (3)
Image of typical use of Zoho Planner:
III. Real World Application
III.1 Educational Lesson Plans
Grades 1 and 2
Grade Level - 3rd - 5th
Business and Industry Lesson Plans
IV. Demonstration of Educational Value
Zoho Planner has a lot of educational value potential. It is an online planner that can help anyone organize their days, weeks, and months according to what information they provide. Zoho Planner can facilitate communication and collaboration with colleagues. Your Zoho Planner pages can be shared with the public through the online world. You can also choose to share your pages with certain colleagues by submitting each of their e-mail addresses, although your colleagues will also need to sign up for an account with Zoho Planner for them to see your pages. You may also choose whether or not you want your colleagues to be able to read your pages only or be able to read and write on your pages. You are allowed to check the box next to which ever option would best suit your colleagues.
There are many features to Zoho Planner. For example, to organize a systematic review search, you are able to choose to share your review page with researchers or librarians with whom you are working so they are able to see how your search process is unfolding. Another feature is the fact that you are able to chat with other Zoho Planner users. In order to be able to chat with other Zoho Planner users, you have to be friends with them first. You have to both be signed in to be able to chat, and while you are reviewing each other's pages, you can talk about the pages that you have shared with each other while chatting instead of e-mailing or calling them on the phone. Another neat feature about Zoho Planner is that it has a simple syndication functionality (RSS). You are able to subscribe to the feed of a particular page and it can be updated if any changes occur there. This would be useful if you are organizing a collaborative project. Just make sure that you are checking your feeds to see if there is anything new that has occurred with your project.
Zoho Planner can add educational value for the students by having teachers make up one login and password for the whole class so that all of the students can check to see when tests are, field trips, etc. Students can also put on some dates that would be important for all of the students if the class was going to have a review session for a subject. It can be a great way for students to start becoming more responsible for their work to make sure that they turn in homework on time and to make sure that they know when their tests are.
Zoho Planner would also be great if a teacher had their own planner for when they are teaching more than one class. It can get kind of confusing when you are teaching more than one class with tests, homework assignments, etc. They could color code each of the different classes and keep them all in one planner so that they can make sure nothing overlaps. The last thing a teacher needs to have happen is something overlapping something else! If something does overlap, it can be easily fixed by the teacher changing the date. It is a lot easier to see everything all together in one big calendar than on different calendars to take away the confusion.
Zoho Planner can have some educational value on the student's end. Students can make their own planner so that they have a calendar of all of their events. They can put homework assignments, tests, quizzes, field trips, sports, extracurricular activities, etc., on their planner, which would be a great organizer for them so they can see a layout of all their activities for the day, week, or month, and they can plan various activities around that. It would help with their organizational skills and developing responsibility by making sure everything gets turned in on time and that they get all of their work done. Zoho Planner would almost be like and assignment notebook for them, except that they wouldn't have to write anything down. Students can also send e-mail reminders to themselves as well as their parents, especially if it is a sporting event that they can't drive to. If they let them, their parents can write back a message if necessary.
I can see where this planner would help an educator follow along with the primary lesson plan for a given course or courses. In the event that a lesson was completed sooner or later than expected, the planner could be an aide in tracking current progress for each course, aiding in organization from class to class, especially in a secondary-level school where different classes have differing needs.I could also see it being used to store meeting plans for faculty/staff/parents that may be added to a school day without the need of a sepearate calendar such as Outlook. Having everything on one page is definitely an educational convenience.
A teacher known as Mr. Byrnes discussed Zoho Planner in a blog and had this to say about his use of Zoho Planner at the high school level: "In my five years of teaching high school freshmen (I teach juniors and seniors now) the most common theme of the conversations I had with students and parents struggling in their transition to high school was personal organization. I'm not revealing a secret by saying that a common reason why students struggle to adjust to high school is that for many students it is the first time that they really have to manage the due dates of their assignments and commitments." (8)
Students are not relying on old methods of planning in today's technology age. They are using newer, more advanced methods of planning out their day and assignments. That is exactly what Zoho Planner offers.
Mr. Byrnes continued by saying, "In the past a common "solution" would be to have the student carry an assignment notebook which he or she would show to his or her teacher and his or her parents. No longer is that the only solution. Today's students and parents have a myriad of free online tools to track assignment due dates and other academically significant dates." (9)
Byrnes makes a great point because students are able to put everything on Zoho Planner and coordinate their schedules and daily activities all in one useful organizer.
At higher levels, students are able to work together and send schedules through the space of the internet. They can coordinate actions and assignments and it can be an excellent sharing tool. "Zoho Planner facilitates communication and collaboration with colleagues. Your pages can be shared with the online world by making them public, or you can choose to share them with particular colleagues by submitting their email address. Colleagues need to sign up for an account with Zoho Planner to see these pages." (10)
This might be useful in helping teachers who have the student later in the day, or even the principal, to be aware of the situation. Teachers, administrators, and students can all work together to share information. Zoho Planner can be a powerful instructional and planning tool in the educational realm.
Teachers: Many teachers could use Zoho to organize themselves. From elementary school teacher to college professors, there is no reason why Zoho couldn't help a teacher. It could help them organize their lesson plans and meetings for school. Not only could it be used for their school planning, but also be a place to balance their duties and obligations in their personal lives as well.
Students: Students would benefit from using Zoho. Oftentimes students on a college level can be very busy. Trying to balance school work, projects, clubs, and time to eat and sleep may be challenging. Using Zoho can allow for students to be easily reminded of their appointments, birthday reminders, and many other non-everyday events. This program could be used by students not only on a college level, but on a high school level as well. Many of these students are under tremendous pressure in schooling, sports, college applications/scholarships and miscellaneous to-do lists. Using Zoho is a good way for them to get themselves organized which will be essential for their futures.
V. International Uses
Since Zoho Planner is part of the new wave of Web 2.0 programs, it can be accessed anywhere in the world. Zoho Planner (as well as the rest of the Zoho Office Suite) can be used in multiple languages, including Japanese, German, Chinese, Norwegian, and Swedish. Some Zoho applications are also available in up to 30 languages, and plans are to incorporate these additional languages across all of the Zoho applications.
Zoho Planner has begun to go world-wide along with many other 2.0 technologies. The accessibility of these applications are becoming more and more widespread with the option of multiple languages. India has become one of the premier international partners of Zoho products including Zoho Planner. (7)
Since Zoho Planner can be shared with various other people and groups, this means it can be shared across the entire globe via the internet. Businesses and individuals alike can access their personal information anywhere in the world with Zoho Planner. People in England or Japan or Germany can all view and share their to-do lists in their own native language. Zoho Planner, with its to-do lists and appointment alerts, has an easy layout, even in different languages. Its simple format allows all Zoho users to effectively utilize all the little nuances.