By: Steena Hymes, Program Coordinator
I don’t know about you, but I love discovering something new that can make my work – and life – easier! At Association Services Group, we’ve created a collaborative working environment and one of the benefits is the sharing of resources and helpful tips! We are always cluing each other into a new tool or program that we think can better our processes or can benefit our clients. With the help of my colleagues, I have gathered a list of websites, apps, and other resources that we love!
Slack: Most of our work is done via email and when so many individuals are involved in multiple projects, it’s easy to let important messages or updates get lost in the shuffle of the dozens of other emails that come in. Slack serves as an integrative messaging service keeping you on top of all of the latest updates on a project or conversation. Think of Slack as a glorified chatroom – minus the trolling (and yes, there are even fun avatars and emojis)! Slack connects people, calendars and conversations all in an organized “channel” where it’s nearly impossible to miss the latest updates from your team. Users can create channels and invite specific people. For example, one of our clients utilizes a channel for our monthly newsletter team and another channel for our Board of Directors. Team members chat with each other regarding latest updates, ideas, suggestions, to-do’s, etc. and Slack incorporates our calendar to send the whole team reminders of items due. Slack allows the ability to upload documents, photos and more! Plus, you don’t have to worry about following along a confusing chain of emails or trying to track multiple responses. You will always be responding to the latest conversation with the latest information. Slack works great for groups with multiple committees and project teams. Users can create multiple channels to avoid confusing cross-referencing. As an added bonus – Slack is now mobile so updates come straight to your phone much like a text message! And best of all – the base service is FREE and the premium services are incredibly affordable!
Boomerang: While Slack is a great communication tool, it can’t completely replace email. If you are someone who can get bogged down by an influx of emails a day, Boomerang is a great tool to help organize, prioritize and respond to emails more efficiently. This app connects to your email account to tailor your inbox according to your needs. It allows the snoozing of emails with low priority and keep the important emails at the top of your inbox. Those lower priority emails will reappear at the top of your inbox after the allotted time you set, whether its 1 day, 4 days or even 2 weeks. Boomerang also helps you write better emails! It checks your content for readability, length, tone, etc. – it’s basically an editor for your emails! Need to send an email in the afternoon but won’t have access to your email at that time? Boomerang schedules emails to be sent so you don’t have to worry about hitting the send button too early or too late. You draft the email and boomerang will take care of the rest! Boomerang offers a wide range of services including reminders, tracking, notes, recurring messages and more!
Easy Map Maker: Any association knows that connecting membership is huge for growth and collaboration! For associations with group or corporate membership, Easy Map Maker is a great tool to integrate a membership map on your website. You simply input member information such as name, location, contact info or keywords into an excel spreadsheet. Just upload your excel spreadsheet and Easy Map Maker turns it into an interactive map to help your members – and potential members – connect to one another! You can customize your map with specific pins and markers as it relates to your association. You can also create groups and filters for easier searches.
My Tiny Scanner: Here is a solution you probably didn’t even know you needed! A scanner in your back pocket! Have you been in a situation where an important document needed signed or edited and emailed back under a tight deadline and you are nowhere near a scanner or fax machine? Well My Tiny Scanner allows you to “scan” a document using your phone camera, turn it into a high quality PDF and upload it as a document into your phone and email it to your recipients. Simply take a picture of the document you are needing to scan and send it along! This app is great for when you are out of the office or on the road! And it’s free in your app store!
Honorable Mentions: There are dozens of other resources for you to check out, but here are a few we have found helpful:
- MAPS.ME is an all in one locator for any services you could probably think of. We can travel quite a bit for this job and getting your bearings in a new place can be a challenge. MAPS.ME is there to help you find whatever you are looking for: a bank, bus station, shops, medical offices, parks, hotels – anything!
- While you’re traveling, check out TripIt, your travel itinerary all in one place. TripIt takes all of your confirmation emails regarding flights, hotels, meetings, or appointments and organizes them into a master itinerary to keep you on schedule and keep important plans all in one place! Access the itinerary from any device and share with others as needed!
- For those of us with little to no graphic design or photography experience, websites like Wordswag, EVERYPIXEL, and Canva are making is easy to create social media or marketing pieces without the expensive price tag of hiring a professional!