Category: Information

Category about information, informing, or being informed

Curated Resources

This Thursday, February 25th is Digital Learning day. While the digital world has presented many new ways to facilitate learning, there are many aspects of the digital world that can inhibit learning. One aspect we frequently come up against is wading through endless streams of information that isn’t quite what we’re looking for.

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Storing, Retaining, and Deleting Files

Should it stay or should it go?

Over the past few weeks, we’ve looked at the management of files. We’ve looked at how to organize them and what to label them. Now let’s turn to storing them.

A record is a file, photo, video, -anything that captures information. Sometimes they matter and sometimes they don’t. Knowing what to keep is an important part of a well-organized filing system, which is essential for not duplicating work, improving organizational memory, organizational knowledge, and being able to tell the complete story of a project, event, program, or system. 

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Miscellaneous is not a category

Last week’s blog outlined six steps to organizing a desktop. The steps begin by identifying the different themes of your work. Each theme is a category. When each category has been identified, two things must be true.

  1. Each category must be mutually exclusive. That means it only contains the information about one subject. It must be exclusive from the themes of other folders.
  2. Each category must be collectively exhausted. That means that every file belongs somewhere. If there is a file that doesn’t seem to belong anywhere, then there are not enough categories.
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The Ambiguity Effect

When something is ambiguous, we avoid it. Things that are hard to tackle seem overwhelming. This can be true in life with the big decisions and the small tasks. It can also be true of your desktop and inbox.

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Planning through a Pandemic

2020 is a different kind of year, and that takes a different kind of planning.

In the past ten years, I have had a lot of simultaneous priorities. Getting derailed and having to switch gears drastically seems to be my only constant. Back in March, I felt almost prepared for that massive upheaval we all went through.

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Is Work From Home Invading Your Living From Home?

Balancing the benefits and drawbacks of working from home is tricky. One drawback is the clutter of work is still visible once you’ve ‘left the office’. Clearing your office situation at the end of each workday is an important action in switching work off.

But where do you put the documents generated throughout the day? The solution to clearing work clutter does not necessarily require an elaborate filing system that mimics the one in the office. It is enough to have just one folder.

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Four steps to a clutter-free inbox

 

Your inbox is like your desk. How big is the pile of paper?
Is your inbox a dumping ground for any inbound communication? Here are 4 steps to take control right now.

 
Your inbox and desktop are the digital versions of your physical desk. An inbox with hundreds (or dare I say, thousands) of emails is like a desk with a massive pile of paper. You may know what is in that pile, you may be able to find something if need be, but it would take a lot of time. You also don’t know exactly what is in there, so if the pile was destroyed, you would not know what you do not know. Managing your email is an essential part of managing your information. Here are four steps to a clutter-free inbox:
 

    1. Your inbox should be seen as a to-do list. If a message is in the inbox that means it has yet to be dealt with. Once an email has been dealt with, it needs to be filed, to be saved, or deleted. Email software allows you to manage this easily. Make folders, with sub-folders, and move the messages. (Tip: mirror your email folders to your documents folders.)
    2. To avoid a plethora of emails you need to be ruthless with what you accept. If you receive a newsletter that you do not want or read, unsubscribe. If a message is junkmail, don’t just delete it; put it in the junkmail box. Your email software will learn what is junk and will do it automatically. Receive messages from your favourite retail store for big discount day announcements? If you feel unsubscribing is too final, mark it as junk. You’ll still receive the messages, but they won’t crowd your inbox.
    3. If you receive newsletters or links to articles that you actually do want to read, but not right now, create a folder called ‘Stuff I Want To Read’ and move the emails there. Then, when you have time, you can go straight to that folder without getting distracted by other messages in your inbox (a.k.a. to-do list).
    4. If you have a lot of messages, create one folder called ‘Before Today’ and move all the messages there. Top to bottom. You can deal with them, or not. Either way your inbox is clear to get started.

 
Start with step four, then steps one and three. Step two will be ongoing.

Information Management Webinar

Information Management: The flow of information in a group or organization can overwhelm the best of us; it can clutter a cause, muddle a mind, and waste endless amounts of time. This webinar will explore how to manage key information hubs like email, online information sources, and digital and hard copy documents. You will be able to establish a system for information that flows in and out in a useable and retrievable way that prevents the loss of information, reduces redundancy, and supports good decision making.

The following presentation is made available in the Prezi video below.
 
Once you press the play arrow at the bottom left corner, the presentation will begin.
 
You can move along at your own pace by using the forward or back arrows. Each slide has an audio narration. Use the button at the bottom, right hand corner of the video to toggle to a full screen.
 

Great Software Solution for Creating Graphics

A great, useful image-creating solution for communicators

One of my favourite aspects of being a nonprofit professional is how uncomplicated some things can be to accomplish. If I have an idea, and the desire to see the idea to fruition, it can be done. It is not necessary for meetings, belabouring bureaucractic processes, and permission from numerous departments. For example, I don’t need a marketing expert to communicate with stakeholders. However, sometimes it would be great to have a marketing expert to communicate with stakeholders.
 
If you need to execute a task professionally, which is outside of your skill set, having the right software solution can be your best colleague.
 
So, for nonprofit professionals who need to communicate well, allow me introduce you to Canva, < https://www.canva.com/ >. It is a web-based software solution that allows users to create professional looking graphics, with ease. Canva can be used to create an image, alter an existing image, or give a bit of spice to otherwise plain text. My favourite feature of Canva is the pre-formatted sizes. It is not necessary for you to know the exact size of the graphic you want to make; you can simply select what it’s for -documents, digital marketing material, or social media headers and posts. And best of all, it’s free!

The Cost of Employee Transition

I read an article last week about someone, describing herself as “typical millennial,” has had seven jobs Information Managementin seven years. If this much transition is typical, imagine how much time and information gets lost between employees? With each new employee, organizations spend time, (and therefore money) getting them up to speed; and as each former employee leaves, with them goes organizational information that is captured nowhere else but in their head. For many small organizations this is a huge hurdle, and to go through it constantly can be a significant expenditure. By managing your organization’s information you can mitigate the loss of time, money, and information.
 
Here’s a great article to help you get started: Six Steps To Managing Your Organization’s Information
 
Just imagine, a work system that allows all of its users to find and access what they need easily and quickly, no matter how long they have been employed with you!