Posts Tagged “information management”

Turn Your Dust Collecting Strategic Plan Into An Info-graphic

 
For most organizations strategic planning is an annual event. It is an excellent way to review and reflect on the past year, to be reminded of your mission and vision, and to plan for the year ahead.
 
We spend at least one full day at the end of each year conducting a strategic planning exercise, I always find them so valuable.This year however, when I opened up 2017’s plan, I realized it was the first time the document had been opened all year. 2017 was a great year, but I didn’t attend to all of the priorities that had been set out.
 
The problem with strategic planning is you end up with a hefty document that gets stored away for a year. So this year, I decided to take matters into my own hands and I turned that 20 page document into a one-page info-graphic.
 
The info-graphic highlights key words, is in a shape that is meaningful to this year’s purpose, and is posted in a very prominent place. Last year I reviewed the strategic plan once at the end of the year. This year, I look at it constantly. It has made a significant difference to the focus of our work.
 
If you are interested in turning your strategic plan into an info-graphic that gets attention, here are some key steps to take:

 

  1. Identify the different sections of your plan.
  2. Highlight key words from each section.
  3. Consider actions you would attribute to those keywords.
  4. Place those keywords in a way that gives them context.
  5. Put pen (or marker, crayon, or pencil crayon) to paper.
  6. Once you have a one-page document, go back to the strategic plan to check that all of the priorities and goals have been captured in the one page diagram.

 
If you want some (free) feedback on what your strategic plan could look like as a diagram, just let us know. It may just help focus your work.

Keep Up With All The Online Reading You Want To Do With This Simple Action

 
How we keep up with all of the information that gets sent our way?
 
Keeping up with everything you want to read is an insurmountable task. And so it should be, the more you read, the more you’re interested in.
 
How can you manage it all? When it comes to information being sent to you there are a few ways you can take control.
 
Put everything you are interested in reading into a folder titled “Stuff I Want To Read”. When you have time to read, you can go straight to that folder.
 
The purpose of this folder is to gather all similar documents in one spot so when it is time to attend to those documents, there already gathered, you do not need to waste time searching for them or getting distracted by other things.
 
Creating folders can be done with three media platforms, email, websites, and Facebook.
 

  • Email: Make a folder along with all of the other folders.
  • Websites: Each web browser has a bookmark area. Within the bookmark you can make and manage folders. For most web browsers this means just opening up the bookmark column, and right clicking. You can drag and drop webpages in and out as you find them and read them.
    • Pocket: An additional feature to consider here is a ‘read-it-later’ service like Pocket. This service works with your web browser. Instead of hitting the Bookmark button, you hit the Pocket button. The webpage will be saved there, and will be available across all of your devices.
  • Facebook: On the top right side of each post there is an option to save the post. This allows you to go back to the post at a more convenient time

 
Creating a distinct folder will prevent you from getting distracted by all of the other content, like emails, news feeds, or websites.

Seven Steps to Reclaiming Your Desktop

 
Cluttered Desk
A few weeks back we wrote about de-cluttering your email’s inbox. Today we’ll tackle your desktop.
 
Your digital desktop is like your physical desktop. A screen filled with file icons is like a desk with massive piles of paper. The main issue with disorganization like this, is not being able to use the information that you’ve already created. If you are funded by grants, for example, there are times when you are called upon to provide data and collecting it takes time. Or, if you want to apply for a grant or an award, you will need to support your application. Curating your own information should not be a timely or overwhelming task.
 
Clutter, both digitally and physically, can cause an ambiguity effect. That is, when something seems ambiguous, we avoid it.
 
How do you know your information is cluttered? Because you:

  • Can’t find stuff
  • Can’t understand it even when you do find it
  • Stuff is stored in scattered locations
  • Poor memory of what you have and where it is
  • Low level of compliance with policies or laws (highly relevant if you are incorporated or a registered charity)
  • Can’t bring together the complete story of an issues, project, or event.

 
Here are seven steps to clear desktop clutter:

  1. Start by identifying the different themes or functions of your work.
  2. Each function needs its own folder.
  3. Within each folder are sub-folders and files.
  4. Everything that has to do with that function must be housed within the corresponding folder.
  5. Title all folders and files a name that describes what it contains.
  6. Each folder must be mutually exclusive –that means only contain information about one thing, it must be exclusive from the other folders. And each folder must be collectively exhausted –that means everything must have a place. (It is so much easier to put things away when you know where they go).
  7. Start dragging and dropping.

 
The digital filing system needs to mirror the paper filing system and email.

Six Reasons For A Content Audit Of Your Nonprofit’s Website


 
Content audits are a way of excel-ifying your website. With the help of a worksheet, all webpages, titles, descriptions, links to other pages, tags, and images are catalogued and recorded.
 
The purpose of a content audit is to track of the metadata of your website. So if you, for example, take down a page, you can easily find what other pages link to that one. Content audits allow you to ensure the information on the website is relevant and up-to-date, and any stale content is easily identified and and removed.
 
Marketing managers, communicators, and SEO experts all have their own reasons for conducting a content audit. For the nonprofit information manager, a content audit allows for analysis and management of the content of your website, which is the digital version of your organization.
 
Here are six reasons why content audits are an excellent idea:

 

  1. You won’t lose track of what is published online. As your organization develops over time, priorities and focus shift. Content audits ensure your website stays accurate and reflective of the organization.It ensures a solid mental model.
  2. A mental model is a spatial map, it’s your vision of the flow of the website or the path a visitor will take to go through the website. Auditing the content of your website ensures the user’s experience is what you want it to be.
  3. Know what is there. Organizations get called upon to show what they know and do regularly –for grants, awards, audits, stakeholders, etc. Rather than rewriting and recreating each time, a content audit allows you to quickly and easily find what has already been done.
  4. At a glance you will be able to conduct an evaluation of your website. That means that regularly, say monthly, you will be able to see what is on your website and evaluate its purpose and relevance.
  5. People normally visit websites to find information. Negative feedback of your website will most likely be about this. A content audit allows for an analysis and constant improvement of the information flow.
  6. Improved Search Engine Optimization. All SEO efforts require an analysis of the content of your website.

 
If you want to get started, here is a great template published by 4Syllables, <http://4syllables.com.au/resources/content-audit-template/>

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