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:
Here are seven steps to clear desktop clutter:
The digital filing system needs to mirror the paper filing system and email.
When I am very busy, I tackle work by cleaning up my desk, and then making a list of what I must get done. Starting by organizing allows me to clear clutter; not just physically, but mentally as well. It becomes much easier to see work and priorities clearly. This is the basic principle behind information management. When information is organized, it can be presented in a way that facilitates learning, comprehension, and decision making. When information is saved haphazardly, either in hard or soft copy, it doesn’t get used. Disorganized documents cause work to be duplicated and time to be wasted.
Adopting an easy to use information management system will help avoid over-retention, clutter, and prevent duplication and time spent searching for information.
Here are 5 steps to get started:
For the past few months I have been working on a lengthy search engine optimization (SEO) project and as an information guru, it has been truly fascinating!
The job of a search engine is to respond to a user’s query with a list of best and most appropriate websites. Search engines evaluate websites based on certain criteria such as content, URLs, headings, site speed, responsiveness, and history. For a website to be viewed favourably by a search engine, its data needs to be kept clean, tidy, and well organized. Each page, post, or image must be categorized and labelled properly. Anything stale, outdated, or unused must be removed. An SEO checklist for website is enormous, but it reflects the best practices for managing information.
Here are a few tips to both manage your websites information and optimize search engines:
SEO, like information management, is an ongoing process, they both require regular maintenance, and nothing should be categorized as ‘miscellaneous’.
If you are interested in learning more about SEO or managing information, contact me and I will send you some great resources!
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!
I read an article last week about someone, describing herself as “typical millennial,” has had seven jobs in 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!
If you are responsible for being an expert about a specific topic it is very important to stay informed on that topic. How do you do that? You can curate information using Google Alerts. By using this feature you will receive a message when content you have tagged as important is published online.
Catch all important updates using Google Alerts. Use your existing Google account or sign up for a new one, (you can learn about their policies here). Go to www.google.ca/alerts <https://www.google.ca/alerts>.
Create an alert using any relevant words including names of people. You can use Boolean operators as well. For example, if you want to receive an alert for the word “information”, “inform”, “informed”, or “informing” you can enter “inform*” the asterisk captures all words that start with those letters.
Set delivery time: This is a handy way to manage the emails. Rather than getting a message whenever content is published, you can have one message sent with a list of each piece of content. You can also set the time you want to receive the content.
Digest: Receive all alerts in a single email. (This will abbreviate the list, you may miss content)
Flag as irrelevant: If you need to search a word like “senior” you will receive alerts for a number of different uses for that word, for example both elderly people and people in their last year of US high school. Use the flag as irrelevant option to customize your alert.
Information is being put online at a dramatic pace. According to IBM, 90% of the data in the world has been added in just the past two year alone! People who could not previously access information now can. And because of this, each person’s ability to learn, communicate, and share information has been drastically changed. Barriers no longer exist where they previously did. In 2011, the United Nations declared the internet a human right. It is a human right because it enables other human rights. The internet allows people to access information about work, education, healthcare, housing, and other social services and necessities. It facilitates abilities.
A disability is any experience that puts a barrier between what a person wants to do and what a person can do. It is possible to be disabled in one situation and not another. The online world presents opportunities to tear down barriers. As creators of online content we are responsible to ensure web-based barriers are mitigated.
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international community that works as a leader for web discourse. The W3C is committed to ensuring and advancing web accessibility. To do so, the W3C established the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). These guidelines are divided into three areas, designing, writing, and developing. By following their guidelines your website participates in an online community committed to benefiting everyone regardless of their physical, mental, or social ability.
If you think people with disabilities don’t visit your website reconsider what you think a disability is, who it affects, and what kind of benefits we’d all gain if everyone could fully participate in our online community. Web accessibility is not just about seeing content and moving a mouse. It also involves understanding and interacting with content, knowing and responding to web based jargon, searching and browsing, and moving through the architecture of websites.
Here’s a list of 12 items for designing an accessible website:
Our (free) services include:
Getting involved is easy.
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Coming Soon! We’re building a Service Review section on our website which will allow you to find third party contractors and vendors by using keywords or by browsing through categories. AND, you’ll also be able to read reviews and ratings posted by their previous clients, your industry colleagues. So, before you spend what little money your budget has or take a proposal to the Board, you can check what your colleagues in the industry recommend!
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