Our presenter was Neil Linscheid, an Educator of Community Economics with the Center for Community Vitality, University of Minnesota Extension. The topic was Online Collaborative Tools. With only an hour to spare, we decided to focus on Google Tools. 13 members attended, BenLee’s coffee was hot, caramel rolls were yummy!
Administrative tasks tend to bog down even the simplest task or project. Neil provided great examples of how Online Collaborative Tools can automate our daily routine. By removing layers and barriers, you can become more effective and efficient. Here are some examples:
- Instead of each employee submitting a timesheet that then needs to pass through data entry, setup a Google Form that will feed the data directly into an Excel Spreadsheet.
- Rather than project members creating individual proposals or reports which would then need to be repeatedly reviewed, discussed and compiled… create a Google Document which all members can access from anywhere and edit/contribute interactively.
- Worried about what customers are saying about your business and services? Looking for information your customers would find valuable? Searching for industry news? Setup Google Alerts using words or phrases relevant to your needs. You’ll receive notices each time that word or phrase is used online!
These are just a few examples of the power Online Collaborative Tools provide. To see all Google Tools, go to the Google Tools Products page. Looking for alternatives, check out Zoho’s Docs For Businesses page.
So what next? Where do I go and how do I get start?
Neil was kind enough to post his notes on the U of M Extension Website with easy access. Go to: https://sites.google.com/a/umn.edu/googletools/ According to Neil, ‘the best thing to do is just start clicking on the tools. Play with them and see what works for you.’
If you get stuck and/or have a question, post it on the Social Media Breakfast Rural Connection FB page. We’ll do our best to get you an answer or point you in the right direction.
It’s never to late to join the SMBRC! Hope to see you soon. …and don’t forget to bring a friend!
MVTV Wireless is proud to be one of the original SMBRC sponsors!MVTV Wireless ‘Connecting Rural Minnesota’ FaceBook