Assembling your digital toolkit: Nailing down your device essentials
By: Maggie Selner
If you’re familiar with Find Your Power, you’ll know how much we prioritize effective use of digital resources. While we work towards implementing inclusive, relevant, and accessible technology into our community, we want to share some basic resources for you to add to your digital toolkit. Remember, information access+digital literacy=personal freedom and gender equity!
Communication: Perhaps the most impactful aspect of technology is that it enables us to communicate with anyone, anywhere, anytime. Not only is this essential for professional endeavors, but it ensures we are able to communicate with our loved ones who may be separated by time and space. Since one of FYP’s goals is to equip immigrants with relevant resources, we believe that effective communication with those from their native countries is a valuable part of their transition experience. With that in mind, here are a few must haves for communication purposes for your life at home and the workplace:
Dropbox: Optimizing user friendly cloud sharing solutions, Dropbox is a staple for communication and storage. You can manage shared files, upload content, and conduct searches. For use on a work force team, integrate with your intranet solution where members can insert their content into a team workspace.
Google Drive: As one of the most versatile platforms, Google Drive earns its popularity by enabling users to store and share files, synchronize files across devices in real-time, and edit documents, spreadsheets, presentations, drawings, and more. Several apps exist under the Google umbrella, including Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides. Offline options are available for Windows and macOS computers, and Android and iOS devices. Businesses can optimize Google Drive and its apps through G Suite, a monthly subscription including unlimited storage, enhanced file audit records and upgraded admin controls.
Skype: One of the most common telecommunication platforms, Skype offers fast connection with other users from around the globe. Select from individual or group calls and videos on a computer or mobile device; this even includes PC, Xbox, and Alexa. It’s free to use for messages, calls, and videos, and can gather up to 50 people. Skype is definitely a must-have for communicating with other employees, workers, and loved ones, whether close by or far away.
WhatsApp: Similar to Skype but unique to its own, WhatsApp enables users to send text messages, voice messages, make voice and video calls, upload and share images, documents, locations, and more. It operates on mobile devices or Windows and Mac computers while connected to the Internet. You can also sync conversations to any device. In addition to personal communication, WhatsApp also launched an app specifically for businesses to securely interact with clients and other business owners.
Slack: Short for Log of All Conversation and Knowledge, Slack is an important platform for businesses to interact and share information with other team members. Its features include chat rooms organized and searchable by topic, public and private groups, and workspaces. You can integrate Slack into a number of third-party programs, including Google Drive, Trello, Dropbox, Box, Crashlytics, Bluemix, Zendesk, GitHub, and more.
Marketing Services: If you’re working towards building a brand or developing a business plan, having an email marketing service is a necessity. Here are some reliable email marketing services that will kickstart and maintain organization in your business.
Mailchimp: Geared towards customized marketing and connectivity, Mailchimp is a reliable and user friendly tool for your personal or professional brand. After creating a free account, you will be able to organize your audience outreach strategy, make sign up pages, email campaigns, digital ads, postcards, and more; all while using a design studio that allows you to customize your work. If you’re new to the email marketing game, Mailchimp offers a “Mailchimp 101” course, in addition to other tips, guides, and tutorials. Find Your Power can attest to Mailchimp’s effective outreach and design; we use it for our email campaigns and love it!
Constant Contact: Growing rapidly in popularity, Constant Contact is a user friendly email marketing service that encompasses all your needs. Features include tracking and reporting email lists, contacts, email templates, marketing calendars, image libraries, Facebook ads, social media sharing tools, and more. Additionally, online training is provided for small businesses to learn skills in email marketing and apply it to their individual plan. More advanced options are available for Email Plus accounts, including email automation, surveys and polls, and online donations.
Drip: Used for a wide variety of marketing strategies, Drip offers innovative tools for marketing automation. You can integrate the program into other common website builders including WordPress and WooCommerce, which prompts additional leads for your website. Drip is known for its user friendly features and support options through webinars, automation training, free courses, guides, and documentation.
Project Planning: Having a project planning software is a must-have for a well organized lifestyle, both personally and professionally. With a good project management software, you can assign tasks, set deadlines, establish a communication feed, and most importantly, ensure individual and team productivity. So whether you’re looking to collaborate with a team, or make a meal plan for the week, here are some popular services for your projects:
Trello: With Trello, you can collect tasks into lists and arrange as needed while viewing the entire day. You can also add comments, upload content, create checklists, and set labels and due dates. It updates in real-time, and will sync with any and all of your devices. You can use your free Trello account for yourself, or add an unlimited number of teams to connect and work with.
Basecamp: With Basecamp, you won’t have to worry about digging through your inbox for old information from a colleague. Basecamp keeps all your communication organized by topic. Schedules are accessible to the whole team and due dates, reminders, and change notifications can be set. All projects include a space for content to be uploaded, and can be linked to your Google Docs account for easy content transfers. Once you establish the basics, you can get creative with your organization by color coding and ordering projects as you see fit.