Sarah Gazi, CAE
Three Free Tech Solutions to Make the Lives of Association Staff Just a Little Easier
Association staff are jugglers, multi-taskers, and in my eyes, everyday superheroes. The number of balls in the air can sometimes be overwhelming. When I find a technology option that can make an everyday task just a bit easier, it brings me joy. Now there is a lot of technology out there that associations need (AMS, ARS, and I’m sure many more with acronyms), but I am just going to focus on the tools that I use daily or almost daily. Some tools you may already be using, but if I can help just one person’s life be a just a little easier, then I have accomplished what I set out to do.
Doodle I use Doodle more than any person probably should. If you need to coordinate the best time for your Board or committees to meet but don’t have access to everyone’s calendar, then this tool is for you. Sure, you could do things the old-fashioned way and fill your inbox with countless emails that you have to sort through, but it isn’t necessary. Doodle can help simplify the process of collecting dates and times that work best for a large group of people. Just throw out a bunch of dates and times, send them the link, and see what day/time works best for everyone. You can also collect poll responses from a large group of people. So again, avoid the inbox clutter: if you have a Board dinner and want to know who is coming, just send a Doodle. There are so many uses. Oh, and it is free (upgraded plans available).
I know many people are using Canva already but if you don’t have in-house design staff, you should be. I use it multiple times a day to create presentations that can be exported to PowerPoint, posts for social media, event ads, and even videos and event programs. There are so many uses for Canva, and they add new functions all the time. With how easy Canva is to use, everything I create just looks better and I don’t need to use my marketing department for every little thing. Canva is also free (upgraded plans available).
I am a list person, so Trello is a no brainer for me. Trello allows you to create a Kanban board to help you manage your projects in a visual way. My Trello board is open on my desktop all day so I can see what has to get done, what is in progress, etc. It is easy to customize a system that works for you. Mine of course is all sorts of color-coded and pretty. You can have multiple boards going at one time even, but that is entirely up to what you want to use it for or need it for. You can also invite others to your Workspaces and boards for more collaborative uses. Trello is also free (upgraded plans available).
These are just three free (or nearly free) tools that I use almost daily to make my job easier, prettier, and more organized. I’d love to hear what solutions others are using on the daily! Let me know in the comments.