Jump to content
What are the best organizational tools for groups?
Asked by marsee
Posted Jun 15 2010 02:15 PM
Running a group can quickly become overwhelming, but it seems like today there are an assortment of tools or resources that can help get you organized as well as started leading a community of interested members. Which tools have been the most successful for you? Is it Google or yahoo groups? Meetup? Grow your own? Or are you better off with a combination of many things. Please include examples and share what you've learned.
User Group Manager
Answered by AnneHolub
Posted Jun 16 2010 09:02 AM
While it's not free to set up (it is free for users), I've used Basecamp as both a group leader and group member and found it invaluable for sharing documents, messaging, setting a schedule/milestones and keeping everyone informed without a million emails back and forth. (Bonus: It's easy enough for even the least computer literate member of your team to use!)
Answered by phredmoyer
Posted Jul 07 2010 02:34 PM
We've been using Meetup.com for over a year successfully with the San Francisco Perl Mongers. There's no other tool that even comes close. Granted it is about $150 per year, but it is money well spent.
Answered by mkoby47
Posted Jul 08 2010 07:16 AM
I use a combination of tools to keep track of things.
I use Google Calendar to keep track of when meet ups are going to occur, I use Evernote to keep track of a list of possible topics, with a list of possible speakers for those topics (this is probably going to move to Google Docs now that I've got a vice president to help out with things).
My user group has both a website and mailing list for staying in touch with our members.
Answered by gregorywest
Posted Jul 08 2010 07:43 AM
It depends...Is the group non-profit, on a tight budget, or the group has a "sky is the limit" budget.
I deal mainly with non-profit groups. I use several FREE tools for organizing information for groups:
kijiji is good to post upcoming events. I started a Mac Users Group in Sarnia, Ontario by ONLY advertising in kijiji and got 21 people for the first meeting. That was four months ago and our group intends to start up again this fall. No other notification has been used for this group. Although, since it has gotten somewhat popular, we intend to setup an email list group to notify the regulars for meetings etc., as well as continued use of kijiji. NEW MAC GROUP INFO
Google Docs works well for small groups to allow interactional organization of activities. I do wilderness canoe tripping with the Lambton Outdoor Club, a non-profit group in Sarnia, Ontario. I am using Google Docs to organize our meals list. By clicking the SHARE button and giving everyone "Editing" access we can easily organize the food and meals list. This is great for when a major change happens as Google Docs lets you send out email notifications with the link to the Google Doc item you set up or changed.
LinkedIn is another good organizational tool, as you can setup up groups within LinkedIn and every member gets an email notification of the event.
Google Groups is a great tool to organize and share ideas with others who are members of the group. Groups can be easily setup and the service is FREE. Join in on what others are talking about
"From within a group, you can reply to a message that someone else posted, or post a message or question of your own", Google says. "You can choose whether you want to read and post messages online, or to just use your current email account to read and respond."
Also, you can create an EVENT within gmail now, quick and easy. Google's gmail does most of the inviting and other details automatically for you.
For me, the free software that is widely available works great. I have created a Mac computer group, a PC training course for beginners and advanced, a digital photography group, and also organized trips online with various software...All for free.
Answered by MarkSenn
Posted Jul 08 2010 07:58 AM
The Purdue Perl Mongens (at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiara) use a wiki (pm.purdue.org), email list, and twitter. For us, that works fine. Only one local member follows us on twitter so we could probably get rid of that.
Answered by Dean Nichols
Posted Jul 08 2010 10:29 PM
The group I lead is primarily Seniors and relatively small in size. (50 people on our mailing list and 20 attending the monthly meetings in person). Most of the group are not very sophisticated users, but they all seem to understand and use eMail Over the years I have decided to keep things simple. We communicate via eMail. At meetings I ask that attendees provide me with their eMail address if they would be interested in receiving reminders of meetings and timely news. I add them to the my eMail address book and define them as members of a group. This makes it easy to send out the eMail. Usually, the weekend before the meeting (we meet on the third Friday), I send out a meeting reminder message and include in it items I think might be of interest to the the group. This serves as a starting point for discussions at the upcoming meeting. Members are also encouraged to respond with their input, but participation tends to be pretty limited. During the month I might send out an eMail message announcing good deals for merchandise I have come across, or events that members might be interested in attending. For this group this system seems to work just fine.
Other groups I am involved with use Yahoo Groups (I like this), Meetup.com (I don't like this as well), as well as a number of Google products (calendar and Docs are the most popular).
Lots of other tools are available (I like the free ones!), but for the most part they are more than I need for the groups I participate in.
I also try to use an eMail address used specifically for this group. I find it easier to keep correspondence separate that way.
User Group Ambassador
Campbell Seniors Computer Users Group
Answered by gigihan
Posted Oct 15 2012 04:09 AM
When I decided to make a degree online I was curious how the students were supposed to interact with others on the internet, share ideas, files and work together on a project. I suggest you search for free organizational tools because there are a lot of websites and software available to download, I heard a lot of great things about Basecamp, you should try it.