Here at Cloud for Good we are using many cool and exiting online tools to manage our relationships with clients, partners, and staff. We are always amazed by the amount of free tools that can make our clients work – individuals, nonprofits, and businesses – more productive and effective.

Therefore, I started a new tradition on Cloud for Good’s Facebook page. I shared 10 tools that we not only like but also, I find quite useful. Here they are:

1. Rapportive – Check it out if you haven’t done so already. Rapportive is a little browser plugin that provides you with information about the people you talk to via email.

2. Dropbox – Dropbx might make you want to get rid of your USB!  It is the easiest way to store, sync, and, share files online. It makes online storage and sharing of files dead simple — as simple as dragging files into specially market local folders.

3. Skype Screen Sharing – Many people are not aware of this… Skype has a screen sharing feature. Once you are logged in to your Skype account, you simply click the share screen button and then will be able to see either the whole screen of the person with whom you are talking or the portion of the screen that they select. An incredibly simple yet highly effective tool that cuts down on messy feedback. It makes you far more efficient especially if your business is online.

Skype scree share

4. Tungle.me – The hardest part of making meetings happen is knowing when is the best time. Tungle.me makes it simple for everyone to know when is best for you! You control your availability and remove all the guessing games. Check it out and if you want to schedule a call/meeting to talk about your organization’s technology needs… Tungle.me/talfrankfurt


5. MyStickies – This is simple but brilliant little app that essentially lets you place little stickies all over the web to remind you of stuff when you get back there at a later date. You can write messages for yourself and they’ll appear next time you navigate back to that page.

6. Mozy – All the important information in your life/business is now stored on a computer. Whether it is photos and music or business documents and financial records, everything is digital – Mozy offers a great backup to the cloud service that will help you sleep at night knowing that your digital life will always be there when you need it.

7. Remember the Milk is a great task manager. It allows you to create “to-do” lists in the easiest manner possible as well as being able to access those lists from pretty much anywhere.

8. Google Apps – I know, this one is so obvious and many people already know it …However, if you have not checked it out yet, you really should-immediately (FREE for nonprofits). It is great for collaboration, email, shared calendars and tons of other online features. It is one of, if not the most essential tool that I am use today. Contact us for help with implementation, migration, and training!

Google Apps


9. Soluto – Frustrated by your sluggish and unresponsive PC? Soluto’s goal is to bring an end to the frustrations PC users encounter. Soluto’s technology detects when you’re frustrated by your PC and tells you which application is causing it.

10. PDF Unlock – PDF files can have restrictions that prevent you from being able to do many things with them, such as copying text from them or editing, printing or merging them. PDFUnlock! can remove these restrictions.

ScheduleMemphis

If you have ever moved from your home town to a new place you probably know that, for a while, everything looks different. The street signs, the roads, the people. It is an opportunity to meet new people and learn new things, but where do you start? How do you find out what is happening in town?

A few months ago while surfing through Facebook I read a post by a native Memphian complaining that he has to attend 4 launches tomorrow and he wished that all these organizations would coordinate their activities and avoid scheduling conflicts.

I did not know about any of these launches and they all sounded very interesting. I recently moved to Memphis, TN. For me, it is not only that the signs look different; they are in a different language. I was very active back in Israel and after I moved to Memphis I had no idea where to start.

So what could be done to make all the events, meetings, workshops, conferences, and shows in Memphis more accessible to everyone and help the organizers avoid scheduling multiple events during the same times?

To address these issues a solution should:

  1. encourage collaboration and sharing
  2. be accessible from anywhere at anytime
  3. be quick, we need to be up and running in a very short time
  4. and most importantly, be easy to use for both the organizations and attendees

Being in the “cloud business” I did not have to think twice. Cloud technology is revolutionizing the world because it is open and flexible. In my eyes, this is exactly where technology should serve the community and support social change.

ScheduleMemphis

Therefore, in an effort to serve and support the community, I chose to use the Google platform and created www.ScheduleMemphis.com, the first community-wide calendar with all events in town.  The calendar is a one-stop-shop for community organizers who are trying to avoid scheduling conflicts and are having trouble reaching out to the greater community. Additionally, individuals like me can use the website to be more informed.

How did I do this?

Well…The website was built on Google Sites which enabled me to deliver the platform in less than a week. I use Google Forms to collect nominations for new organizations –non-profit organizations nominate themselves to use ScehduleMemphis. Then, I create a unique Google calendar for each organization where they can simply create and update their events. All calendars are shared on the website.  It was simple to create and is easy to update.

The website already has 10 organization’s calendars and I have 20 more in the funnel. I found that it is also democratizing the organizations’ outreach efforts. It does not matter if you are a multi-million dollar organization or a one man (or a woman) show, you receive the same access and use the same platform, for free. (I am not charging the organizations).

Visit www.schedulememphis.com and let me know what you think.

This is one of Gmails’ most widely requested features and I am so happy that this day is here and Google is finally releasing a rich text support for Gmail’s signature.

Next time you log into Gmail go to the Settings and customize your signature in the signature editor section. You can add links, images, and create stylish formatting.

Gmail rich text editor

Click on the image to enlarge

Additionally, as of today, Gmail supports a unique signature for each email address associated with your account.

unique signature for each email address

Click on the image to enlarge

Don’t forget to add you social networks links!

iphone-june

This month’s round-up includes tips for improving your organization’s Facebook page, measuring your social networks effectiveness, an introduction to Salesfroce Chatter, and a few good tips for writing an email. I am also including good tools from Google that may help you consider moving to the “cloud”. And there is a fun surprise at the end 🙂

  1. Everybody is on Facebook (did you Join Cloud for Good on Facebook?), but how do you create a Facebook presence? Debra Askanase, Community Organizer 2.0, has five good tips. Her bottom line is: get creative, collaborate, and be aggressive.
  2. However, attracting new fans is not enough. What Does Your Facebook Funnel Look Like? Here are a few good ways to measure the effectiveness of your online communications?
  3. Salesforce.com’s Chatter is here and everybody is talking (and writing) about it. It is definitely number 1 in my Top 5 Salesforce.com Summer ’10 Release Features.
  4. Here is a post that I would really like to forward to a few colleagues (and family members), it’s called “I don’t have time to read your email”. We all know that this is a very painful issue! She has a few good tips to help improve your organization’s newsletter.
  5. Google released many new features this month, however, my favorite one is the ability to try Google Docs without a Google Apps account. They made my life easier! Explaining Google Docs can be a challenging task: they have great video tutorials but people need to “play” with it in order to really understand “real time collaboration” and “the cloud”. Google launched a new site that allows users to try full-fledged versions of its word processor, spreadsheet, and drawing tool without a Google account.
  6. Still not sure why you should move to the cloud? Google created the Go Google cloud calculator that lets you explore your potential savings in an easy-to-understand way. I love it!
  7. With your extra time you can play some vintage video games online, like Supper Mario and the King’s Quest.

This is a new tradition I started last month when I shared with you my best readings from the web. This month’s round-up includes social networks updates, tips, tricks, details on creating your organization’s Google Search Story, advice on online project management tools, and updates from Google Apps. I hope this will help your organization keep up with this month’s cloud discussions!

  1. In light of the recent discussions about Facebook’s privacy issue I loved South Park’s last episode and the battle between Stan and his Facebook profile, who won? I am not sure.
  2. Single? Maybe it is because you don’t own an iPhone 🙂  a recent survey has found that men who own an iPhone are more attractive than those who do not.
  3. The search for a good online project management tool is on! Judi Sohn wrote an excellent post about C3’s needs and desires that ignited a great discussion. There is also a similar thread running in Techsoup’s community.
  4. But this is not the only search out there… do you remember Google’s Super Bowl Ad? We created a similar search story for Cloud for Good; check it out and share with your friends. You can create a similar video for your organization at www.youtube.com/searchstories.
  5. Google released many new features and enhancements this month. There were major updates added to Google Docs including the ability to insert calendar invitations. Additionally, I blogged about Gmail’s drag and drop attachments and about the dot-less user name.
  6. New to Twitter? I enjoyed watching Alyssa Milano Teaching Jimmy Kimmel How to Use Twitter. Also, here are 10 Dos and Don’ts for Brands on Twitter and 12 Tips to Engage People on Twitter.
  7. Good suggestions on how to create a technology succession plan, from Idealware.
  8. The Blog Raiser suggests your organization should create an imaginary donor friend.
  9. If you have friends you should listen, I found these good notes from NTC about listening (Amy Sample Ward’s Version of NPTech).
  10. Last but not least, while reading the Google Grants Blog, I was very humbled and excited to read their recommendation of my own Cloud for Good on Facebook in their Resource Round Up for April. I would like to extend this invitation to you all!

A storm of applications is coming… Google unveiled their Google Apps Marketplace today. With 25 million users in more than 2 million businesses, there is clearly a need for more collaboration tools than Google Apps can offer today. Sound familiar? Unlike Salesforce.com’s AppExchange, developers don’t need to build their apps on Google’s platform (with Salesforce.com you have to develop on the force.com).


The big advantage of these applications is that they will integrate with your Google Apps so you can better share and collaborate with your team. Once you download an application into Google Apps, it will appear on your main Apps Dashboard alongside all the other Google applications you use. It will even appear in the “more” drop down across the Google properties.

I could not resist the new Marketplace and had to download an application – Manymoon. It is a cool project management/team collaboration solution. Manymoon allows your team to attach Google Docs to tasks, projects and events; add project information to shared Google Calendars and much more. For nonprofit organizations this is a great tool to manage educational programs, fundraising campaigns or even advocacy efforts. Best of all it is free!

To add an application to your domain from the Marketplace:

1. Click “Add it now
2. Agree to the vendor’s Terms of Service
3. Grant access to the data that the app is requesting
4.  Turn it on and start enjoying your increased productivity

Did you find a useful application? Please share your experience in the comments.


Here’s a short clip that explains what the commotion is all about:

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