Online Group Organizing Tools
This training explores additional tools including Google Drive, Slack, and Evernote that CCL groups have been using to help supplement what is available on CCL Community to manage their chapter's communications effectively and organize information.
Background: The Importance of Data Security
It’s essential that personally identifiable information (email address, phone numbers, home address, meeting minutes, etc.) from CCL volunteers isn’t uploaded online anywhere even if protected or marked as restricted. Legally CCL has a data security policy that we are legally bound to and our insurance depends on. But more importantly, think from our volunteer’s perspective - what would you expect from a new organization you joined and how they handled your data?
Three Levels of Data
- Restricted: most sensitive data (i.e. personally identifiable information) not uploaded to cloud, use other resources on Community like the Chapter Roster for this.
- Confidential/Private: moderately sensitive data (i.e. certain projects and local processes/planning documents), access should be restricted when using online tools outside of CCL.
- Public: non-sensitive data (i.e. action sheets, CCL resources, customized local outreach material), access is loosely or not controlled
Additional Security Measures To Consider
- Make sure with any online tool outside of CCL that you restrict private data by granting only appropriate permission levels to your group members.
- Upgrade your software on devices, make sure that your local computers are password protected, and delete local download files after use.
- Be careful with public WiFi and consider setting up two-factor authentication for your email and other areas of restricted information.
Google Services & Apps
Login to Google using one of your work email addresses: drive.google.com.
What is Google Drive?
Google Drive is like a physical filing cabinet, but it’s in the cloud. Any user with a Google account (you don't need a gmail account) has access to this filing cabinet in the cloud. Just like a lock and key protects a physical file cabinet, one’s email address serves as the key to unlock your Drive/Folder/File Cabinet.
- The top-level Drive folder (the parent folder containing subfolders)
- The subfolders are shared or restricted based on individual discretion.
If you are an editor of a child/department folder you can share access to that particular folder but you can not grant access to the top-level container. For example, you're the group leader and you have an intern who is going to help you with Local Projects, you can share the Program folder with the intern. The intern will have access to everything underneath the Program folder, but not any folder above it in the structure (ie. a parent of the Program folder).
Note: By default, folder or files you create inherit the sharing settings of the parent folder.
- Each chapter team lead can create and “own” their own folder for their area of focus (Grassroots, Media, etc.)
- For example, Susan “owns” the Grasstops folder and Steve “owns” the Media folder.
- These owners can:
- Set sharing or edit permissions at the folder or file level.
- Assign owner rights to someone else.
- Add or organize the sub folders.
- Pretty much do whatever they want within their folder.
- Double click on “My Drive”
- By default, your personal folder is not shared with anyone else. It’s private.
- If you want other people to see and/or have edit access to your folder, then either:
- Share your folder with individuals with either the “view only” or “organize, add, edit” option.
- Create a public folder and set the sharing permissions to “anyone with the link can access, no sign in required.” For example, let’s say Steve has a list of LTEs he wants local team members to be able to access. He could create a public folder with the aforementioned sharing settings and then a subfolder called “LTEs” with the same settings.
Google Tutorials: How do I?
- Organizing your files and folders in Google Drive: https://support.google.com/drive/answer/2375091
- Share files in Google Drive: https://support.google.com/drive/answer/2494822
- Share folders in Google Drive: https://support.google.com/drive/answer/7166529
- Getting Started with Google Docs: https://support.google.com/a/users/answer/9300503?hl=en
- Getting Started with Google Sheets: https://support.google.com/a/users/answer/9282959
- Getting Started with Google Slides: https://support.google.com/a/users/answer/9282488
Why Use Slack? It provides an additional option for providing a digital meeting space for CCL chapters.
- CCL chapters generally only meet once a month
- Slack is free and a way to capture the members who want to be the most involved and help them stay engaged
- Slack is instant and can be used outside of internet browsers
Benefits of Using Slack
- Allows all members a way to stay engaged throughout the month between meetings
- Reduces reliance on emails (emails can be problematic because only a few members are included and there may not be a reason to use email to communicate brief information)
- When using Slack, you can post publicly, or you can direct message single or multiple people - thus all members can see what others are working on
- Members can readily give praise to others for small wins
- When it’s necessary to quickly mobilize, Slack makes it easy for everyone to be involved and jump in
- Younger people love it--helps to drive Millennial and Gen Z participation within chapters
Setting Up A Slack Account & Channels
- Go to www.slack.com - type in your email and create password to get started
- Choose “Create a new workspace” and enter the name of your chapter (e.g. CCL - Chicago)
- Create the workspace and work with your group leader to start inviting members that have indicated interest.
- At your next meeting, explain the decision to use Slack and encourage those interested to sign up and get involved. Be clear this is up to each individual to choose as an outside platform.
- Download Slack as a computer/mobile app (this allows easier access and greater effectiveness. Go to setting to control the notifications received).
- A “general” channel is standard, but you’ll want to also create more specialized channels (e.g. LTE, congressional outreach, events, endorsements)--whatever is relevant to your chapter
- Separate channels give a way to keep conversation topical and make it so all information does not get lost in one thread
- You can create private channels, such as for your steering committee (these require an invite)
- Members can also opt out of certain channels if there are only a couple they are interested in seeing
- Community has a breadth of resources and is essential for getting CCL literature, logging field reports, making presentations, watching trainings, etc. Community is useful for a great many things, but it’s limited to in-browser use.
- For real-time, quick communication, the digital meeting space that Slack provides is ideal. Slack is a neutral digital meeting space that does not require participation in social media and can be accessed easily.
- Slack can help you grow your chapter, make it more engaged, and allows everyone to share their ideas and be looped into what’s happening
- Slack can even be used to communicate between chapters!
What is Evernote? Evernote provides a system that can help you keep your resources, links, and ideas organized. It functions by creating a filing structure that combines many formats/items and allows you to sort/organize them based on your own preferences and design including:
- Webpage Clippings
- (Scannable, Business Cards, etc.)
- Notebooks: "Notebooks are the most common way of organizing notes in Evernote, and are commonly used to separate notes by category, location or purpose. For example, you might create one notebook called 'Work Notes' and one called 'Personal Notes' to keep these types of notes separate and easier to find." (How To Guide)
- Stacks: "Stacks are an organizational structure used to group notebooks together, typically used for notebooks that have a similar topic or theme." (How To Guide)
- Tags: "Tags let you add keywords to notes, making them easier to find and browse when you’ve got a lot of them" (How To Guide)
- Search: "Evernote search is powerful. The advanced search syntax gives you the ability to search your notes by the date they were created, the type of media they contain (audio, images, etc.)—even where they were created." (How to use search)
Examples of using Evernote Notes
- Shared Notebooks
Getting Started Tutorials
Intro & Agenda
- Rebecca Ratliff
- Will Musser
To skip ahead to a specific section go to the time indicated in parenthesis.
Intro & Agenda
- Rebecca Ratliff
- Will Musser