Possible Useful Resources for Professional Use – Repost

 

This is a quick re-post I did on the library-blog for my users that I thought I would share. Its not in-depth looking at these tools, really just ‘signposting’ to them. After all its about enabling the users isn’t it? I thought I would share this to show that its important to know the level your users are at. It is important to know your users. There are, without doubt, users that are more technologically advanced than I, but through communicating to them, I know the majority of them are not. Facebook is about the crux of their online dalliance. Hopefiully this will allow some of them to venture further afield.

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I thought I would write a quick post on free, online resources that I feel could possibly benefit you as a professional in a daily working life. I am not saying you should use them or giving them a ‘seal of approval’ just that they may benefit you. If this is successful I will try another soon, looking at what further resources – such as blogging tools, SurveyMonkey Google + etc.

Bubbl

URL: https://bubbl.us/

What is it?

Bubbl is a free mind-mapping tool. It is by no means perfect but can do a job. It is a little bit fiddly at times and can bring on moments of rage when it is on a ‘go-slow’, but for no cost and what it can offer, it is worth checking out. This video is a good introductory guide . You need to register to use it.

Positives for work use

  • Free
  • Use to plan, and map out projects or complex ideas

Doodle

URL http://doodle.com/

What Is It?

Have you ever struggled to arrange a meeting as people could only tell you when they are NOT available? Ever wasted too much time re-arranging and re-scheduling a meeting after initially struggling? Doodle is a free online scheduling tool that allows people to tell you exactly when they are available, allowing for easy scheduling and re-scheduling. You do not need to register

Positives for work use

  • A real time saving resource
  • Accessible from any computer
  • Accessible to any users – just email the hyperlink to them (like you would a website or survey monkey link)

Pomodoro Crate

URL – http://pomodorocrate.com

What is it?

Pomodoro Crate describes itself as: “The Pomodoro Technique is a simple time management technique that helps you become more productive and get more things done, by enhancing your focus and concentration” . Basically put it is a website created to use this ‘technique’ in managing your time. If you are working on specific tasks that are done once and then done (or can break larger tasks and projects down into these) then you may find this useful. I can it how this may benefit a student for example. However, to me personally this came off as a bit of an exercise in procrastination, the act of breaking work into activities and ‘pomodoros’ seemed like an additional task with no long term benefits a simple to-do-list would not have. If you needed something else – I would probably recommend using bubbl (see above) over this. If your having time management issues that you feel the need to resort to this, possibly its time to switch off then phone and get of Facebook. You need to register to use it

Positives for work use

  • Free
  • Breaks work down

PBWorks

URL http://pbworks.com/

What is it?

PBworks is online shared space, that can also be used as website or online depositry. If several people are working on the same project but remotely without a shared network (for example because of being in different organisations) it can be useful. If you are studying, it can also be a good way of working on joint projects without meeting up. It is very flexible in how you use it, and to the level you use it. To see how to set one up – click here .You need to register to use it.

Positives for work use

  • Free (up to a certain size)
  • Multi-person log ins
  • Remote access to shared work space – good for work across teams that can’t access same networked space

RSS Feeds

URL Doesn’t have one – put look out for the RSS symbol When you see this, you can create a feed.

What is it?

RSS – can stand for many things, but I feel the most popular Really Simple Syndication. A useful guide can be viewed here. Its not really a single resource – but is an ever-growing tool for day to day use. It can save time by collating all the useful sources you access in one handy place – this can be from professional journals such as BMJ, news sites such as BBC, networking tools such as Twitter and even the most professional of all resources Facebook J . You can ever set feeds up for specific searches – here are some we have set up for the library <insert link> . You can combine and sculpt feeds together using a ‘feed reader’. My preference is Google Reader. You will need to register for your feed reader.

Positives for work use

  • Saves time constantly visiting the same sites
  • Can share with colleagues
  • Almost universal

Twitter

URL www.twitter.com

What is it?

Twitter, if used correctly is an instant networking tool that can allow you access to individuals, organisations and groups that can benefit you professionally. It can also help you get messages across, be it service developments or signposting. If done incorrectly – it is just a ‘posh’ Facebook or a site where you can pretend to be friends/troll with ‘celebrities’ and find out what Chris Moyles thinks. Who really wants that? Unfortunately the perception often is the latter and it is viewed in the same ‘procrastination/distraction’ sphere as Facebook or formerly MySpace rather than what it actually is. You will need to register.

Positives for work use

  • Free
  • Connect with fellow professionals without having to ‘network’ first
  • A true ‘mobile’ technology

 

An over-riding feature of all of these resources is that they are free to access. Because of this, many of these are not perfect – and there are better versions of what they offer – at a cost.

This is only a snapshot of what is available out there. For more information on these, just get in touch – or better yet try them! Experiential learning = learn by doing!

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