Missives from the Bat Tower

Doing 23 Things all in the name of Web 2.0

Archive for the tag “Organisation”

Thing 11: Oodles of Doodle

A lovely labradoodle puppy

A lovely labradoodle puppy

Thing 11 is a nifty tool called Doodle which lets you find out when people are free to meet up. I decided to try it out to organise a lunch date and found it really easy to set up. You can choose date and time options and then can either let Doodle send out an invitation or write one yourself (I chose this option). The people I sent it out to seemed to have no problems using the system (although one wrote a comment instead of using the poll which is a handy feature). The lunch date never happened because there wasn’t a time we were all free but the process itself worked well.

I would say that Doodle is probably more useful for larger groups meeting up, with just four people I did feel that I could have done it more easily over email. I can definitely see how it would be useful for large meetings, especially with those outside the organisation or people who don’t tend to use their Outlook calendar on the internal system. In fact, I have come across it before being used for just that – a meet up of Archivists from across different organisations so I will bear it in mind for future use.

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Thing 10: Can I dig it? Yes I can!

Dig for Victory Aidan Brooks Flickr

Dig for Victory (c) Aidan Brooks Flickr

Thing 9 is focussing on social bookmarking and trying out using Diigo, a social bookmarking tool which allows you to bookmark, tag, highlight and add notes to web pages. I have a nasty habit of not bookmarking stuff and just using Google to find things again but this can often be frustrating and time wasting so I was keen to give Diigo a try.

As mentioned in my previous post about Evernote, I am currently working on a project to put in place systems and processes to ensure we can preserve our digital archives. As you might expect, much of the information and discussion on this happens online. There are lots of people out there and increasingly lots of guidance and case studies so keeping track of everything that is going on can be tricky. Having said that, I think Diigo could be a great way to bring all the resources into one place and organise them into something meaningful for my research. I particularly like the ability to tag things (I do like to tagging stuff – it’s almost like an archive classification scheme but much more flexible because things can have more than one tag) it means that I can have an overall tag of digital preservation and then have more specific tags too. I think this works a lot better than the alternative which would be to create folders within folders on my Internet Explorer favourites list.

I found Diigo very easy to set up and start tagging, I added a few of the websites I find particularly useful and a report I’d just discovered about the future of archives and tagged them. I then tried out the highlighting tool which seems like a really useful idea… until it actually came to doing the highlighting. I had selected a 12 line paragraph and was told it contained too many words to highlight. Too many words? I agree it would be wholly pointless to go about highlighting vast swaths of text but one paragraph? It seems ludicrously restrictive. After a quick bit of googling it seems that the limit is 50 words although as Diigo don’t seem to mention it in their help section I’m not sure if this is totally correct.

So, although I think I will still use Diigo for collating digital preservation info (and sharing with colleagues who are also working on it) the highlighting tool seems to be a bit of a damp squib.

Thing 9: Evernote

Baby elephant

Well things have been pretty hectic in the Bat Tower recently, students coming in left right and centre, which is great for the archives but not so great for my ability to complete 23 Things!  I am weeks behind but we’ve quietened down a bit now so I’m making valiant attempts to catch up with everything I’ve missed.

Week something or other, which was yonks ago now, was all about Organisation and Helen set Evernote as Thing 9. She accompanied this with lots of tweeting and a post on her own blog waxing lyrical about how utterly fantastic and life changing Evernote is (might be laying it on a bit thick there but that was the general gist). As with many new technologies, initially I thought I couldn’t really find much use for it as I’m happily saving things onto folders on my Y: Drive and I can use the College’s VPN if I need to access work stuff from home (which happens very rarely as it’s difficult for an Archivist to work from home what with there being no archives there). I’m still not sure I currently have an opportunity to use it for work but now I’ve had a play with it I think it’s going to be pretty useful for planning my summer holiday. You can create notes (which can be anything from a long text doc to a things to do list), add photos and can clip webpages to it as well. You can also add Outlook emails to it (or at least I assume you can as a little elephant popped up on my toolbar telling me so). You can then organise all the different notes by tagging them and putting them in different notebooks. The software is pretty intuitive and I do really like the tagging abilities.

If I start a project which has lots of web based info that I will need to refer back to I think it could be very useful and in fact I think it could work quite well for the work I will be doing around digital preservation as there is lots of advice online to refer back to.

One thing I would like to see which it doesn’t do (or at least I don’t think it does, maybe Helen can correct me on this) is to share a notebook with another Evernote user so that they can work on it. You can share notes via Twitter, Facebook and email etc but I think it would be very useful to be able to share it with one (or more) other within Evernote and allow them editing rights so that work on a collaborative project would be easier. It seems like such an obvious and useful function so why haven’t they included it? (I do realise this may bring up issues of version control but it would only be the same as using a shared drive.)

Our task for Thing 9 was to create a note and share it, you can take a look at mine here: http://www.evernote.com/shard/s320/sh/4b2c44ad-b8aa-4f8f-8da4-0f3c40cc461b/afe2c057d9219b8431d74a3f2fff4d09

p.s. as a bit of an aside, the Wikipedia entry for Evernote describes it as software designed for notetaking and archiving – if only digital preservation was actually this easy!

p.p.s. I found this article on why Evernote is great really interesting and it gave me some more ideas on how/why to use it: http://lifehacker.com/5989980/ive-been-using-evernote-all-wrong-heres-why-its-actually-amazing

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