Tools For Organizing
Doodle is an easy scheduling service. If you’ve ever had to try and set up a conference call, or date for an event, you know how difficult it is to pick a time when most of your group can make it. Doodle makes it easy by creating a scheduling poll. You then send out the generated link, and on their own time, each of your prospects picks a few times and dates that work well for them based on the criteria you’ve set. You can see who wants what time, and pick the times and days that work best accordingly.
LastPass is an online password manager, with encrypted sharing and multi-device compatibility. You can save passwords, autofill forms, and send secure, hash-encrypted notes to other activists. It’s free for a single device, and reduces the amount of passwords you have to remember to one Master password Lastpass cannot access. Not only does this tool save time, but no longer having to share passwords in plain-text makes it an invaluable addition to any activists toolkit.
An office suite is one of the most useful tools an activist can have. A word processor and a spreadsheet program are almost invaluable, and giving a speech without Powerpoint is like cutting yourself off at the knees. Open Office an a free, open-source, alternative to Microsoft Office products such as Word, Excel, and Powerpoint, and all of its products are still compatible with their Microsoft office counterparts (i.e. an Openoffice Writer file will still open in Microsoft Word).
Privnote is a private note service. Any note you write generates a custom link. When a person is done reading your note, the note is destroyed. The security is not perfect (they could always take a screenshot) but significantly better than any current private messaging tool.
You could have the most poignant message in the world, but if you don’t package it right, no one will ever see it. Or, as your uncle used to say, “it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.” Tapestry is a big data project that lists the demographics of any area in the United States, by ZIP code. When you are framing your message, run a tapestry search in the area first, and you have a much better chance connecting with the people who care about your issue most.
Tinyletter is a free mass-emailing service for anyone with under 5,000 email addresses. It was put together by the same team behind Mailchimp, and is great for small movements or groups that are just getting started. It has limited text-editing functionality, but you can produce a clean email newsletter for free, and that makes it one of the most useful services on the market.
Toggl is a time-tracking service. Essentially, you hit the button when you start a task, and hit it again when that task is finished. You can also input finished tasks. It is an excellent tool to identify how much of your day you are dedicating to any certain tasks, and keep you from procrastinating by forcing you to review how you spent your time the past week. Try it out for a few days, and it will help you improve your time management skills.
If you’ve ever needed to send large files, you know how much of a pain it can be. Gmail only accepts files under 25mb, Skype transfers require both people to be online at the same time, and uploading a file to an FTP server not only requires that you have your own website, but are technically skilled enough to manipulate your File Transfer Protocol. Wetransfer allows you to send up to 2GB of files, is extremely easy to use, and will send your recipient a notice and link in their email to download the file.