Tracking web sites, blogs, social networking sites, Twitter—it can be overwhelming. And if you’re not fluent with online tools, it can sometimes feel like a serious waste of time.
Here are four tools to help you keep track, without straying to web pages you don’t have time for:
1. Scan the big picture by using a “dashboard.” An RSS-based dashboard gathers all the online pieces in one place. Try Netvibes (www.netvibes.com), a powerful tool that’s lovely to look at and a cinch to use.
Netvibes sets up one page, or several, for tracking headlines from sources you choose. For example, you might have one page track general news and another page track industry-specific news, and yet another page that pulls in headlines from top blogs and your Twitter account, if you have one.
2. Stay on top of a specific topic with MyAlltop. Alltop gathers 31,000 of the best blogs and web sites on a range of topics. It organizes them by subject. So you can look under the broad “Work” heading to find “HR,” “event planning” and “marketing.” Set up a custom, no-frills MyAlltop page, and you can pinpoint which of those specific feeds interest you.
3. Put your digital scraps somewhere. Once you’ve found an interesting page, quote or image online, how do you save it? Here’s another idea: Use Evernote (evernote.com) and save it in your Evernote “notebook,” which you can easily organize by topic.
The snippets don’t even need to be organized within Evernote; when you want to retrieve, say, an article on fundraising, simply search in Evernote for “fundraising.” It pulls up the page or image you’ve saved.
4. Join a web community, such as the Admin Pro Forum, to share strategies, solve problems and see how other assistants are enhancing their roles. If you’re a member of IAAP or another association, tap into their Facebook or LinkedIn web groups.
Have other ideas? Share them with us at admineditor@NIBM.net.
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