software

Trello: A Swiss Army Knife For Tasks, Prioritizing And Project Planning

This post was originally published on the LSC Technology Blog in May of 2013. Note that “LSC” is Legal services Corporation, my current employer. One of the great services available to the legal aid tech community (lstech) is LSNTAP’s series of webinars on tech tools.  I’ve somehow managed to miss every one of these webinars, but I’m a big fan of sharing the tools and strategies that allow us to more effectively get things done. In that spirit, I wanted to talk about my new favorite free online tool, Trello. Trello is an online Kanban board.  If you’re unfamiliar with that term, you are still likely familiar with the… Read More »Trello: A Swiss Army Knife For Tasks, Prioritizing And Project Planning

Google Made Me Cry

Well, not real tears. But the announcement that Google Reader will need no longer available as of July 1st was personally updating news. Like many people, over the last eight years, this application has become as central a part of my online life as email. It is easily the web site that I spend the most time on, likely more than all of the other sites I frequent combined, including Facebook.

The Five Best Tools For Quick And Effective Project Management

This article was first published on the NTEN Blog in March of 2011. The keys to managing a successful project are buy-in and communication. Projects fail when all participants are on different pages. You want to use tools that your project participants can access easily, preferably ones they’re already using. By Peter Campbell IT Director, Earthjustice As an IT Director, co-workers, peers, and consultants frequently ask me, “Do you use Microsoft Project?” The answer to that question is a resounding denial. Then I elaborate with my true opinion of Project: it’s a great tool if you’re building a bridge or a luxury hotel. But my… Read More »The Five Best Tools For Quick And Effective Project Management

Microsoft’s Secret Giveaway

Sometimes it feels like the bane of my existence is my office phone. It’s so bad that I rarely answer it, preferring to forward it to Google Voice where I can peruse the barely readable transcripts just well enough to filter out the 90% cold sales calls I receive. So what a pleasure it was to answer my desk phone on Thursday and have an illuminating conversation with my Microsoft Licensing representative. He called to tell me that I own some awesome benefits that come with my Software Assurance program. I’m betting that I’m not the only one who was clueless about these benefits.

Why Geeks (like Me) Promote Transparency

Last week, I shared a lengthy piece that could be summed up as:

“in a world where everyone can broadcast anything, there is no privacy, so transparency is your best defense.”

(Mind you, we’d be dropping a number of nuanced points to do that!)

Transparency, it turns out, has been a bit of a meme in nonprofit blogging circles lately. I was particularly excited by this post by Marnie Webb, one of the many CEO’s at the uber-resource provider and support organization Techsoup Global.

Drupal 101: Look and Feel

I’m wrapping up the Drupal 101 series with some talk about Drupal themes, and some additional info on topics that we’ve already covered. The goal of these posts is to give new Drupal administrators an idea about how Drupal works, and some pointers to the key add-ons and resources in the broad Drupal ecosystem. For reference’ sake, we started with an intro, moved on to Modules, and then covered navigation. So, now that we have a functional web site, what does it look like?

Drupal 101: More on Modules

Last week, I kicked off this series on setting up a basic web site with Drupal, the popular open source Content Management System. This week we’re going to take a closer look at Modules, the Drupal add-ons that can extend your web site’s functionality. One of the great things about Drupal is that it is a popular application with a large developer community working with and around it. So there are about a thousand modules that you can use to extend Drupal, covering everything from document management to payment processing. The good news: there’s probably one that supports the functionality that you want to add to your web site. Bad news: needle in a haystack?

Drupal 101

I’ve been doing a lot of work with the open source content management system Drupal lately, and thought I’d share some thoughts on how to get a new site up and running. Drupal, you might recall, got high ratings in Idealware’s March ’09 report comparing open source content management systems. Despite it’s popularity, there are some detractors who make good points, but I find Drupal to be flexible, powerful and customizable enough to meet a lot of my web development needs.

Evaluating Wikis

I’m following up on my post suggesting that Wikis should be grabbing a portion of the market from word processors. Wikis are convenient collaborative editing platforms that remove a lot of the legacy awkwardness that traditional editing software brings to writing for the web. Gone are useless print formatting functions like pagination and margins; huge file sizes; and the need to email around multiple versions of the same document.

There are a lot of use cases for Wikis:

Word or Wiki?

An award-winning friend of mine at NTEN referred me to this article, by Jeremy Reimer, suggesting that Word, the ubiquitous Microsoft text manipulation application, has gone the way of the dinosaur. The “boil it down” quote:

“Word was designed in a different era, for a very specific purpose. We don’t work that way anymore.”