Organization and inspiration – those are two of the most frequent needs I hear from our clients. Often those requests accompany others, like more revenue, more time, better employees, and growing customers – but really you can tie a lot back to the simple need for organization and inspiration.
I have come across two apps that actually might serve a useful purpose for those two needs and I thought I would share them with you in this Training That Sticks blog. As I mentioned in a previous post, I like to explore new gadgets and new technology but when I come across something that could benefit others, I feel compelled to share – hopefully they will benefit you!
Trello – my new best friend. If you are searching for a better way to organize your life, Trello could be your answer.
You can use Trello to help organize a single project, a few projects or ideally your whole life. You create boards for different projects you have on your current to do list. For example, I am putting together an eBook on a new class we have – Persuasive Presentations. So I created a Persuasive Presentations eBook board. Within the board you can create lists – the various steps you need to take to accomplish that task. The nice part is, you can just randomly add things as they come to your mind and then put them in order later – which is how I like to work.
Once you have created the lists, you can add cards to the lists with some specific details. For example, I have some of the actual ebook written and I added that document as an attachment to my card that was labeled – “make edits to text.” When I am ready to work on this project, I will go to that board and I can see that today I am supposed to make edits and voila, there is the document I need. I don’t have to go and search for it somewhere else because then there is a very real chance I will get distracted along the way. Oh, how do I know it is time to work on that step? Because, of course, I can attach a due date. And I can view it in calendar form or list form. Whichever works best for the user.
But for me, here is the best part – I can invite people to my tasks. I have several people working with me on the eBook so I will invite them all to my board. We can then keep up with each other’s progress. My graphics person can see when I plan to complete the edits and send the work to her. And she can see when I need a draft back. Of course, she can also access the documents directly from Trello so we are always working on the same document – preventing any possible wrong version drama. I can also invite others to view and make comments on the book as it progresses. Anyone who manages a staff could find a lot of value in this app.
You can use the basics of Trello for free and then of course add some flair for some additional money later. To investigate further you can go to www.Trello.com – let me know what you think.
My most exciting find this month is Blab.IM. Have you tried it yet? It is like turning on your television and seeing a whole bunch of really short shows – live – on a wide variety of topics. But instead of actors, it is usually subject experts getting together to discuss these topics. And instead of your TV, you can access it via your pc or tablet. First you click on a topic that interests you – say, social media. Then you see all of the “blabs” going on live around that topic. Today the HSMAI Digital Marketing group was putting on a blabcast about the pseudo OTAs. When I clicked on that, there were 4 people livecasting, having a conversation about whether or not hotels should participate in TripAdvisor’s Book Now program. I joined as a listener – and I could type questions in that the broadcasters could read and answer. I have sometimes joined in as a participant too – meaning I click a button that says Call In – and if the broadcaster allows it, there I am, participating via my webcam.
The blabcasts can be recorded and saved for future viewing, but I think the best part about them is that they are accessible live – you can ask questions, or just listen in and read what others are typing.
Twitter launched this concept, and like most things social you can give “props” or likes to the people speaking if you like what they are saying. You can also alert your Twitter network that you are attending a Blab on a particular subject, in the event that they want to join too.
And it’s free! You can host your blabcast, on virtually any topic you want, without charge! Of course, if you don’t have anything interesting to say, probably best not to blab. But, think about the possibilities for the business world. If I were a catering director, I would put together weekly blabcasts inviting wedding specialists to join me and talk about the most amazing weddings they have ever put together. I would invite all of my customers and prospects, and encourage the broadcast participants to invite theirs too. If I were in hotel sales, I might put together a panel of meeting planners and ask them questions about the best ways to ensure a productive meeting in my city. They would invite their customers, I would invite mine, everybody wins.
In addition to self-promotion, it is just a great place to learn, and as I mentioned earlier, be inspired. Most blabcasts are pretty short – and there are already some blabcasters who have gotten elevated status in terms of how much value they provide their viewers. It is easy to sort through the time wasters and find the meaty content that you are looking for, that can help you right in that moment. You can find some really great ideas to take back to your own business – or life – to help you increase revenues, improve employee performance and find some new customers.
To access this new world, just go to http://blab.im and enjoy!