#655AMA - What tools do you use to keep your squadron organized?
Welcome to #655ama Saturday Mailbox! This series features cadet/655 related questions submitted to us by our audience. Our Officer and Warrant team will then give our best opinion on them.
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This week our question is:
What tools do you use to keep your squadron organized?
The biggest challenge in keeping a unit like ours organized is COMMUNICATION. We have so many things on the go every week, that it is a constant battle to keep everyone informed and up to date. To pull this off, we use a number of different tools to make our lives easier.
The following list contains examples of things we currently use; however, feel free to look for an alternative that suits your individual unit needs!
Our biggest resource is Google. If you don’t know about Google Drive, or the Google Product Line, you can find out more information here: https://www.google.ca/intl/en/about/products/
Here is a short list of Google Products we use and how we use them:
We use multiple Gmail accounts to organize our communication channel. Each email is operated by an Adult Staff Member and an NCOIC.
firstname.lastname@example.org = our main account and general inquiry inbox.
email@example.com = our Training department’s inbox, where we receive, review, and archive all lesson plans.
firstname.lastname@example.org = our Standards department’s inbox, where we receive, review, and coordinate CHITs and Workshops.
email@example.com = our Fitness and Sports events inbox, where ideas and event submissions are received, reviewed, and coordinated.
firstname.lastname@example.org = our Community Service department inbox, where ideas and event submissions are received, reviewed, and coordinated.
email@example.com = our Public Affairs department inbox, where photo and video content is submitted.
This is a great tool for our Training Department to plan out our entire Training Year. Every knows that Cadets goes beyond the regular Training Night. To keep cadets, parents, and ourselves informed and up to date, we use Google Calendar. It’s FREE and super useful!
Google Drive is our resource center. We house EVERYTHING we do/use on it. From historical documents (Op Orders, Memos, Surveys, Schedules) to current resources, Google Drive helps us give access to important information to specific people. The best thing about it is that you can give exclusive/public access to specific people to documents and folders. Our biggest tools in this toolbox include:
FORMS – used for submitting event ideas, CHITs, and other things
SHEETS – used for our Training Schedule and our Standards Evaluations
DOCS – used to edit/archive Memos and Op Orders, and other important documents
Freedcamp is a free project management software that we use to organize ALL of our events. From the planning stage and execution to post-event activities, Freedcamp helps us assign tasks, apply deadlines, and follow up!
I highly recommend it to any Training Team! More info here: https://freedcamp.com/
Our Facebook page is one of our best tools to communicate to our audience. We have our Public Page, which acts as a landing page for our audience to engage with us.
In addition, we also use Private Groups for all our teams and special groups. Since everyone is constantly online, Facebook Groups allows us to easily communicate and provide resources efficiently.
Our website hosts announcements, news, our calendar, and a resource center. It’s our one stop shop for cadets and parents alike.
We also use a host of other web-based tools and services. Here is a brief list with their links for more information:
Twitter – www.twitter.com
YouTube – www.youtube.com
Hootsuite – www.hootsuite.com
Bitly – www.bitly.com
Dropbox – www.dropbox.com
Wix - www.wix.com
As a disclaimer, we are not suggesting you use any/all of the tools listed here. This is just a list of some tools we find useful in running our unit.
And that's it!
Thank you for your support, and don't forget to ask us questions for next week!