As you may have noticed I am all about staying organized in my busy crazy life. I will even admit I am lost without my phone some days. The simple reason behind that is my phone is a miniature version of my laptop or work computer. So this leads me to the question of how many apps do I need to store documents and photos to save memory space on my phone and computer. There are lots of “cloud” storage programs out there, its simply a matter of finding the one that works for you and you individual needs. In this lesson I am going to explore Dropbox. It is an online “cloud” storage program you can install onto your computer and smartphone using an app. You can get the basic package for free or you can pay a monthly fee if you are using it for a business or organization. I find it is a simple program to use and transfer files into to be saved as a backup.
The next question to come to mind is how can this help me in my personal or professional work life. It would be interesting to use Dropbox in a professional capacity simply for the reason of being able to edit certain documents while out of the office and share them with the rest of the staff. It raises the question, if this would be a useful function if a staff member is away at a conference and would like to share notes right away with the rest of the staff. It is certainly something that will need to be explored in further detail with my co-workers.
In my personal life I am beginning to wonder if it would be useful in the planning process of my sister’s upcoming wedding. It would allow members of the bridal party to share and edit guests lists for the various functions we have planned. It could also help to keep everyone up-to-date on everything that is going on and where we need to concentrate. It will be interesting to bring this up with both my mom and my sister. It is possible that it would be more convenient than e-mail.
In a world where we use computers in our daily lives for a wide variety of things, it is easy to get lost in the shuffle and confusion of endless websites to be used at a later point in time. One way to stay organized and less overwhelmed is to create a social bookmaking account. This is a great idea because your bookmarks are not confined to one computer, smartphone, or tablet. It is especially useful to librarians in a smaller library where staff members are encouraged to be cross-trained and work at different computers in the library.
There are two free social bookmarking sites to use for this purpose; they are called “Delicious” and “Diingo”. I found personally Diigo is the site that will work best for me. I can use tags to organize all the bookmarks I reference on a daily basis. I can send bookmarks to others and mark them to read at a later point in time. It will prove useful to me to have bookmarks on a social site for when I am working from home or at a different computer at work. A lot of the sites I use on a daily basis at work help me to figure out where a book is in a certain series or to figure out the volume number for a graphic novel. As a cataloger, I often use three main sites to figure out the placement of a book. In a lot of book series for children there will be the main series with a number of sub-series. These can be confusing and hard to keep track. The increasing popularity of Graphic Novels has introduced older book series like The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew to a new generation of readers. A lot of people still like to read books in order. When cataloging books I try to label the book series and the number in the series. Diigo can be helpful in this area.
Diigo has an app you can download for free to your smartphone or tablet. The app will is great for when you are on the go at a conference and do not feel like bringing a lot of devices with you. This will come in especially helpful when I am at VLA (Vermont Library Association) conference in May. The app is user friendly and easy to use. Its a great way to stay organized on the go in this fast paced world.
LinkedIn is a great social networking site for professionals. You can use it to connect with co-workers past and present, track of your past job experiences, and connect with others in different professions. As many libraries in a small state know, there is not always enough money in the budget to pay for expensive guest lecturers or performers. LinkedIn is a great tool to use to explore the wide range of jobs out there today. It is possible through cultivating friendships with other members in the community, you can talk to them about doing a program for free at the library or work in conjunction with a local bookstore to host a specific speaker.
If you are looking to explore a new job opportunity in your current field or a new field, you can post your resume for others to see. This can make searching for a new job less of a headache. Social networking can be used in very helpful and effective ways if you put your mind to it and work towards a specific goal. LinkedIn is free to use and you can easily install the app onto your smartphone or tablet to manage your account where ever you may go. It can be used as an effective tool to in working towards professional and/or personal goals you have set for yourself.
To tweet or not to tweet that is the question. Please excuse my paraphrasing of the Bard. This week I created a twitter handle, if you like you can add me it is: @kmbear623, to explore how twitter can be used in both my personal life and my professional life. I can say in my personal life it has had very little impact as twitter is not something my family and friends use on a daily basis. I suppose you could say we are old fashioned in the sense we prefer to send each other random texts or messages on Facebook. We have even been known to talk to each other on the phone. Personally I will add, I do love the fact I was able to link my twitter account to Flipboard to use a single app to manage several apps. If you are interested in hearing more of my thoughts on Flipboard, read the post “Exploring a personal unknown: RSS”.
The idea of using twitter in a professional manor, I have to admit intrigues me. I started to follow several libraries around the state and a few local businesses to see how they use it as a promotional tool in a very technology driven world. In my observations I can see how using twitter to promote a specific program or announcing closing the library early / opening late due to weather is a way to communicate with the community at large in a timely manner. The idea of only using 140 characters can create a challenge in finding a way to effectively grab the reader’s attention and promote a program in a way that is effective and efficient. As a creative stand point it is intriguing to see what keywords will draw the reader in and compel them to inquire further. It would be interesting to experiment using twitter as a library to see if it would strengthen our ties with the community and possibly use it to attract people who may not think to come to the library to check it out.
I believe I will try twitter for a little while longer, it is possible it will grow upon me.
There are many photo editing/sharing programs available today for your PC/Mac/Smartphone/tablet, etc. In the past two posts I have been exploring flickr. It came before Instagram and is a product of yahoo. In exploring it, I have found personally that I prefer to use Instagram. The reasons for this is because like many people I have my personal e-mail address and my work e-mail address. To use flickr, you have to create a yahoo e-mail address. The use of “hashtags” are present in both programs. Both programs have a similar concept in how the the program is designed and how to use the app on your smartphone/tablet. Here is a link to my flickr account with two old pictures. http://www.flickr.com/photos/114192509@N03/ I used the hashtags #family #sledding #winter. Both pictures were taken by two different family members, using a smartphone and a digital camera. Can you tell which is which? Until next time!