Archive for the ‘Top Tips’ Category

Google Apps logoMicrosoft’s cash cows of Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint continue to sell hundreds of millions of copies. OpenOffice may offer a free, open source alternative, and Apple has its iWorks suite, but in terms of numbers they are relatively small.  The latest version of Microsoft Office – version 10 – stores your documents on the internet so that they can be accessed wherever there is a connection. OpenOffice allows you to run a copy of itself, plus all your documents, from a USB drive. Both products, however, are inextricably linked to the traditional PC.

A new option is emerging, however. After years of dominance by Microsoft, the way we use computers for everyday tasks is in the midst of a huge transition. As we shift to using applications that are online only, we are entering the age of the cloud and one of the main challengers to Microsoft in this new race is Google Apps.

ICT Champions Julie Harris and Mark Walker complied a review of Google Docs for the Civil Society magazine in summer 2010, which is available now as a free download from this site. Take a look now to see how it works and what they think it can offer.

Click here to download Google Apps review


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It’s hard times for everyone out there and I’m being asked to talk more and more about how socal media can help you find work. Here are some simple ideas to get you going, based on the use of LinkedIn, Twitter and blogging. There are lots of things you can do but I have tried to emphasise simple ideas that are practical and achievable.

It is worth noting that making good use of these tools will increase your skill set in very valuable ways. It will build your skills in the use of social media, increase your awareness of what is happening in your own field and will ideally help you build confidence in yourself by connecting with others. Sometimes it will make you feel like everyone else knows what they’re doing except you… but when this happens just close your eyes, grit your teeth and get back onto Twitter!

Good luck. (more…)

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Is it safe to store your information on the internet? Can you trust Google, Microsoft or any other other big cloud computing providers? Is it legal to store your data online? Despite some of the obvious advantages to moving some or all of your computing services onto the web, these are the sorts of questions which many people are asking before making the switch. A new TechSoup Special about Cloud Computing offers a range of information about security and the cloud, as well as more information about the environmental claims made on its behalf.


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David McCandless is the author of Information is Beautiful, a coffee table book and website that shows how we can use the vast amount of data available to draw beautiful pictures that tell stories, including the brilliant billion-dollar-o-gram. He was a recent speaker at TEDs in Oxford and his presentation brilliantly illustrates how he collates and plays with numbers to tell big stories… (more…)

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A recent NAVCA survey has shown that Local Volunteer Centres and Local Support and Development Organisations are increasingly interested in Communication using Social Media, but can be confused about what is the right tool or website to use or are unsure about how to plan effective use of this new technology for their organisations.

  • Would you like new ways to communicate with groups and communities you support?
  • Do you want to find and try out different ways to reach your volunteers?
  • Have you heard of social media or read about Facebook and Twitter, but not known how to apply them in development of local organisations and volunteer groups?
  • This new training workshop has the answers for you. (more…)

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Top Five Free Tools?

There are plenty of free productivity tools that are available to help you be more efficient and effective. This Top Five is picked up from Simon Duncan, ICT Champion for Yorkshire and Humber and is a great list to uncover some gems you may not know about.  (more…)

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The Internet Advertising Bureau is a trade association for online advertising industry and has produced a number of excellent FREE guides that explains why search engines are so important when trying to reach your target audience. Although you may think of the internet as the preserve of the big brands the set includes an easy to use guide for charities that could be useful for anyone building an online fundraising strategy.

Download the Guide from the IAB website at http://bit.ly/clqVzg

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