Friday, September 18, 2009

More Productivity or More Work?

It's hard to tell yet whether online productivity tools like sticky notes, file converters, and Backpack would be more beneficial than the standard method. I think that at first there would be a definite learning curve for all those involved. Any time you change the communication system, expect there to be resisters and hoopladites (those who adopt new 'hoopla' right away).

The best way to decide what an institution should use is to look at what they hope to get done. Don't just grab the first cool app and say, "Let's use this! It looks so cool!" These tools could be used by individuals, departments, individual library branches, or entire library systems. Take a look at the most commonly performed actions and then evaluate what online tool might assist with those actions. Follow the following tips to decide whether to jump in and use a productivity tool:

  • Make sure you're actually going to use it. If you aren't going to use a tool often enough to get comfortable with it, you probably aren't going to stick with it.
  • Try it out yourself first. If you can't figure it out, odds are the rest of the people in your department won't either.
  • Is it the best tool for the job? Make sure that another tool won't do the same job better and cheaper.
  • Is it compatible with software or tools that you already use? If you're already using GoogleCalendar for your library schedule, do you want to add a To Do list manager that is separate from Google?
  • Decide at what level to use the tool. Is this a tool that makes your life easier but is optional for others? Would it enhance communication in the department, branch or system?

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