Good news for non-profits. Google Apps, the cloud based productivity suite (think Microsoft Office) from Google. What can you do with Google Apps? The list is long:
Email: Get custom email address using your domain
Calendar: Schedule meetings, share calendars, meeting reminders
Drive: Store documents online, share them, access from anywhere
Docs: Create and share documents in real-time
Sheets: Spreadsheets with real-time editing and charts
Slides: Presentations with the ability to embed videos and real-time sharing
Profit Vs. Nonprofit
For a traditional business you would be looking at $5 per user, per month or $50 for the year. If you have a large non-profit organization, getting this for free could save you hundreds per year. Plus, you no longer need to update software year after year. Google Apps are automatically updated at no charge to your non-profit.
Cut the tether
An issue with many non-profits is the ability to pivot on the fly. Google Apps allows you to do this by cutting the tether to your desk. With mobile, iPhone and Android apps, you now have the ability to work from anywhere. Changes you make on your home computer will look exactly the same when you log-in at your work computer.
Work in real-time with your staff. Does this sound familiar? You create a Word document. You email it your boss. Your boss makes corrections then emails it back. You make the changes. Email…you get the point. With Google Docs you can edit in real-time with multiple people having the document open at the same time. In fact you can do this with spreadsheets and presentations as well.
Regardless of where you are, you can do this in real-time. Including different countries.
A change of heart
Google at one point only offered the free version of Google Apps for Nonprofits to those nonprofits with less than 3,000 users. Now, regardless of size you are eligible.
Description from Google: Google Apps is a cloud-based productivity suite that helps you and your team connect and get work done from anywhere on any device. It’s simple to setup, use and manage, allowing you to work smarter and focus on what really matters.
If you’re a frequent user of Google Reader you’ve probably heard by now that Google is killing off Google Reader effective July 1, 2013. I won’t use this platform to discuss the merits of Google Reader (it’s awesome) or how important it is (very) to what I do. I won’t even list a bunch alternatives (someone already has).
I will give you the alternative to Google Reader, one that I had long forgotten about. Netvibes.
What is it?
Netvibes was founded in 2005 and has around 4 million active users. They’ve branded themselves as a dashboard, think iGoogle. It’s a dynamic workspace where you can add modules (apps/widgets) that provide information. A default dashboard looks like this:
Netvibes is free and gives you the ability to see your feed in two different ways. The widget view can be shuffled and re-organized to infinity. If you don’t care for the dashboard look you have the reader view that is similar to what you would see in Google Reader.
With Netvibes you have the ability to integrate any enterprise or web app on to your dashboards. Easily add Twitter, Facebook, RSS, or Search Content.
Adding feeds is as simple as entering a website address. Netvibes will do the rest.
If you’re coming from Google Reader, there’s an easy way to import all your existing feeds into Netvibes.
Click on “Create archive” to export your subscriptions as a ZIP file
Unzip the saved file to your desktop
Go to Netvibes, click on “Add content” then “OPML: Import”, “Choose File” and select the “subscriptions.XML” file you just unzipped
Click on “Import”
Expect a few hiccups as they are seeing a sudden increase of signups. I created my account back in 2009 and event that was slowed to a halt yesterday following the announcement from Google. Be patient, this is a solid alternative that I think you’ll enjoy.
Have you found other alternatives to Google Reader?
The internet is a big, wonderful place with content to consume at every turn. Some days it can be overwhelming trying to wrap your head around the information thrown at us. We thought it would be cool to share just how much happens in the span of a minute on the internet. Below you’ll find a nifty infographic from Go-Globe. These numbers are from early 2012 so I’m certain they’re are adjustments here and there, but you get the point.