ellohay! West Michigan

ellohay! West Michigan officially has volunteers

Posted in support, tech support, to-do list, volunteers by forgr on January 25, 2009

I’d like to welcome Tom and Natasha to the ellohay! West Michigan team. They have both been giving oodles of time towards our growing to-do lists, helping with organization and providing a multitude of ideas and improvements.

It’s really great to see this project grow, to see people believe in it right along with me, and to know that it can and will advance, get better, get stronger.

This has the potential to be an extraordinary thing, thank you for working to make it happen.

If you have a little time and want to volunteer too, here are three ways to take the next step. Email me, Marie-Claire Camp, call me (616) 446-3622 and we can talk about what you might be interested in doing, or write a note to ellohay! West Michigan P.O. Box 1994 Grand Rapids, MI 49501.

Thanks for being awesome guys.

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.org

Posted in portal, public face, website by forgr on January 11, 2009

We mocked up a version of the front page of the future ellohay.org website, I’ve posted it here, and to the live site as well. Some of the questions we asked ourselves, and aimed to answer as we sketched:

ellohay_placeholder

Who is the site for?
What is ellohay! West Michigan?
Why should I care?
How do I get involved with the organization?
Does this person have all the information he needs to take the next step?
What does she need as a potential new client?
Where does she go as a new client?
How does a guardian, a teacher, a mentor use the site?
What will an established client need?
Will a potential donor have all the information he needs to take the next step?
Would I want to come back to the site?

What do you think? Did our first attempt come close? What’s missing?

The next step will be to create an updated version with your feedback, layout an internal page (like an “about” page, or a “program” page) to see how the navigation plays out, and if the page structure makes sense.

Bringing it all together

Posted in earn-a-laptop, organization, planning, research, software, strategy, writing by forgr on January 4, 2009

In my professional life I keep everything organized in one place. One to do list, with subheadings, prioritized items, due dates, the works. At home I’m much less organized.

For this project, I’m organized in my head, but not on paper. I’m all over the place.

Let’s review the online tools list that I use:

For writing, I use: Twitter, WordPress.
For photos, I use: Flickr
For bookmarks, I use: Twitter, and the ‘links’ column in WordPress
For fundraising, I use: Fundable (success!), ChipIn (fail)
For Groups, I use: Google Groups (fail), LinkedIn (mixed success)
For video, I intend on using: YouTube

Now, a look at other on and offline tools for getting things done:

For newsletters, I intend of using: Constant Contact
For domain registration, I used: GoDaddy
For website hosting, I used: DreamHost
For email, I use: Gmail
For writing, I use: Microsoft Word
For Internet browsing, I use: Mozilla Firefox
For wire-framing and strategic documents, I use: OmniGraffle
For top of the head notes, with no paper on hand, I use: a little digital voice recorder

For getting ideas down on paper, literally:

Color-coded sticky notes
Black journal with graph paper pages
Graph Paper note pad
Giant sticky notes
Whatever happens to be lying around if/when I get an idea (receipts, empty spots on the back of brochures)

It’s so scattered right now. So, what I’m trying to do is figure out what works, and how I can quickly communicate things to the right people and in the right place. Blogging here works pretty well, but it doesn’t loan itself to versioning very well, and it’s difficult to write partial thoughts too.

BaseCamp or Google Docs, Google Spreadsheets may be the best option to keep all these things together.

picture-3 picture-4

I guess it’s time to just choose and get started. Aggregate, transcribe notes. Bringing it all together is going to be difficult, and take time, but I’m pretty sure I’m the only one that can understand my own notes.

On an unrelated note, we’ve got ourselves a P.O. Box, and a first draft of a budget.