Yet Another Genea-Techno-Organization Tool
If you follow my blog, you’ll already know what a geek I am for genealogy, technology, and organizational tools. So you won’t be surprised at my latest complete geek-out over a new website / tool that I came across this weekend.
I was working on a report that involved lots of quotations, clippings, and bits and pieces of copy that I really just needed to see all in front of me in order to arrange in the right order. When I was in college I used the old-school method of typing everything up, cutting paragraphs into strips, and then laying them out in the order I wanted them to go before re-typing it up all over again. Yeah, I said old-school, didn’t I?
I remembered that the genealogy community has lately gone rather nutty over a couple of tools, specifically Trello and Scrivener, so I thought I’d see if those would work for what I wanted to do. First I opened Scrivener, and realized it was a lot more than what I was needing for this project, and honestly didn’t feel like spending the time to go through all the tutorials at this moment (although I plan to – it does have some very neat writing features).
I pulled up Trello and thought – hey this might be it. I started creating “boards”, but soon realized that I wasn’t able to just grab them and slide them around easily, and they just sort of created a huge horizontal line that I had to scroll through in order to see everything. Nope. Not what I was hoping for (although I do hear wonderful things about it from others).
So I started searching for something that might be sort of a cross between a bulletin board, sticky notes, and a mind map, and Voila! I discovered Padlet.com.
8 reasons that this tool is awesome:
- It’s free. An upgraded version is available for $29/year that offers more background pictures, but honestly, the backgrounds for the free version are great. There are also versions for business and for education.
- No learning curve. Sign in with Facebook or Google for an instant account, and start creating your first padlet board. Just click ‘new padlet’ and go.
- Lots of options. Click the settings gear icon. You can use a freeform layout, where you just drag your note-boxes around, or choose a rigid grid structure, or a stream-view presentation.
- Tags allow you to make your padlet (board) more easily searchable from your collection.
- Dozens of wallpaper backgrounds are available to choose from in the free version, from plain colors to patterns to beautiful photos of nature.
- Privacy controls allow you to set the options for each board you create from Secret, Password Protected, Private or Public. You may invite others to view and/or edit boards if you want to, and set privileges individually.
- Each padlet has it’s own unique URL link and QR code that you can share online if you like, or you may export your entire board as an image file (.jpg), PDF, or even a .csv file.
- A Chrome extension let you easily add website items to an existing padlet, or even to create a new one.
- An iPad app is available so you can have and use your padlet on the go.
Try it out and see what you think.