Thing 34: Annual Reports

Being here in beautiful Rensselaerville at the Carey Center has left an afternoon to play with how to present data or information monthly, every few months, or one reports at the end of the year. Our library does do Smore newsletters, but we’re now limited in how many we can create. Features we like include it’s shareability and ability to track the clicks along with the limitation (in a good way) of limiting the information you share so it’s not overwhelming.

This afternoon, I worked and used two different presentation platforms: Adobe Slate (example here) and MailChimp (example here). I am digging both tools.

  • Adobe Slate was so easy to log in to (mainly because I am a Nook owner and my email address was already recognized with an account) and then you got to work right away. There was no waiting. It was easy to keep adding on to your story with the + signs, that included video, photo gallery option, text, and even the visually appealing quote text to really highlight something. Once complete, it was equally easy to copy the link to send or use any of the share options from social media, embedding, or simply emailing through Adobe.
  • MailChimp had a learning curve. Mainly, you must already know how you want the layout to look (graphics, images, text) and choose from the start. It isn’t like Powerpoint or a cell in Excel where you can right click to add after the fact. What’s there is what’s there on the templates and if you did want to switch, it does not pull your draft into the new version– you essentially lose what you had. Once learned, I moved on to creating and that editing phase was generally easy to change font, headings, edit text, and play around with popping things visually. I didn’t get in to the nitty gritty of text color and blocking.
    • I learned about email systems through a help document. I was going to use/test using a Yahoo account but in a help article that pops up after an angry red message to read more about this, you will have better luck sending mailchimp mail from an organizational email rather than a free email service. It explained that Yahoo and AOL already had this and Gmail and Hotmail would soon switch over, so verify an organizational email and use that. The test was nice to see what it looked like and how you would want to change anything before creating listservs, but this might be the way to go!

This was enjoyable to spend an afternoon looking and playing. It’s rare without it being forced to be able to create in a space where there’s a latte button waiting to be pushed and colleagues to share with!


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