Camp Articles


5 Tools to Help You Be More Productive This Fall

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Wow, it’s almost hard to believe that summer 2014 is done and gone. I’m sure by now you’ve been busy finalizing the summer that was and preparing for the fall and winter season that will be. One of the things that I find most helpful towards the end of the summer and start of the next season is to evaluate how I work.

With the massive amount of online tools and the pace at which they change, there are almost always new ways to improve workflow systems and make your life much more efficient. And there is no better time to do this than the end of one season and the start of the next.

So, here are 5 tools that I’m planning on using this fall. I hope they help you too.

  1. Summer Camp Marketing Calendar is a downloadable Microsoft Excel booklet created by the team at CampHacker. In it you will find an overview sheet with information on how to set up the calendar for your camp, a sample posting strategy, and a spreadsheets to organize your marketing for every month of the year. The calendar also helps you to set up "deep links" to your blog and website content so that you will receive some extra Search Engine Optimization (SEO) value from your entire existing web content.

  1. ScanSnap Evernote Edition , a collaboration between Evernote and Fujitsu, is not only the first of its kind – it’s the best in its class. You can put nearly anything in it, push one button, and with lightning speed it scans, senses, and autofiles your photos, receipts, business cards, and documents into your designated Evernote notebooks. Before you can walk away for a cup of coffee, you’ll get a simple notification to let you know Evernote has done your filing for you. We are in the process of taking our camp paperless. To do this it required us to change the future of paper at camp but all do something with the history of documents that are being stored in files throughout our office. ScanSnap and Evernote have been and will continue to be a lifesaver in this process. Be warned though, this one comes with a heavy price tag.

  1. Flipboard is an app for your Apple or Android device and is a single place to discover, collect and share the news you care about. You can add your favorite social networks, publications and blogs to stay connected to the topics and people that matter to you.  Flipboard allows you to search for anything—people, topics, hashtags, your favorite sites—and then flip through articles, updates, photos and videos all in a beautiful magazine-style format. I even read my digital copy of Camp Business on Flipboard!

  1. How to Write Anything: A Complete Guide is a 600+ page practical guide to everything you’ll ever need to write—at work, at camp, and in your personal life. With more than 200 how-to entries and easy-to-use models organized into three comprehensive sections on work, school, and personal life, How to Write Anything covers a wide range of topics that make it an essential guide for any camp professional who wasn’t an English major. You want your boss to fund a special project. How can you write a persuasive email that will win her approval? It's time to apply for another job? How can you write a resume that will stand out? The mother of one of your co-workers has passed away. What's the best way to express your condolences? Grounded in a common-sense approach, friendly and supportive, How to Write Anything is Internet-savvy, with advice throughout about choosing the most appropriate medium for your message: email or pen and paper.

  1. Camp-Business.com is the web version of the long-running magazine. Available on your browser or as an app for your tablet or phone, camp-business.com is a stop I will make frequently to catch up on relevant articles about our work from some of the top voices in camping. A place where I go to find and rate suppliers of quality camp materials. And a site that as a business insider, gives me access to amazing podcasts, special deals, and relevant Continuing Education Credits and online training.

What tools do you plan to use this fall? Please leave your top tools in the comments section.

Cory Harrison has directed resident camp programs for more than 10 years with The Salvation Army and the YMCA. Currently, he is the Executive Director of the YMCA Camp Benson in Northwest, IL. He is a life-long camper, an avid reader, and daily cereal eater. Reach him via Facebook: facebook.com/coryharrison

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