Since our company’s induction, we’ve used Google Sites to help us manage knowledge in our company. This includes:
- Onboarding information for new employees
- Trainer guides for our part-time trainers
- Management of our team and personal objectives and key results throughout the quarter
- Records of of AAR (After Action Reviews) for future referrals
- Records of company workflows and SOPs
- Separate wiki sites for the tech, content and marketing team detailing our research, to be shared with the rest of the team
Google sites is meant to be a Web 2.0 tool that encourages collaboration and file sharing through its rather comprehensive resource integration with Google docs, enabled uploading/downloading of documents and ability to embed videos. We’ve found its interface to be compatible for sharing content that requires structure and minimal editing throughout the year, like company values, onboarding procedures, or AARs meant for future references.
However, when it comes to sharing of resources like articles and web links- content that is ever changing, that’s where the experience of adding and organising them feels rather cumbersome. Firstly, we digest information alot on the go and some times we only want to give 30 secs of our time to bookmark the link, and share some key points of the article. Google sites does not have a native app on the mobile and this makes something as simple as sharing a video or link on the wiki page a 5-step process. Secondly, as Google sites is a wiki for us, we want to adhere to its structure and organisation. However, while on the go, merely pasting a link together with key points is messy.
Inbuilt share function on mobile
Because of the inconvenience we faced, we found ourselves sharing these links and resources through the mobile inbuilt share function via gmail or whatsapp. Over time, these resources get lost in the sea of the messaging system. It is a hassle to search for whenever we need them for reference.
Essentially, the wiki wasn’t the right app to complement what we were doing. We were note-taking and bookmarking, but the wiki contained a structured database of resources that needed time to organise. We needed a shared notebook, an app that wasn’t as structured and formal as Google Sites to complement the way we searched for, digested and bookmarked information in our daily life!
Here Comes Evernote
I first learnt about Evernote 2 years ago after visiting their booth setup in an education conference. I didn’t think much of it as I am a typical sequential learner who needs to be guided through new things. Evernote was a totally blank slate and I didn’t know how to get started and what it could do.
Fast forward to a few weeks back, we decided to explore apps to make sharing resources easier for us. After watching some Evernote videos, I was enlightened by how convenient collaborative note sharing could be accessed by multiple users across multiple devices. It is interesting how increasing the frequency of sharing could lead to more collaboration and team work, and as sharing of knowledge became more transparent, potentially lead to better business outcomes.
This is how MailChimp uses Evernote. Pretty cool how it complements and simplifies workflows.
After a short discussion with the partners and briefing the office, we’ve started notebooks for Design, Tech, Prototyping, Content Marketing, OKRs, Management and General Company Matters. We also got everyone in the office to download Evernote on their laptops and mobile devices. Each of us have either gotten an Evernote Basic or an Evernote Premium account. It’s been over a week, and we’ve seen a significant spike in the sharing of articles and other resources in the office. Am excited to see where it will lead us to in the upcoming months! Stay tuned for more updates.