The task of organizing a troop with calendars, emails, forms, and documents can seem daunting. I have an easy method to keep most of what I need all in one place. I use Google!
Use the following Google apps to make your planning more organized.
It seems a little silly to start a completely new email address just for your troop but what your doing is creating your own leader workspace that doesn't get mingled up with the rest of your life. Between SU emails, trainings, and event registrations, I want all those emails to go to one dedicated space. Create your own troop email. You can easily access it from your phone and most phones will allow you to be logging into multiple Gmail accounts. This separates your personal and spam from your troop emails.
Have a dedicated Girl Scout calendar! I have severla GS calendars that all serve different purposes. One that people can upload right to their own calendars. If you are like me, I like to stay organized with a planner. I use the Google calendar as my planner and I can separate tasks, SU meetings, and troop meetings with different categories.
- Troop Leader Katie - SU meetings, a to-do list for planning meetings/shopping for supplies. Only I see this calendar
- Girl Scout Calendar - Troop calendar that parents can download. Has the meeting and events dates/times, location.
- Leader calendar - Just for the leaders in our troop. Has meeting dates or assigned tasks for other leaders to complete.
Create different folders to keep yourself organized. I have a leaders only, camp, photo, finances, Surveys, Forms, and Parents folder. Use your drive as an organizational tool for all your Google Docs, Forms, and site.
Google docs have been a lifesaver. You can create live word documents and excel sheets. You can collaborate with your leaders for planning or overall transparency. Share documents with parents. Share your Troop Parent Handbook, Permission slips, financial report, and any other piece of information you want your troop to have access to!
This feature is great for a number of things. If you like to create end-of-the-year surveys this app if for you. I also use Google forms as a registration for camporees or a quick RSVP. It's more formal than a Facebook event RSVP, which I feel people click on easily and don't plan to attend. You can easily share the forms through email or Facebook group so there is no reason why your troop can't use them.
End of the year survey
Google Sites as a Troop Website
I've used Shutterfly in the past. It serves its purpose but to be honest, members of our troop didn't use it. They hated logging in and many times the email notifications that the site sends got bounced back or put into spam. I started using google sites to create a troop hub to distribute information. Overall I find it much more user-friendly to create and if you are using other Google products like docs, you can insert them into the site! If you have a Facebook group you could do without but I just find this easier to navigate to important information.
Notice the different pages....
- Uniforms and Registration
- Calendar - attached Google calendar
- Snack Sign up - used Google share docs
- Cookie Program
- Fall Products
- Forms and Documents - share documents through Google Drive