strengthening intuition, heart, and knowing in leaders and organizations

Tech Tools Every Leader Needs Now

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I just returned from the American Evaluators Summer Institute in Atlanta Georgia. Here are my takeaways and a list of consultant/coach must-haves for 2017-18.

Key Takeaways:

  1. GROW FACILITATION & PRESENTATION SKILLS. Evaluators need to be strong facilitators if they want the research to land and engage stakeholders in the process of making evidence-based decisions; reports and presentations aren't cutting it anymore. We need to practice getting vocal and seen-- that isn’t easy for introverted writers and readers. Facilitation is more than the substance, its also about theatrics. Its about holding space with your physical presence, body posture, tone of voice, eye contact and movement, all help bring information to life and to use.

  2. GET TECHY. Evaluators/researchers/consultants need to keep up with the latest software, tech, and cloud applications. For instance, there are so many organizational systems waiting to support us so we can leverage our work, projects, data. Take the time to learn about a new product. Spend 30 minutes watching the introductory videos, reading reviews, and learning how the new tool functions (anything coming out these days in the competitive market is going to be sold as “INTUITIVE” and easy to learn). Subscribe to tech news and magazines to stay in the loop. One shift can save you hours of work! Read below for techy items and my reviews.

  3. UP THE VISUALS. Time to get graphic. Graphic facilitators and designers are helping big concepts land among stakeholders and stay alive (referenced). If you have any creative bones in your body-- learn tableau, photoshop, or scribble skills fast. It’s time to not just talk the talk, its time to upgrade the visuals. Check out:


Info and File Management:

  • Newsify: Read and share websites and blogs on newspaper-like layout.

  • Pearltrees: Create your URL collections and organize them; like pinterest for website organization

  • Trello: Digital board of lists and cards, easy project management tool (think virtual to do lists)

  • Evernote: Note manager and organization tool, endless notebooks and pages make a digital library

Browser Makeover:

  • Grammarly: it’s like autocorrect, for the world-wide web

  • Protopage: a website dashboard, that pulls up all your favorite websites and info at once in real time

  • AdBlock Plus: an ad-blocker that makes internet browsing feel like a VIP experience

Data Collection:

  • Mentimeter: Online interactive presentation, like live poll generators to increase engagement with audience

  • shortens URL length, great for online surveys

  • Internet Archive: an online library of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more

  • Padlet: online virtual “bulletin” board for collaboration reflect and content sharing (great for teams)

Color Work:

  • Colorzilla: a color reader program to access colors from any website, assists in color related tasks

  • Kuler or Color: Creates color palettes that can be shared and synced to Adobe apps (i.e, Photoshop)

  • ColorBrewer: helps select good color schemes for maps and other graphics

Data Visualization:

  • Noun Project: visual icons for everything

  • Canva: Graphic design layouts and templates

  • Thinglink: annotate anything

  • Circos: Circle diagram maker

  • Sankeymatic: Sankey diagram maker


  • Sway/Prezi: presentation makers

  • Sedja: PDF editor and converter

  • Airserver: transforms any screen into a universal screen mirroring receiver (i.e., project from your smartphone)

  • Fiverr: hire someone to make presentations or videos for you

Photos: Get great imagery from one of these websites

  • Google Creative Commons

  • Flickr Creative Commons

  • Wikimedia Commons

  • Dreamstime

  • MorgueFile

  • 123RF

Blogs to Check out:

  • Stephanie Evergreen’s Data Visualization: Amazing data graphic guru

  • The Sweet Setup: A blog that recommends apps for anything!

  • Your Nerdy Best Friend: A blog that recommends apps for anything, with a personal touch

  • Profhacker: Tips, tutorials, and commentary on pedagogy, productivity, and technology for professors

Natalie OrozcoComment