Opinion

5 tools every busy intranet manager needs to try

Handpicked by our team

Connor Ward

Connor Ward

Content makes or breaks an intranet.

Policies, protocols, style guides – businesses live on this stuff. But, again and again, it’s just dumped onto the intranet and forgotten about.

Look, I know editing internal content isn’t the most glamorous job in the world, but if you’re not making it interesting, everyone will stop using your intranet.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “I wish I had the time to do whatever it is you’re about to tell me.” But hear me out. I’ve chosen 5 tools that will not only help you make great content but save you time too.

Trello

First up, Trello. Everyone’s heard of it but, it’s such an important of my day, I had to mention it. It’s a simple tool made up of boards, lists, and cards. That’s it, and it’s all we need.

We’ll use it as a planning tool for an intranet rollout. Let’s name the lists after stages in your plan (like ‘planning’, ‘in progress’ and ‘reviewing’). Then, we’ll use the cards to note down individual tasks: knowledge articles that need writing, forms that need creating and apps that need integrating. We’ll move the cards across the board as we go – an easy way to stay on top of things.

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Milanote

Second, my new favourite tool, Milanote. Here’s why I love it: you can chuck a load of notes and pictures onto a board and then move them where you like. You can even have boards, within boards, within boards.

Why is this so great? Well, you can use it to collect, map and rearrange ideas before you start writing. Look at this:

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See how clearly mapped out that website is? You can do the exact same when building a knowledge base without getting lost in the planning notes and spreadsheets.

Hemingway App

Third, Hemingway App. I’ll let them speak for themselves:

“Hemingway makes your writing bold and clear. It’s like a spellchecker, but for style. It makes sure that your reader will focus on your message, not your prose.”

But, you ask, I thought this was a list of tools that are meant to help make content, not add the final touches?

Well, I bet you’ve got a lot of very important information locked away in very boring PDFs. Every business does. So, dig them out and then copy paste them here. It’ll clearly outline all the wordy, boring bits that need a rewrite, and even include a few suggestions on what words to use. You’ve just turned those boring docs into short, engaging pieces of content.

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Canva

Fourth, Canva. It’s a design tool for people who don’t have the time to learn graphic design. Everything is done right in the browser, so you don’t have to shell out any money for an expensive suite of apps (like Adobe).

Visual content is great at jazzing up a stale intranet. So, next time you need to write an announcement or blog, hop onto Canva. Select a template you like customise it using the drag and drop, and use it as the body of your content. Here’s an example of an invite for our summer party I knocked up in under a minute.

Loom

Finally, Loom, a video recording tool. Here’s why video is great: you can teach users without typing a thing.

Loom makes it easy, just install the browser extension and you can record yourself, your screen or both, whenever you want. When you’re done, you’ll automatically be given a video that you can embed anywhere on your intranet.

Here’s a great place to start using video: onboarding. Use Loom to create a quick walkthrough of your system, and then paste the link into Twine’s welcome settings. Now, whenever someone logins for the first time they’ll be met with your video – an easy, effective way to onboard users.

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Sharing your content

I’ve given you a few ideas about how to use these apps. Now, it’s time for you to share ideas with me. I want to see all the interesting ways you use these apps to create internal content. And if you find a tool we haven’t mentioned, I want to know that too.

Give us a shout on Twitter when you’re ready ?