We and some of our group organiser friends have noticed that EA student group organisers often don't feel like they can afford simple software that could make them much more productive, get better at running their groups, and save them time in their busy schedules.
We think we've got a lot of benefit out of using software and services in running EA Oxford and Brown EA, and we think they provide a lot of benefit for small cost.
Part of the reason that college group organisers are reluctant to spend is that they're used to living on a small budget. But we think doing EA outreach at college is one of the most impactful things you could be doing while a student, so it's worth treating your time as valuable and paying for software and services that would be very standard at any company.
Below we list out our favourite productivity tools, software, and services.
Want money to pay for these things for your EA student group? We can help pay for it.
1 - Airtable
Airtable is a user-friendly database which is like a souped-up Google Spreadsheet. It's really flexible and powerful. It has a free option and a $24/month/user Pro option.
- We use it as a CRM to manage our group members (a CRM is like an address book of people is often used in business and sales)
- We use it as a project management system to run our Introductory Programs. People sign up to our events using Airtable forms from where you can group people and add information with all the flexibility of a database. Use Airtable automations to automatically send people emails and update other parts of your database.
2 - Zapier
Zapier lets you automate lots of stuff together. There's a free plan and a $20 Starter and $49/month Professional plans)
- When people sign up for an event, we auto email them details, have a notification pinged into Slack, and update their record in the Airtable CRM
- Auto-remind people when an event they are going to is coming up
3 - Squarespace
Squarespace makes it really easy to make a beautiful website. (Our tip is try not to change the templates too much unless you think you have good design taste) $12-18/month
4 - Calendly
Calendly helps you schedule meetings by letting people see your calendar availability and book meetings. $10/month/user with a free plan too.
- People can sign up to have a 1-1 chat with a committee member with Calendly. Using Round Robin it automatically assigns the 1-1 to a free committee member. (Then use Zapier to auto-send introduction emails, and Airtable to log the outcomes of the call)
5 - Google Workspace (aka GSuite)
6 - Mailmeteor
Mailmerge for GMail. Send out customised template emails without loads of copying and pasting. $9/month
- Use it to email all the participants in your program with a customised message telling them what they need to know
You can also try out Streak Mail Merge
7 - Boomerang
Schedule recurring emails and reminders. $5-15/month
- Use it to send recurring event reminders
8 - Supergofer
- Use it to run a book giveaway and mail out 100 copies of Doing Good Better to people
Asana is a project management platform. Use it to have committee members keep their tasks and responsibilities in Asana.
Slack is a messenger chat for teams. Use it instead of email or messenger, and separate out topics into channels.
Notion is an all-in-one workspace. It's like Google Docs combined with databases and wrapped in a pretty website. We often use it for project management as its super flexible (this post was drafted on Notion), and Brown EA use it for their website.
Roam Research is a note-taking tool for networked thought. A lot of EAs I know really like it and use it for all of their note taking.
Want funding for this? We can help
We have a small amount of funding to trial giving fast grants to student organisers to pay for this sort of software. If you help organise for an EA student group we'd love to hear from you.
(Note: student and non-student groups can alternatively apply to Groups Support Funding from CEA for software like this)
What are your favorite productivity tools you use in your group? Comment them below!
Do you use these tools already? Let us know how you use them in your group.