PTO parents are crazy busy. Not only are they responsibly organizing everything for their school, but they’ve got their own lives, jobs and kids. (The kids being, of course, the reason that they’re on the PTO in the first place…)
One of the challenges for any organization happens during transitions. When one person leaves a job and someone else moves in, information gets lost. Traditions get broken. Contacts disappear. The wheel gets reinvented, again and again.
(After 15 years of dealing with PTOs, I only have one complaint—every year there’s a new person in charge with a new email. Every year I have to figure out who to talk to and how to talk to them.)
That’s why I’m offering a handy tip to make things easier!
Use Google for everything!
- Get a PTO-only Gmail account—or one for each major role in the PTO.*
Give it an easy to remember name, like email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
When you get a new parent taking over a role, give them the controls of the account. POOF! everybody still stays in touch. Everybody has access to all the documents, too (see below).
- Use Google Docs and Google Drive to keep everything
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel or redo a poster every year, or track down the person who had the document last…
Not only are google drive documents “shareable”, but they’ll stick around, and you’ll be able to find them and print them, and pass them on.
- Put your posters here
- Write your “todo” lists here
- Keep track of your finances here
- Put your PTO finances on a Google Spreadsheet. Yes, Google will know what you’re doing, but so will you… No more trying to figure out how much money’s left over to pay for author/storyteller visits
- Use Google Calendar to keep track of events. Have separate calendars for planning and “the public”. Share the calendars.
- You can also use Google drive, like dropbox, to share other files…
This will make your lives and transitions over the years so much more manageable.
Oh, and please *send me an email so that I know who to send stuff to!