You’ve probably heard of it but I just wanted to share how we’re using it. The app is called Orchestra and it allows you to share tasks and even entire lists of tasks with other people. Here’s what we do.
All of our volunteers download the app and join a list called Ridge Connect. When anybody adds something to the list, everyone can see it. And each item on the list has its own thread of comments so that communication is wide open. Each task can be assigned to a specific person, or left open for anyone to “claim.”
Every Wednesday when we take roll, we produce two lists. One list for regulars who are absent and another for first time visitors. All these names get put into Orchestra as to-do items. Then our volunteers go through and “claim” who they’re going to follow up with based on existing relationships or previous encounters. Once they follow up with the student they can mark it off the list.
I can monitor who’s doing what and make sure the work load is distributed evenly. I can also “nudge” someone who has taken a task to remind them to do it or check that they already have. Since each item has it’s own threads, everyone can share information about how to get in touch with a student or what their favorite candy bar is or anything else that well help with the follow up.
The most important part is getting everyone to commit to the system. So when someone texts me and says, “Hey do I need to follow up with anyone from last night?” Instead of texting them some names, I have to say, “You’ll have to check Orchestra.”
There are a lot of other ways to use this app. But this is the biggest way we’re using it right now. I hope it’s beneficial to someone.
**Also, I’m not sure if there is an Android version of this. Every single one of our counselors has in iPhone. It is possible to use the service without the app. It just sends you an email or text of everything that’s been assigned to you and then you participate through a web browser.