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Visual Update II: Top Navigation Design

This is Part 2 of our series on Noodle Intranet Theme Design. To view “Part 1” please click here.

Recently, Noodle Intranet, was updated with more options for the Top Navigation view and a fresh new style. This makes the Top Navigation view more customizable than ever before. The Top Navigation menu has also been improved to open “on click”, rather than on “hover” which could get in the way sometimes when navigating the site the old way. This helps improve the user experience and makes it better for administrators as well.

Top Navigation Customization

There are now 4 options to control the look of your navigation.

The new “Navigation Color” and “Navigation Background Color” allow you to customize the text links in the Tabs, and the background of the Tabs. You can try different combinations and will be able to set individual colors for tabs in the future as well.

Setting the Navigation Width also helps you get the most out of your screen space. Companies that use wider monitors/screens may want to use a wider view to fit more content on their screen and have less wasted space.

This also helps keep the Section Tabs at the top organized.

You can also control the shape of the Tabs at the top by setting a value for “Round Corner”. This allows you to have rectangular tabs, or have them more curved and rounded. Note that this also changes the shape of your Portlet boxes.

There are still other possibilities customizing your navigation using the built-in CSS box in the Theme options. You are able to go beyond the buil-in options to style Noodle any way you want.

Please send us any questions or feedback you may have. If you are not using Noodle yet, feel free to sign up for a free demonstration of our software.

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Visual Update: Font Icons and Background Colors

The Noodle Team would like to send a quick update to show you a couple of new visual options for your intranet site. Font Icons have been added to the Rich-Text Editor to give you more options for creating custom links and other types of posts. You can now also choose individual colors for your backgrounds in your site. Providing you with more Theme options to customize.

Font Icons in Editor

There are multiple benefits for using Font Icons opposed to images. They allow for faster loading and less storage space on your site. Font icons can be used in any Page, Blog or Forum post, or inside of an Announcement Portlet. The example below used Font Icons to create some visual links to other parts of the intranet or to external websites or portals.

 

 

The Font Icons can be accessed via the “Font Awesome” Icon when you click on “More” in the editor.

 

 

Then, you may choose or set the icon from the included Gallery.

 

 

Intranet Theme Background Colors

New options, in the Theme color settings, are now available to set individual color backgrounds.

You may now select a specific color for your Top Bar Banner, Navigation, Quickbar and Page backgrounds.

This adds even more flexibility to easily customize the look of your site. You will still have the option to set a background image for any of these options, which will overwrite any color settings.

Please send us any questions or feedback you may have. If you are not using Noodle yet, feel free to sign up for a free demonstration of our software.

 

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Noodle Software

Noodle Calendar RSVP

Noodle’s new RSVP option, in the Calendar Application, makes sending and tracking meeting invites simple. Never miss a meeting by being able to track and add the event to your own personal calendar. As the Event Organizer, this makes it easier to plan and schedule meetings and other events with your employees.

How to Send Noodle’s RSVPs

 

In your Event Details, when you are creating or modifying an event, there is a new option to expand labelled “Reminders and Invites”. Checking this box will give you the option to set up Reminder notifications for Users and/or Groups.

Then you click the check box next to “Send event Invitation” to include an invite to the selected user’s e-mail.

How to Respond to RSVP

 

In the recipient’s e-mail, they will receive a Calendar invite. They can respond to this, through the e-mail, or add the event to their own calendar. This works with any e-mail application.

 

How to Track RSVP Responses

As the event organizer, you can go into the “Event Details” to view your invite responses. In your Event Details, simply click on the mail icon   to view a list of responses.

 

That’s it! You are now ready to use the new Noodle Calendar RSVP feature. Feel free to contact saleshelp@vialect.com with any questions or issues you may have.

If you are not using Noodle yet, receive a free tour now by Requesting a Live Demonstration.

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Noodle Intranet Posters

Adding high quality images to your Noodle Sections and Pages are now easier than ever!

If you want to jazz up a Page, create a Department banner or provide inspirational quotes, Posters will allow you to do so easily.

Noodle has partnered up with Unsplash to provide a full gallery of images that can be selected from within our WYSIWYG Text Editing Tool. These images are of high quality and are free, no license required. You can then easily add text on top of the image.

 

Adding a New Poster Portlet

To add a new Poster portliest to your Page or Section, click on the “Add Portlet” icon in the upper-right corner of the Page or Section.

Then select, “Poster”.

This will automatically add an image with a popular Quote in text.

To select a new image from the gallery, go to the Options menu of the Porltet and choose “Edit”.

Right click on the Poster image and select “Edit Div (Poster)”.

Here, you can click on the “Poster” tab to search and select a new Image to add.

To change the text, simply highlight the existing text and press “Delete/Backspace” to remove and then add your own.

These Unsplash images can now also be added in any application using the Text Editor. In the “Image Upload” box, there will now be a tab for “Poster” to be able to select and add images from the gallery.

Any feedback you may have using this new feature can be sent to saleshelp@vialect.com as we will be looking for ways to improve this tool for several Noodle applications.

Enjoy using the new Posters!

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Collaboration Intranets Uncategorised

Work from Home with your Intranet

This past winter hit many areas quite hard with snow, freezing ice, and even frost quakes! On top of all the other issues with a large amount of snow, travel becomes not only difficult, but dangerous.

School closing are common in poor weather, but not every office or business can do so. The loss of productivity to some companies can have a large impact during weather emergencies. Approximately $1 billion per winter season is lost due to snowstorms. With record snowfalls and other extreme weather being seen in several parts of the country, all companies need to be prepared. Allowing users to work remotely from home, during these times, is a great solution.

Your Intranet, and secure external access to it, will allow your employees to be productive, but stay safe at the same time. Here’s some ways your Intranet can be used to make working remotely from home easy.

Make Announcements and Set Expectations

Your Intranet will be valuable from the start with notifying your employees of any office closures, traffic warnings for commute and to know who is in or out of the office.

Notifications and Memos can be sent out through Noodle to send E-mails and/or Instant Messages to the users in the system for immediate attention.

An announcement can be added to the main page to provide news and updates as well as links for resources, such as your Adverse Weather Policy document. Or, if your site is locally hosted and requires a Remote/VPN connection to access, a Page with instructions on how to connect.

Calendars are also a good idea to display any notices ahead of time, or scheduled early leaves. Users that are publishing their Noodle calendar to their personal calendar, will also receive these updates.

Employees can also easily notify their Manager of their absence and communicate a plan using the Instant Messenger or Conference Rooms.

Use “My Profile” as your Digital Workspace

The My Profile application, allows you to not only share information about yourself, but also to use for your own tools and resources.

The Portlet tab allows you to add and lay out your own portlets, based on the content you want to follow.

If you follow people in your department, you can also see their Status updates and any new activity from them from your “Followers” tab. This helps you keep up to date with co-workers, regardless of where they are.

The “Apps” tab allows you to create and manage your own applications so you can digitally store documents you are working on, keep track of your online calendar, or to keep track of your task list.

Lastly, if you’re not ready to publish your post on the site, you can save your post under the “Drafs” tab so you can work and collaborate on a Page, Document or Post until you are ready to publish the content live.

It’s a great way to keep your important work all in one secure place that you can access through anywhere and on any type of device.

Don’t Miss a Meeting

We are obviously more digitally connected now, more than ever before. This makes things like live face to face meetings, much easier to organize and execute.

We already mentioned Conference Rooms and Instant Messaging, but did you know that (in Chrome and Firefox browsers) you can hold video conferences for up to 5 users at one time? On mobile, you also have the option to hold one on one video chats as well, with no extra software.

There are also the early stages implemented (Firefox only currently) for screen sharing inside of Noodle. Again, just another awesome tool to make it easier to stay connected.

There are many more ways Noodle can be used as your “Work from Home Office” during those nasty blizzards and other Inclement weather. If you are not using Noodle yet,  sign up for a free demonstration today and receive a fully featured 30-day trial.

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New Year, New Intranet

The end of the year brings time to celebrate success and reflect on events. The beginning of the year is a great time to then build off your success and start planning for the new year. Below we review a few ideas for your intranet in 2019 and beyond!

Experiment

There may be a few Noodle features you have not explored or used yet in your site. Maybe you have your own document management tool, so you haven’t explored the possibility with Noodle Folders. Or, if you find yourself answer many questions that others may find useful, try the Questions application. If your Blogs are mainly used for sharing Company News, encourage more blogging by your employees, or give a team their own “Facebook style” wall and status feed.

Another way to incorporate even more new and fun content to your site, is using website widgets. These can be added to the text editor inside of Announcement portlets, Blogs, Pages and more by using the “Source” view. This will allow you to dynamically offer fun things like Picture or Joke of the Day. Tools for things like weather, stock tickers or world clock.  Or you can also embed scripts or widgets of Social Media and RSS feeds.

Experimenting with different tools, in Noodle, helps you get the most value out of your intranet site and promotes more engagement and interactivity from your users.

Set Year-end Goals

The start of a new year is also a good time to set out new goals for your intranet. You can break these down monthly/quarterly, but you should have a clear picture of where you want your intranet to be at years end. You can set targets such as:

  • Increase overall employee engagement by 25%
  • At least one or two blog posts by management, per month
  • Increase average logins per user
  • Build new page for Social Committee and update past events

Pre-Plan seasonal designs

Seasonal designs are certainly not necessary. But they do have the power to easily keep your intranet fresh and current and bring a celebratory mood to your employees. Setting a new banner and color scheme, based on the season or an upcoming holiday, is a quick way to show that their intranet is advancing with them.

By setting a schedule and choosing background and images ahead of time, it’s much easier for your administrators to update the theme of the site.

Improve Search/Organization

Are some Pages or Folders buried inside of other sub-content? Do teams or departments properly have their own space for their own content? This is a good time to review your structure and organization of your applications and content. Taking employee suggestions or creating polls will help you get feedback about how people feel about the structure and how it may be able to be improved.

At the same time, you may want to explore using Tags or Keywords. Above we talked about some features of Noodle you may not have explored, Tags are a powerful, easy to use way to categorize content. The value of Tags are sometimes overlooked and can be a great way to pin popular content to your main pages. Keywords can also help retrieve the most relevant search results, rather than relying on the Title of the content, or using Full-Text search.

Foster New Content Creators

If your employees have been using your intranet for at least a year, it may be a good time to encourage more content from the end-users. This could involve allowing more to post blogs (as we mentioned above) or start discussions, group chats, share photos or helpful videos and much more. This helps drive more fresh content to your site, and promotes better communication and team work amongst employees.

You can also encourage them to use their Profiles to store their own documents and events in Calendar. They can also share information about themselves, as well as follow other user’s profiles.

Remember you can always control what each group or user can see, and who is allowed to post or make changes. Auto-Notifications can also be set up if you want an admin to receive updates of employee created content.

If you would like some help implementing any of these ideas, please contact us for more assistance. If you are not using Noodle yet, sign up for a demonstration now and receive a free 30-day trial of Noodle Intranet.

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Winter Intranet Clean Up

For some organizations, things slow down in the winter and during the holidays. It’s a good idea to take this time as an opportunity to review and refresh your intranet. Cleaning up  old content  or re-organizing things during this time, are great ways to make sure things are fresh and relevant for the new year. Consider some of the steps below to make sure your intranet is ready for 2019.

Archiving/Deleting Old Content

This one seems obvious, but it’s something that happens to many intranets.  Old or irrelevant content kills the engagement of an intranet. Even if your team is sharp at updating and adding new content, the old stuff usually gets left behind.

This can make things hard to find, or risks the user finding out of date information. Using the Analytics, you can see what’s been viewed recently, when things were created and use that to find and remove (or archive) older items.

It’s also a good idea to use Workflows to automate this. If you haven’t already, consider setting this up for the new year.

An “Expiry Timer” can be set for the following applications: Calendars, Database Forms, Document Folders and Blogs.

In the workflow (after the Timer step) you can then choose to either “Move” an item to archive it, or to “Delete” it completely. You can even set up notifications to the creator of the item to let them know that their content will be moved/deleted.

Having fresh and relevant content is the best way to keep engagement high with your intranet.

Intranet Branding

You may have already branded your site for the holidays, which is great to do. But it could also be a good time to review your site’s design to update the look. This can also help with engagement and make things new and exciting to the users.

Consider changing up colors or backgrounds. Create a new top banner or login page. Or maybe even switch the view to the Top Navigation or Side Navigation, depending on your current setting.

A fresh coat of paint can do wonders for increasing engagement and welcoming people back after the holidays.

Get feedback

While things are slower, this could be a good time to gather feedback from your users. Consider holding quick team huddles to see how the intranet has helped them, what could be better and what current problems they may be currently facing that may be solved by the intranet.

You can also use the Database application, in Noodle, to create a form to collect suggestions or feedback, in case the live huddle isn’t an option.

If you haven’t already selected a name for your intranet, you can use this time to have a fun contest for everyone to suggest or vote for a fun name for the intranet.

Remember to take any questions or feedback from your staff and reach out to your Noodle Technical Solutions Consultant for further advice or assistance. We want your intranet to keep helping your organization through 2019 and beyond and are always around to help!

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Task Manager Reminders

In the most recent Noodle update, “Task Due Reminders” were added to the Task Manager application.

Here is a quick guide on how to set up your Task reminders to make sure deadlines are properly set and met by the user.

Inside of your Task List, click on the “Due Date” Icon  of the Task Card you would like to set a reminder for.

Here, you can select the Due Date and Time.

Then set when you want to be Reminded from the drop down menu and click on “Add Reminder”.

This allows you to set up multiple reminders for a Task as well by repeating the same step for each additional Reminder set.

These reminders will get sent to the person whom the Task is assigned to. You can delete any reminder by clicking on the trash can icon.

Enjoy the updated Task Manager and contact saleshelp@vialect.com for any questions or feedback!

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Top Intranet Blog Posts for 2018

The Noodle Blog is a very popular destination for intranet managers and collaboration professionals.  We are constantly tracking web stats and have put together the top visited blog posts for 2018.  If you haven’t read them, they are all worth a read.

1. Intranet Content we want to see from HR

2. 10 Intranet Writing Tips

3. 7 Elements of an Intranet Governance Policy

4. Cost of an Intranet

5. 25 Ways to use Wikis in your Intranet

 

 

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Using Workflows with Intranet Blogs

There are many uses for Workflows in intranet blogs. Previously, Noodle only had Workflow steps available for Documents, Database Forms and Calendars. In our newest upgrade, Workflows have been added to Blogs. This provides more options and flexibility with your Blogs. In this article, let’s review some ways you can use Workflows for your Blog posts.

First let’s cover Workflows in general. Workflows allow you to program steps and actions inside of an application/folder to automatically process certain actions on the site. This may include moving/deleting items, notifying Groups or Users, setting an Expiry Timer, or building an Approval chain. When an item is added or modified it will trigger the Workflow steps and go in order based on the requirements/purpose of each step.

For Blogs, this opens up many possibilities. Continue reading below to see just a few examples of how Workflows can be used with your Blogs.

Automatically Delete/Archive Older Blog Posts

No matter if you use your Blogs for company news, sharing industry articles, or posting about community events, they will quickly add up. Using Workflows will allow you to program Timers to automatically delete or move a Post once it expires. This gives helps make maintaining your intranet easier as old or outdated content is cleaned up without any manual intervention.

For a Blog post, you can notify Groups about the new content and then allow the Timer to do the rest, even notify the Creator of the post that their content is being deleted/archives. These dynamic notifications expand on the previous single option of Auto-Notifications.

Publishing Approval

Sometimes, Access Rights may not be enough, or may not fit your situation. You may want employees to have the freedom to post and share, but still have some control over what gets added. This is where you can build a Publishing Approval Workflow.

This would allow you to notify a Manager (or any other admin) to Approve/Disapprove a Blog entry for posting.

You an accomplish this with the new Workflow Tool and by using a separate Blog that only the people allowed to Post have access to.

Once the person Approves the content, it can automatically move it to a public Blog app that has “Read” access for everyone. While the former Blog app is kept as a “Draft/Pre-Post” area. If it’s disapproved, it can also automatically let the Creator of the post know that their articles was disapproved.

Read Receipts/Acknowledgement

Another common request we get is for when Managers/Admins want an employee to acknowledge they have “Read” something. Blog have always had a “Read/Un-Read” option, but now they can be tied into a Workflow.

Using the Timer step we discussed above, the Workflow can wait a certain amount of time after posting the content. Employees are instructed to mark the post as “Read” when they have completed viewing it. Anyone who doesn’t mark the post as “Read” before that Timer expires, would get a “Reminder” email to read and acknowledge the post.

This can be a powerful way to not only track compliance, but to encourage use and engagement on your intranet site.

So Many Possibilities

The amount of options and possible combinations of our Workflow Steps and Actions are vast. These are just 3 common examples that have been used, but there’s much more you can do. Your consultant can help you navigate through the Workflow options and help you build any process that may be required for your organization.

We encourage you to contact us with any inquiries/questions or reach out to your Technical Solutions Consultant for any assistance with this new feature in Blogs. If you haven’t tried Noodle yet, now is a great time to schedule a Demonstration and have us walk you through the Workflows and the many other tools and features Noodle has to offer!