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Activist tools to reach your goals

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This week's Activist Tools are all about effectiveness. The New Year is all about setting goals and shunning stagnation -- why not do the same for your activist efforts? From software tools to a decision-making guide, there are tons of great resources to bring your game to the next level.

You can increase the impact and reach of your organizing by creating specific plans and addressing challenges. Are you struggling with keeping the chaos under control at your group meetings? Check out this tool on decision-making models to find out which one best fits the needs of your cause. It's a great reminder to keep your plans focused on action, especially when it's easy to get bogged down in discussion and debate.

A great way to take action for a cause you support is to take it your local MP. DAWN, DisAbled Women Ontario put together a great guide called "Tell it to Ottawa" with tips and tricks for letter writing campaigns, meeting legislators and taking a stand for your issue on the political scene.

The same organization created a resource to increase the impact of Internet campaigns. Sending out email alerts, protecting the privacy of people on your contact lists (hint: always use BCC when mass emailing!), and many more suggestions to polish your Internet activism.

Luckily for this generation, the Internet can connect activists all around the globe. If your fellow activists are too far away to meet in person, try using a new software tool like Vyew. You can collaborate using video chat and sharing documents using the Vyew whiteboard accompaniment. While you're on the computer, try using Chandler to organize your notes, tasks and calendars.

To engage young activists and spread the word about the importance of standing up for causes you believe in, try offering this Youth Activism Workshop. There are multiple versions depending on how much time you have to run the program.

You never know -- maybe those kids will grow up to filmmakers! Up-and-coming film activists can use Witness.org's series of videos on prepping, planning and distributing videos to create powerful, impactful activist tools.

If nothing you've produced lately seems very powerful, try reading this fun list of activist "Ten Commandments for Changing the World" to spark a little motivation.

And if the environmental theme of those commandments speaks to you, try clicking around PlanetFriendly.net. It's a virtual treasure chest for activists, especially those interested in sustainable, environmentally-friendly living.

It’s easy to focus on the mundane, logistical aspects of daily life and activist organizing, but with these tools there's motivation to constantly be reaching for more. Make some specific goals for the year or set targets for your next campaign or meeting.

Have you come across any great tools for activists lately?

When do you like to set goals? Daily? Start of the year?

What are your favourite virtual organizational tools?

How has your activism evolved since you first got involved with a campaign or organization?

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