Here you are, knees-deep in designing courses, running training sessions, and trying to make a real impact in your organization. And now you’re supposed to curate content too? The struggle is real!
Let’s be honest – the sheer volume of resources can be overwhelming. Articles, videos, webinars, podcasts—the list goes on. It’s like standing before a firehose of information, and you’ve only got a teacup.
That’s why we’re zeroing in on curation tools. (Be sure to sign up for our next Coffee Chat on October 6. Topic: Curation Tools & Techniques)
Good curation tools aren’t just digital organizers or fancy bookmarks; they’re your personal librarians in this digital world. Curation tools help you sift through the noise to find the best bits – those pieces of content that can truly elevate training content or add quality to learning paths. And the best part? You don’t need to be a tech guru to use them.
Today, we will walk through nine curation tools that can make your life easier and your work more impactful. We’ll look at the pros, the cons, and provide some tips.
So, are you ready to get organized and up your L&D curation game? (Do you have a favorite tool or curation tip? Let us know in the comments.)
Why L&D Needs Curation Tools
Here’s the reality. You’re not just an L&D professional; you’re also a researcher, a planner, and sometimes even a librarian. With so many roles to juggle, curation tools can be your best friend. They help you keep track of valuable resources, whether it’s an article on the latest industry trends or a how-to video on software your team uses.
But it’s not just about storage; these tools help you organize this content in a way that makes sense. A good curation tool will help you categorize, tag, and annotate information. This turns a messy pile of resources into a well-organized library. Trust us, once you start properly curating, you’ll wonder how you managed without it.
For further information about the proper process for curation, check out Mike Taylor’s CURATED model.
The Importance of Proper Sourcing, Citing, and Research for Curation
Before you go on a curation spree, let’s talk about doing it the right way. Not all content is created equal, and the last thing you want is to spread misinformation. So this requires moving beyond the first few articles the Google machine provides!
Here are some tips for conducting proper research:
- Check the Source: Always consider where the information comes from. Is it a reputable website or publication? If you come across a piece of content that seems valuable, but you’re unsure of its credibility, don’t hesitate to consult experts in the field or look for peer reviews.
- Check for Author Credentials: Knowing who wrote the article or study can give you a good idea of its reliability. Look for authors with relevant academic backgrounds or professional experience in the subject matter. If the author is an expert in the field, the information is more likely to be accurate and trustworthy.
- Verify Information: To ensure accuracy, cross-reference facts and data with multiple sources.
- Examine the Publisher: The platform’s credibility where the content is published can also be a good indicator of its quality. Academic journals, established news organizations, and reputable industry publications often have rigorous editorial standards, making them reliable sources of information.
- Cite Properly: Give them proper credit if you share or use someone else’s content. It’s not just ethical; it’s respectful.
A note about “Quality over Quantity”
It’s easy to get carried away and start saving every article, video, or podcast that seems even remotely relevant. However, not all content serves your specific needs or goals equally well.
For example, you might find 20 articles on “Effective Team Communication,” but they’re not all going to be equally useful. Some might offer generic advice everyone already knows, while others could provide unique insights or actionable tips backed by research. The latter is what you should aim to curate.
In a workplace setting, curating high-quality content can mean the difference between a learning path that brings real behavioral change and one that simply checks a box. It can also impact how your team perceives the value of your learning resources. If you consistently offer top-notch content that helps them improve their skills or solve specific challenges, they’ll likely engage with future materials you curate.
So, before hitting that ‘share’ button, ask yourself: “Is this the best source I can find on this topic? Does it offer something valuable that other resources don’t?” If the answer is yes, go ahead and add it to your curated library.
Connecting Curated Content to Business Goals
So, you’ve got your shiny new curation tools and are eager to start filling them with valuable content. But here’s the kicker: as we’ve said, it’s not just about collecting stuff. You’ve got to make sure that what you’re gathering serves a purpose, not just any purpose—your organization’s business goals.
Let’s say your company wants to increase its customer satisfaction rating in the call center. You could curate a library of resources based on effective communication techniques, but that’s very general and perhaps not helpful.
But if you focused your curation efforts on finding content around strategies for quick problem-solving, tips for maintaining a positive tone or de-escalation techniques – then you’ve aligned your curated content with what your business is trying to achieve. The goal is that the content becomes more than just a collection. It’s a targeted strategy that can actually move the needle.
So, the next time you find something you think is worth saving and sharing, take a moment to consider how it fits into your company’s bigger picture. If it aligns well, you’ve got yourself a winner. If not, maybe it’s best left for another time.
To help you with your curation decisions, use this “Curation Decision Tool” created by myself and the Emerging Stronger Team of Laura Overton and Michelle Ockers.
The Learning Rebels’ Top Curation Tools
- What it is: Evernote is a powerhouse for content curation. You can clip articles, save images, and store emails in organized notebooks. The tagging feature allows you to categorize your saved content, making it easy to find exactly what you need later.
- Workplace Example: Use Evernote to curate resources for specific training modules, tagging each item for easy retrieval during planning sessions.
- What it is: Pocket excels at curating articles and videos from the web. With its browser extension, you can save content with a single click. It’s like having a personalized reading list that you can access anytime, anywhere.
- Workplace Example: Curate a list of industry-related articles and share it with your team for weekly learning sessions.
- What it is: Trello isn’t just for project management; it’s a fantastic curation tool as well. Imagine having a board for each of your training topics and cards filled with resources like articles, videos, and templates. You can drag and drop these cards into different lists to prioritize or categorize them. Plus, you can attach files directly to cards and add comments or questions for your team to consider. It’s like a visual resource library that’s easy to navigate and share.
- Workplace Example: Use Trello boards to curate and organize resources for upcoming training sessions, making it easy for team members to find and contribute materials.
- What it is: Feedly is a curation gem for keeping up with multiple publications and blogs. You can create custom feeds based on topics or sources, making it easy to curate content relevant to your L&D initiatives.
- Workplace Example: Use Feedly to curate articles and studies that align with your business or learning outcomes and share the feed for continuous learning.
- What it is: Flipboard isn’t just a news aggregator; it’s a curation powerhouse. Imagine creating digital magazines filled with articles, videos, and other content relevant to your L&D initiatives.
- Workplace Example: Create a Flipboard magazine focused on leadership development and share it with your management team for ongoing learning.
- What it is: Notion’s strength in curation lies in its flexibility. You can create custom databases to store articles, videos, and other resources. With its rich text editor, you can even add your own notes and insights alongside the curated content.
- Workplace Example: Build a Notion page as a central hub for all curated training materials, complete with sections for team discussions and feedback.
- What it is: Google Keep is perfect for quick-and-dirty content curation. While it may not have the advanced features of other tools, its simplicity makes it great for saving links, jotting down ideas, and creating checklists. You can also color-code your notes for an extra layer of organization.
- Workplace Example: Use Google Keep for on-the-fly curation during meetings or brainstorming sessions, quickly saving useful links or ideas.
- What it is: Scoop.it helps you discover, curate, and publish content all in one place. You can set up topics you’re interested in, and Scoop.it will provide you with a feed of relevant content. From there, you can curate your collections, add your insights, and publish them as newsletters or web pages.
- Workplace Example: Use Scoop.it to curate industry-specific articles and insights, then publish them as a monthly newsletter for your department.
- What it is: ContentGems is like having a personal content assistant. It scans hundreds of thousands of articles, blogs, and social media posts to find content that matches your specified keywords and filters.
- Workplace Example: Set up ContentGems to curate articles on soft skills and integrate this feed into your company’s internal learning portal for easy access by employees.
Let’s Wrap This Up
We’ve covered a lot of ground today—from the whys and hows of using curation tools to aligning your efforts with business goals. We’ve even given you nine tools to make your curation process easier.
So, what’s next?
Simple: take action. Choose one or two tools from our list and start experimenting. You’ll never know the full impact these resources can have until you try them out for yourself. Whether you want to streamline your workflow or make learning paths more impactful, these tools are your ticket to leveling up.
So, make your first move, and let us know how it goes. We’re all ears! Did we miss your favorite tool? If so, let us know in the comments.