Intranet Tip: Make Your Employees the Focus of Your Homepage

In brief: Fill your homepage with photos of staff to make your intranet more exciting, engaging, and vibrant.


Putting your employees front and center is the best way to increase likes, comments and views on homepage news. However, finding images of staff to include with content can be a challenge. We recommend creating a gallery filled with ready-to-use-photos to make it easy for authors.

To stock your galleries, take pictures at company events. Better yet, hire an event photographer so you can be in them too! In the example below, you can see “I Have A Dream” Foundation’s homepage is very people centric. It not only makes the homepage look more exciting and vibrant, but it helps make your intranet that much more engaging.

Continue reading...

Recorded Webinar: Best Intranet Awards 2015

Are you looking for some inspiration to make your intranet better looking, more innovative, or more collaborative? In this 30-minute webinar our Client Services Manager, Carolien Dekeersmaeker, will present our annual Best Intranet Awards recipients, and show you all of the amazing submissions we received. Our clients entered their intranets in three categories:

  1. Best Looking
  2. Most Innovative
  3. Best Collaboration

Gain valuable insight by seeing what our ThoughtFarmer clients are doing with their intranets, and check out what the competition looks like for next year!

This webinar is now complete.

View the Slides:

Watch the Recording:

Date: Wednesday June 17, 2015

Time: 8:30AM Pacific / 11:30AM Eastern / 4:30PM UK / 17:30 EU

Intended Audience: We welcome anyone who is looking for ways to freshen up their intranet, or just wants to see some neat things people are doing with ThoughtFarmer.

Continue reading...

Project Planning 101: Part Three – Intranet Project Timeline

So you bought an intranet, now what? This is the final article of the series providing tips on how to run a smooth and successful intranet project.

In Part I, we discussed Determining Project Deliverables and Using an Intranet Project Checklist. In Part 2, we discussed Building your Intranet Implementation Team and determining roles and responsibilities. The final step in intranet implementation is timeline and scheduling.

Intranet Project Timeline 

When creating a timeline for your project consider the following five factors:

  1. Launch approach: What will your launch look like?
  2. Launch date: When are you going to make your intranet available for everyone to use? Are there any external dates that you can tie the intranet launch to (for example, a company townhall, a merger or acquisition, or a new strategic plan).
  3. Size of intranet team: How big is your team and how much time do they have to dedicate to the Intranet?
  4. Bandwidth of intranet team: What is their bandwidth? Will they have full time availability to work on the intranet launch? Or do they have other priorities that they need to work on as well?
  5. Previous tool expiration date: Do you have a hard stop date on a previous intranet system? For example, if your previous intranet tool (if you had one) is going to become obsolete on Dec 31, then it’s pretty obvious that your target date to launch your new intranet will have to be before that time.

Intranet Project Activities 

There are some fundamental activities that are critical to your intranet implementation project.

Continue reading...

Intranet Tip: Put Your Strategic Vision Front and Center to Keep Staff Focused on Big Picture Goals

In brief: Embedding a portlet on your homepage ensures your strategic vision remains actionable throughout the year.


Companies invest a lot of time and effort into creating their strategic vision. However, often times what ends up happening is the document gets forgotten about until the following year. To combat this, ACCA designed their ThoughtFarmer homepage with a portlet that put their company strategy front and center.

In the example below, you can see ACCA’s 2020 strategy portlet on the right side of their homepage. This makes it easy for staff to reference it—and what’s more—actually take action towards making the strategic vision a reality. It also serves as a reminder of what their ultimate purpose is and how they are contributing to the bigger organizational picture.

Continue reading...

ThoughtFarmer Best Intranet Awards 2015: Winners in the Best Collaboration Category

Do you need some inspiration on how to be more effective at working together? The winners of the Best Collaborative Intranet for 2015 will provide you with new ways to use your intranet as a tool for collaboration.

Over the last two weeks, we profiled winners in the Best Looking and Most Innovative category of our annual ThoughtFarmer Best Intranet competition. For our final category, we are going to look at our clients who used ThoughtFarmer to inspire a sense of community within their organization and to solve unique business challenges.

Congratulations to College Possible and MD Financial, who are our winners in the Best Collaboration category!

WINNER, Best Collaboration: College Possible

  • Industry: Non-profit
  • Region: USA (headquarters Minneapolis, St. Paul)
  • Employees: 250
  • Intranet Name: Quad

College Possible is a non-profit organization that makes college admission and success possible for low-income students through an intensive curriculum of coaching and support. With offices dispersed throughout the United States, organizing dozens of campus visits for hundreds of students every year was becoming complicated. Before implementing ThoughtFarmer, College Possible used spreadsheets on a shared drive and email communications to handle reservations.

When they launched their intranet, team members that manage campus visits used ThoughtFarmer to discuss best practices, and challenges they faced with their current RSVP system. Out of these discussions they developed a new pilot RSVP process that embedded Google Forms within a special ThoughtFarmer event type. What we really liked about College Possible’s submission is that they not only created a streamlined collaborative process that saves their employees time, they actually used their intranet to discuss the problem and work together to solve it.

Continue reading...

Recorded Webinar: 5-Steps to Measuring the Success of Your New Intranet


Are you kicking off a new intranet project? How will you know if your new intranet is successful? What should you measure? Where should you start?

Well-designed intranet metrics will give your project a clear purpose and help your team secure a budget. In a 30-minute webinar, Chris McGrath (ThoughtFarmer Co-founder) will demonstrate this process and show actual results from a recent intranet launch we did with College Possible. Whether you’re a ninja with analytics or someone who’s terrified of numbers, this webinar will give you the framework for designing meaningful, actionable metrics.

Our 5-step process is simple:

  1. Determine your business objectives
  2. Create a KPI for each objective
  3. Consolidate
  4. Implement
  5. Report

This webinar is now complete. View the video recording:



Date: Wednesday June 3, 2015

Time: 8:30AM Pacific / 11:30AM Eastern / 4:30PM UK / 17:30 EU

Intended Audience: This webinar covers the strategy and process for designing metrics, as opposed to focusing on tools and tactics. We encourage anyone interested in intranet measurement to join, particularly those who are starting a new intranet project in the next 12-18 months.


Continue reading...

Intranet Tip: Encourage Questions and Comments on Company Policies


In brief: Opening up discussion features on company policy pages allows for more up-to-date and accurate information.


Many executives shudder in fear at the idea of opening up commenting, especially on HR and other policies hosted on the intranet. When Assiniboine Credit Union replaced their old, out-dated intranet with ThoughtFarmer, they decided to take a more collaborative approach. “On the old system, no one was empowered to make corrections. Now, anyone can leave a comment on any page, so there’s a lot more ownership and commitment to content,” said Intranet Manager, Lawrence Peters.

In the example below, you can see the content owner updating page content within minutes of the initial request. The result? An always-up-to-date and truly collaborative intranet.


Continue reading...

MACU 2015 Recap: Understanding the New Marketing Universe

This week, the ThoughtFarmer team took a road trip to Kelowna, BC for the annual Marketing Association for Credit Unions (MACU) conference.

ThoughtFarmer has many credit unions as clients, including conference attendees Noventis, Central 1, and Assiniboine Credit Union (read their case study). Credit unions tend to have collaborative and engaged employees, so they see intranets as a strategic imperative and they do amazing things with ThoughtFarmer! Plus, the conference is a great opportunity for us to learn more about our clients’ industry and connect with credit unions.

The main conference event was the 25th annual AIME Gala celebration. Credit union’s were recognized for their excellent marketing campaigns. We were lucky enough to see some of the entries,

Continue reading...

ThoughtFarmer Best Intranet Awards 2015: Winners in the Most Innovative Category

Looking for some fresh ideas on how you can make your intranet more innovative? The winners of the Most Innovative Intranet for 2015 might provide you with the inspiration you need.

Last week we profiled winners in the Best Looking category of our annual ThoughtFarmer Best Intranet competition. This week we will look at our clients who used ThoughtFarmer to solve unique business challenges, and surprised us with their innovation.

Congratulations to LaSalle College and INSURICA, who are our winners in the Most Innovative category!

WINNER, Most Innovative Intranet: LaSalle College

  • Industry: Education
  • Region: Montreal, Quebec (locations worldwide)
  • Employees: 1,700
  • Intranet Name: AGORA

With 120 full time teachers completing paid Research and Development projects, managing the projects, hours and approvals through Excel took countless hours. Using a ThoughtFarmer customization, LaSalle now tracks all of their hours throughout the year using AGORA. This system allows teachers to enter their project’s title, description, amount of hours and collaborators into a personalized page under their program. This system also allows LaSalle to summarize all hours completed by teachers in eight different categories.

For the Academic Dean and Program Directorate, it is easy to track the completion of projects. With one click an Excel report is generated that can target a specific teacher, program or the whole college. This system ensures an efficient management of the Research and Development budget. Because of LaSalle’s innovative tracking system and the results it garnered, they are the winner of the Most Innovative Intranet for 2015!

LaSalle College_ Cropped 1

The ThoughtFarmer customization allows LaSalle to summarize all R&D projects by teacher, program and category.

Continue reading...

ThoughtFarmer Best Intranet Awards 2015: Winners in the Best Looking Category

The votes are in, and the winners have been selected for our annual ThoughtFarmer’s Best Intranet competition. This year we had a lot of amazing submissions that inspired us, and conference attendees, with new ideas on how to use ThoughtFarmer. Our clients entered their intranets in three categories: Best Looking, Most Innovative, and Best Collaboration. All submissions were also entered into a draw to win an iPad. Before we profile the winners of the Best Looking category, we are happy to announce the winner of the draw. Mount Nittany Health is the winner of an Apple iPad! Congratulations, Mount Nittany Health!

We also want to congratulate the winners in our Best Looking category. Today we will profile ACCA and RS Investments.

200-honorable-winner-best-lookingWINNER, Best Looking Intranet: ACCA

  • Industry: Accounting
  • Region: Worldwide (headquarters in London, England)
  • Employees: 1,800
  • Intranet Name: Arthur

Design is more than colours and logos, it is about telling a meaningful story. ACCA personified their company’s first president, Arthur Priddle, when they created their social intranet. They brought their brand to life by turning Arthur into a person. Arthur has a profile in the employee directory and communicates with staff. Complete with a top hat and a moustache, he provides ACCA’s 1,800 users with a one-source gateway to news and information in a personable way. This is the most deeply integrated branding we have ever seen, which is why ACCA is the recipient for the 2015 Best Looking intranet award.

Arthur Screenshot

ACCA also has a second intranet called Ethel. Ethel, named after ACCA’s first female member, is used solely by their council members.

Continue reading...