The Intranet Should Be Your Most Productive Website

Intranet illustration

Or why I ditched several productivity tools in favour of a Joomla Intranet.


One of the first things I created using Joomla was an internal communication system for a large organization. This is called an intranet. An intranet is a private network accessible only to the staff of an organization.

In this particular case the intranet helped solve a problem that is common in a lot of businesses, the problem of internal silos and miscommunication between departments.

An intranet can help solve the problem of miscommunication between departments

In this organization I put a Joomla install on an internal server on the local area network (LAN). For the site I simply used one of the templates that ships with Joomla and created the structure and menus to match the company departments. I gave space on the home page to each of four main departments in the organization.

Each department was then given the mandate to publish news items from their department. The items that they wanted to share with the entire organization were to be ‘featured’ articles so they would appear on the home page for everyone to view. Each department was to have a minimum of three featured articles which would be on the home page. All the other articles from their department could be accessed via a menu taking you to their section of the website.

Everyone can be up to date about about each department at all times

We set the home page for all the staff browsers to our company news page. Every morning when the staff fired up their web browser the first thing they would see the top news items from each department in the organization. They could quickly scan the home page and be up to date with what was going on in all the departments including their own.

This created an improved collaborative environment between the departments and as a wonderful side bonus also raised the moral of the organization as they read stories about their coworkers and associates.

In the past it would sometimes take a couple of months for important announcements from management to filter down to the grassroots of the company. Now it was seen right away as a top item headline on the homepage. No one could say they didn’t get the memo!

The information you need can be retrieved from a Joomla CMS quickly

In my own office over the years I have tried several different productivity tools to help me be more informed, organized and efficient. I've used to-do lists, calendars, project manager applications, etc. There’s no shortage of systems available for these kinds of things. I have finally come to realize that for all the tools that are available to help you be better organized and access information quickly, there is none better than a Joomla Content Management System (CMS).

Despite all the effort that I was putting into organizing everything including my notes which were stacked nicely into notebooks and everything tagged, it was often difficult to find exactly what I knew was buried in there somewhere. Then out of frustration I would adopt a different application that did a specific function really well and now I was maintaining and managing separate systems. I turned into a productivity tool junkie and it was killing my productivity. That’s when I came to the realization that that a CMS intranet works better.

Mind you, when you are on the road your intranet needs a special setup to access it from the wide area network. There are solutions for this but they are outside the intended topic for this article.

One place for information and one system to maintain

There’s no getting around it, information that you want to be accessible needs to be organized and stored in an easy to retrieve fashion. With a content management system like Joomla everything is in one place and you have one system to maintain. You quickly learn how to organize information better and can go deep into Joomla’s features to customize the user experience to suit how you work best.

My home page is essentially my daily priorities list. At the onset of the day I just fire up my web browser and everything I need pops up right in front of me. The featured articles have all the relevant information for each task including notes and the paths to related digital assets on the network for them. All kinds of other information is easily found on this website as well as I continually add things to it. This site is a treasure trove for me. If anyone asked me what the most valuable and productive website I ever created was, my personal intranet would be it.

Joomla doesn't have any licensing fees. Who doesn’t like to save money?

I also love the cost savings that comes with adopting this kind of information system. Joomla doesn't have any licensing fees. It's open source software under the GNU General Public License Version 2. I’ve been able to drop a variety of productivity applications. All those other productivity tools with their subscription and update fees start to add up. It feels good to drop some of them. Who doesn’t like to save money?