In the comments to my earlier post on information management, Nat Blair wrote:
Here's another question though: what software do you use to store the tacit knowledge of the lab? Do you use a lab website to store some of that stuff? A lab wiki? Mostly just curious.
My answer at the time was that I wasn't using anything, but that I was considering implementing a wiki. There are a number of reasons why I hadn't implemented something. One was the draconian approach the administration here at Big State U. takes to any kind of web site created and maintained by faculty. A second was that implementing a wiki would require a substantial commitment of time on my part to get the software installed and running, plus an ongoing commitment to maintaining the software. I'm quite capable of doing this - I have a background in computational biology, although my lab is almost purely experiment-based now - but I'm not sure I can devote the time required. Nat's question did however spur me to spend some time looking for a simple solution. And I found one.
There you can create a free web site with up to 100MB storage space. And, importantly, you can limit who can view and alter the site (e.g. upload or download stuff). Google (typically) provides a bunch of easy to use web-based tools for creating a site. So, with about two hours work I set up an intra-lab web site. I've uploaded many of our protocols and pdf's of some useful papers. There's a section including links to the web sites of the various vendors we commonly use. I've included a list gadget where any lab member can type in things that need to be ordered. Soon I hope to include a calendar gadget that will display everyone's schedules, including mine. It's a work in progress, but I think we're finally moving out of the dark ages with regard to lab information management.