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By Jonathan Howe

I bought a new iPhone for my wife this weekend. While in the process, I noticed how few apps she had on her phone. Mine on the other hand is packed full of apps I use quite often and others I may have used just once.

Even though she has several dozen fewer apps on her phone than I do, my wife and I still use a core set of apps for many of the same functions. My guess is that many of you do as well because we all use our smart phones for similar purposes unless you work in a highly specialized industry.

So for those who are in ministry and ministry related jobs, what are the core productivity apps? A Bible app seems like an obvious start, but what next? Here are seven suggestions:

  1. Evernote. This is really the perfect app for ministry—or any line of work. You can store sermon notes, track mileage for hospital visits, create to do lists, and so much more. Even after their recent price changes, the functionality and cross-platform syncing make Evernote a must-have.
  2. Wunderlist. You can use this app to track to-do lists for a team, personal to-do lists, and much more. There are other list apps and even some that are specifically for project management. If you need something more robust than Wunderlist, check out Basecamp or Trello.
  3. Tweetbot. This is my preferred app for Twitter. It may not be a free app, but it is worth every penny. No ads, no promoted tweets, no tweets out of chronological order, and customizable tabs, Multi-account functionality is also excellent in this app if you manage your church’s account along with your personal account.
  4. Facebook Pages. I manage a few dozen Facebook Pages, so a dedicated app is quite helpful. I realize you can manage the pages in the regular Facebook app, but having the Pages app makes it easier to stay on task without worrying about my personal content on Facebook.
  5. Buffer. There are several good social media scheduling apps out there. Hootsuite and Sprout Social are two of the best. But I prefer Buffer for my phone for two main reasons: I’m not distracted by other content while using it and it gives analytics in the app. Very few apps provide analytics in the app. Many reserve that function for desktop sites. So I give the nod to Buffer simply for the accessibility of my social media stats.
  6. Speaky. This may be an unfamiliar app to many of you, but I find it immensely helpful. Have you ever wished you could listen to an article instead of having to read it? Basically with the Speaky app, you can turn articles from blogs or news sites into a mini podcast of sorts. It’s not always perfect (abbreviations and acronyms are often hilariously butchered), but Speaky allows you to consume written content audibly.
  7. Key Ring. This is likely another unfamiliar app, but I guarantee you’ll love it. At one time, I had a key ring with a dozen or so “loyalty tags” or “membership tags” on it. Now I just have keys because I converted all of those tags into digital versions in the Key Ring app. I never have to fumble with my keys to find the right tag. It’s right in the app on my phone. It saves me time, and if I’m in my wife’s car with her keys, I still have all my tags and info.

These are just seven apps I use to help with productivity. What would you add to the list?

Jonathan Howe serves as Director of Strategic Initiatives at LifeWay Christian Resources, the host and producer of Rainer on Leadership and SBC This Week. Jonathan writes weekly at on topics ranging from social media to websites and church communications. Connect with Jonathan on Twitter at @Jonathan_Howe.

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