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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
Try wire.com for secure communications.
Confide is a similar app. I’ve used that one a bit.
I’ve never used this one, but I’ve heard good things.
Try MileIQ. It’s $6 a month, but by having your phone in your pocket, it will track your mileage for you whenever you drive. Then, you just have to swipe to make it personal or business. You can then input how much you get per mile, and email the monthly report to get your mileage! Super simple!
We use Skedda for managing our facility rooms and equipment.
That’s a good call for those needs.
I love number 6 is there Android alternative?
Pocket has a text-to-speech function built in. So that’s an option.
For those following GTD (Getting Things Done, David Allen), I highly recommend GSDFASTER. Helps if you understand GTD.
Toggle for keeping track of time spent on various tasks.
Expensify for keeping up with mileage and receipts.
Good app for the expenses. And if your church doesn’t have a system for logging mileage and expenses, that’s really something you should look into.
Lastpass has made password management so much simpler and secure for me.
Oh…I should have included a password app. I personally use Dashlane, and LOVE it. Either one would suffice. But yes, use a password app.
Microsoft OneNote gives Evernote and task lists a run for their money.
I use the group text app to communicate with my church daily. You can send one message to up to 700 people.
I also use TurboScan. It takes a picture of what you want and you can send it as a PDF or save it. It helps when sending music or notes out.
Is that the name of the App? Is it iOS or Android?
Evernote Scannable is also a great app that does something similar. It will scan your document and save it directly to your Evernote account as a PDF or you can save to your camera roll as a picture.
Oh that’s nice.
Some of our leadership team uses Slack to communicate. You can create different channels (topics) so all of your communication about that topic is in one place. You can share files and more.
Slack is a good one for teams. We have a couple of slack groups at LifeWay, and it’s worked well.
Drafts, Pocket, and the vanilla Voice Memos app that comes in iOS.
I would add SocialPilot https://socialpilot.co/ to the list the best tool where you can connect and reach to your maximized audience over 9 social media networks.
I’ll have to check that one out. THanks,
Can you recommend a recording app? I sometimes preach in areas where there is no electricity/recording equipment. I need to record my sermons for distribution and adding to our website. I would like to record directly into my iphone/ipad.
Youversion and much time spent with the Lord.
“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.”
John 15:5 NLT
Unless we hear His voice we will not need any apps.
Good list, thank you! I want to recommend Duet Display to those like to use a second monitor and has an iPad. It is quite amazing. So helpful when I am away from my office.
My top 3 most used are:
1.) Evernote-a multitude of applications (tagging and sorting articles, folders, workflow and blog ideas, etc.).
2.) Expensify-Great for all ministry expenses. Even free version is fully functional and IRS compliant.
3.) Hootsuite-For managing all social media platforms.
Feedly for curating blogs and news sites.
Do you have suggestions for Volunteer Scheduling and Communication?