Every so often, I share the apps that I am using that I find useful in my ministry. These are things that have helped me to work more efficiently, to proclaim the Good News, and to build community. From time to time some of these will be more applicable to clergy / pastors, only because that is my context and what I know. But others in ministry in a variety of settings will find these helpful.
These are not exhaustive lists. Mostly they are the apps that I am actually using today, and which I think may be helpful for you too.
When possible, I will group these Apps for Ministry by theme. In this post, the apps focus on productivity – getting things done.
Why: You need a password vault. I know you just use the street address or the year the church was founded. That won’t cut it anymore. A password vault app allows you to use complex passwords. I tried a bunch before landing on Dashlane and I now pay for the premium version.
What I love: Dashlane Premium syncs across all my devices. As my co-workers and collaborators get on Dashlane, it makes it easy to share complex passwords that we all need. I went from a few relatively simple passwords I could remember, to a different complex password for every single site I log on to. It also integrates cleanly with most web browsers, to keep from having to type log in and payment info.
Try Dashlane (If you sign up with this referral link, we both get a little extra)
Why: A cloud storage program allows you to 1) keep the data and files of the ministry safe in the case of hardware failure and 2) more easily collaborate and share files. I’ve tended to use Dropbox more than any others, because it is also used by the teams I work with.
What I love: It’s a double whammy for me. I love to know that our files are safe. I have lost files to computer crashes before – it ain’t pretty. And I love that I have access to those files on every device I use, no matter where I am. Cloud storage really allows us to have a mobile office. (The choice of cloud storage is ultimately personal preference, in my experience).
Try Dropbox (If you sign up with this referral link, we both get a little extra)
Why: I embody the caricature of an absent-minded parson. Those who work with me often have to remind me of projects or little tasks. I need a to-do list that is semi-automated and persistent. I’ve found this to be true for many clergy. There are some great options for to-do lists out there, but Wunderlist has worked best for me.
What I love: Wunderlist is both on my phone and my laptop – which means it is always with me. It can automate some tasks – for example, reminding to work on my weekly devotion every Tuesday, or to pay the electric bill on the first of every month. It also allows you to share specific to-do lists with others, making collaboration easier. So far, I’ve found that the free version of Wunderlist has all the features I need.
Wunderlist has been purchased by Microsoft, and will no longer be updated and maintained. I am trying out Todoist as an alternative.
Wunderlist is still working for some folks. Todoist is a great, robust to-do list app. I really like it. However I am currently using Vantage, which is an integrated calendar and to-do list in a beautifully designed app.
Why: I am remarkably easily distracted, and a chronic multi-tasker. But research has shown that multi-tasking is not helpful to productivity – and neither is starting five shiny new projects instead of finishing the one you are working on. 30/30 is a focus timer – a timer tied to a list of tasks. It’s new to me, I just started trying it out this week, and I love it.
What I love: I love good design, and 30/30 has it. It is easy to use and intuitive. You set a task for thirty minutes, and then something different after it to break the monotony, and so on. I have set a couple different playlists to help me focus throughout the day – allowing 30/30 to help set the rhythm of various parts of my day and keep my focus where it needs to be. The 30/30 balance allows me to move between unrelated tasks – keeping me from getting locked in a rut – while helping me focus on the task at hand.
What did I miss? Are you using a great app in your ministry?
Connect with me on twitter and let’s have a conversation about it … Maybe I’ll add your suggestion to the next Apps for Ministry post.
Note: There a couple of referral links included above. Otherwise, I have received no financial consideration for these reviews. I mean, if one of these companies wants to underwrite this site, they are welcome to contact me 🙂