I achieve to be a constant learner. In this attempt, I want to be more effective, efficient, and excellent in my service for our Lord; even with my new crazy deputation life traveling from one place to the next. One week, I can be in Charlotte, North Carolina, and the next week end up in California. Traveling and managing this schedule can be chaotic. To help me to be the most effective Christian, husband, father, preacher, speaker, etc…, I have implemented some tools within my grasp to help me accomplish this effort.
Over the course of my time serving as an Administrative Pastor and also General Manager of a communications ministry, I have been asked, “What tools do you use to help you stay productive?” To answer this question from many friends around the country, I endeavor to help while continuing to improve myself.
Although this is not a comprehensive list, it is most certainly my personal top ten Apps. If you have more, please add to the comments below to help other readers and improve this post.
- Evernote: This amazing well designed app is used just about everyday of my life. It truly is an App that is considered to be an extension of your brain. It stores all my notes, thoughts, ideas, and sermons in one centralized place. Evernote allows tagging options and folders to better organize and maintain my files. The beautiful thing about Evernote is that it stores all my data on it’s cloud servers allowing me to access all my information via my Iphone, IMac, or IPad. Evernote is available in multiple operating platforms if you use Windows, Android, Blackberry, or even HP OS.
- Dropbox: Dropbox is a free service that lets you bring all your photos, docs, and videos anywhere. After you install Dropbox on your computer, any file you save to your Dropbox will automatically save to all your computers, your iPhone and iPad and even the Dropbox website! With the Dropbox app, you can take everything that matters to you on the go. Always have your stuff when you need it with @Dropbox. 2GB account is free! http://db.tt/NKoWywb
- Mint: This is the most used App on my Iphone outside of the default Apps: Mail, Safari, Calendar, Photo, etc… Every morning and every evening, I check my finances utilizing this App. It allows me to maintain my personal bank accounts and credit cards in a very centralized, yet mobile and secure environment. I wrote an article about how I manage my finances here.
- Kindle: Although I have some books on the Apple iBooks App, I still purchase most of my books on the Amazon store due to more frequent sales and broader availablity. For example, recently, Dr. Paul Chappell through Striving Together Publications offered his mini-book entitled, Leaders Who Make A Difference as a free download. While on the iBooks app, this was not available as a free download.
- OliveTree Bible Reader: BibleReader is an amazing way to read & study the Bible. Write a note, highlight, and bookmark your favorite passages, and then back up or sync them to another device with Olive Tree’s FREE cloud backup service. As I personally read the Bible, I will often take notes and make many highlights. This App allows me the opportunity to sync and backup my files by pushing my information to Evernote. Yet another reason, why I love Evernote.
- YouVersion Bible: Why two different Bible version Apps? Basically, OliveTree’s only limitation is that it does not have the option to have an audio Bible available for listening. Since I travel so much, sometimes, driving down the road or whatever available downtime I may have, I absolutely enjoy having the Bible read to me. With the YouVersion App, this feature is available through it’s partnership with The Fellowship of Performing Arts.
- BizXPenseTrkr: I highly recommend an App such as this to all my ministry friends. Imagine the efficiency in record keeping and managing all those receipts. BizXpenseTracker is a complete expense tracking and reporting application for reporting expenses for either tax reporting, reimbursement purposes or personal budgeting. Its power does not end at the iPhone but extends to the desktop by allowing emailing and exporting of the expense files and accompanying photo receipts directly to the desktop, MobileMe or DropBox.
- Keynote: As a very mobile person, I utilize Keynote to showcase and present my presentations. I have my Singapore Missions Presentations always available to share with a pastor. I teach utilizing Keynote whenever a projector or TV is available and my teaching environment is conducive. In November, Susan and I spoke at a couples’ retreat held in Boise, Idaho. All my teaching notes and audio clips were all stored in Evernote. I took my notes and designed my presentation utilizing my portable projector. This was extremely helpful in a note taking environment.
- DocuSign Ink: Oftentimes, I will need to sign for things. Due to the fact that I don’t travel with a fax machine or easy access to sign for certain documents, I utilize this user friendly App to get this task done. With DocuSign Ink, you can sign and return any document on your iPhone or iPad in seconds! The import and export options are ideal to send the documents to any recipient requiring a signature and not just an approval.
- iThoughtsHD: I desire to be a visionary. I need a place to store my creative thoughts, dreams, plans, and visions. iThoughts allows me to place my thoughts in a map and portray it as an image. This is a great tool to help visionaries to stay on track to accomplish the great responsibilities at hand.