As promised, our first app to make your ministry life more efficient.
Evernote is a handy little app with a simple and consistent interface, no matter what device you are using. This little beauty will help you keep track of documents, collaborate on projects and help you keep a cleaner work space (or in my case, kitchen table and the backseat of my car)! Evernote can be used, but is not limited, to the following functions:
- Taking, storing, sharing and searching notes
- Check lists and due dates
- Project collaboration and real time sharing without losing documents in e-mail
- Directly Edit a document saved within Evernote, ensuring those with access have the most up to date version
- Event research, preparation and documentation
This is a freemium product that is wonderful in it’s free form and has some great upgrades in the paid version , including more storage and the ability to view older versions of notes that have been updated.
So, that is what Evernote does. The question is, how do we harness all of that for our ministry? Here are four ways Cameron and I use Evernote with LEGACYouth:
- Keeping info on our youth organized.
With just two of us organizing, facilitating and pastor-ing over 30 kids, we are constantly having to remember who said what, who paid what, who needs prayer for what and who has x event/play/sporting event coming up. We simplified this by creating a note for each of our kids (or siblings). After chatting with them, we update any pieces of information that may be needed for followup or recall. For example, if Suzy says “Please pray for my grandma, she is having surgery on xx date” we can make note of that and when reviewing our notes, we know to ask Suzy about her grandma. This helps us promote actually looking for answered prayers, as well as showing Suzy that we care.
- Staff meeting notes and action items
Our church sends a lot of information (staff meeting notes, deadlines, etc) via our email service. Dotster is not my favorite personally and it is not the most friendly for flagging or following up (I am spoiled by Outlook). By moving staff notes, proofs or action items into Evernote, I can organize them by date and search them easy as pie. I can also then share the information directly from Evernote by sending or sharing the note to Cameron or anyone else who needs it.
- Organizing Event Details
Every event we do get’s its own Note. Inside this note, I can keep a list of who is going, a check list for what needs to be done and any documentation (emails, flyers, contracts, etc) that is important for the event. Evernote has a table capability, which can be handy, or you can save an Excel spreadsheet directly in and edit it within the note. This keeps me working from the most up to date information, as well as having everything I needs accessible on any device (rather than that Event folder saved on the hard drive of my computer). I can also save notes directly into these notes and have a one stop shop for the entirety of an event.
- No more forgetting a face
I’ll be honest, I am not the best with names and faces. There is one lady at my church I meet almost every week and for the life of me, I can never remember her name. Evernote is helpful with this as long as my ninja skills are ready. When I meet someone or get someones information, I can put their info into Evernote and snap a quick picture. After the conversation, I can make a quick note about what we discussed and then make a point to look for them the next week.
There you have it…making ministry more efficient one app at a time. Next week: Trello: Collaboration made easy.
Your turn: What are some ways you use/can use Evernote in your ministry? Tell us in the comments below.