There’s an App for That: NoteShelf


Compatibility: Requires iOS 8.0 or later. Compatible with iPad.

  • Category: Productivity
  • Updated: Apr 21, 2016
  • Version: 11.1
  • Size: 59.5 MB



As a teacher/pastor hybrid, I take content and presentation seriously. After all, to ‘stick’ a message, one must not only know what to say, but how to say/convey it.

Enter Noteshelf, an up-and-coming iPad app specializing in research and note taking features.

While NoteShelf is far from perfect, especially at a cost of $8.99, as one who works with students on a regular basis, its practical functionality more than makes up for its poor syncing capabilities (more on that in just a sec).

For starters, you can take notes (handwritten or typed) while recording on your iPad, not to mention import and mark up documents; however, where NoteShelf really separates itself from the rest is how it manages to utilize multiple functions amidst its eye pleasing, user-friendly interface.

As you’ll see in my pros/cons breakdown, there’s must to like…much to explore with NoteShelf. But again, since this is the first buy app option we’ve mentioned on His Girl Fryday, we encourage you to weigh the cost before pulling the trigger.

Note: You will need Google Drive already downloaded on you iPad for maximal efficiency. Also, for those who don’t own an iPad…I’m not sure if there’s any intention on lateraling the compatibilities to iPhone products (If anyone has intel on this, feel free to comment below). While part of me hopes to see the iPhone add NoteShelf to its app repertoire, I’d have to say it’d be even more ideal for NoteShelf to address some of the cons before doing so.



  • Solid handwriting palm elimination
  • Easy to import and edit PDF’s
  • Organizationally effective
  • Smooth interface
  • Solid array of personalization options
  • Multiple importing options
  • Apple Pencil support
  • Auto publish into Evernote
  • Multiple export and backup options
  • Wrist + password protection
  • VGA output support
  • Less expensive than Penultimate




  • No iCloud sync
  • Only compatible with iPad
  • Syncs with Evernote, but for an additional charge of $1.99
  • Apple Pencil feature needs optimizing
  • No pan or selection tool
  • Harder for left-handed people to use


Bottom line: If you’re a bivocational minister (or work in an environment where training/teaching/research is a priority), consider investing in NoteShelf. Sure, there’s room for improvement; however, with a sturdy foundation/reputation as a practical yet versatile tool, not to mention its promising instructional potential, you got to admit: the pros definitely outweigh the cons at the end of the day.

Image creds:,,

There’s an App for That: 24me

We’ve mentioned before how life in ministry is an “on call” (24/7/365) responsibility…and how adding a job or two into the mix can make you wish you had a third limb or extra time to meet the demand.

If you can relate, thankfully, there’s an app for that…in the form of a handy, dandy AI (i.e. “artificial intelligence”) personal assistant called 24me…available on iPhone and iPad products1.

With a solid four-and-a-half star rating, 24me doesn’t delay in making a good first impression.

For instance, after logging in for the first time, the app immediately allows the user to link his/her calendar and location with other contacts.

After pressing ‘continue’, the app navigates to a new screen giving the user the option to create new tasks, events or notes.


While other organizational apps provide similar settings (like “smart alerts”), what distinguishes 24me is the fact it not only syncs your calendar and notes with personal accounts, but it also generates and completes your daily tasks and events for you (in arguably the fewest amount of clicks).

Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 6.52.48 PM

Take bill payments, for example.

As a bivocational constantly on the go, I admit…I occasionally forget to make a bill payment or two.  Happens, right? But with 24me, you can schedule auto-payments from multiple sources all in one convenient location! No more bouncing around from one app to the next.

Or perhaps you’re like me and have the outdated habit of typing notes in the standard Note app. Obviously, if you go this route, you’d have to manually reference the app to remember what you keyed; however, with 24me, you can create separate tasks lists and customize your alerts/notifications so you’ll never miss a beat. Pretty cool, eh?

In short, 24me is like a smarter version of Siri. Instead of having to tell it to do something, it takes the next step and does it for you. Concerning its overall performance, 24me thrives off its versatile yet practical functionality (i.e. its simple design and user-friendly interface2), set apart by its “auto-autonomy” and consolidating features.

Not to mention…24me features the first calendar to have a 365 day weather outlook. Perhaps a bit far-fetched, but seriously…how cool is that?3

So how can “24me” be practically applied to ministry?

Well, like Slack, 24me can be used to set up  channels (calendars and tasks4) with specific contacts…simplifying collaboration and communication for church staffs, especially ones mixed with full-time and bivocational leaders.

Furthermore, 24me can better facilitate long-term planning through the app’s daily timeline (which includes calendar events, to-do’s, and personal reminders) and the Glance, a feature that  lets other staff members know what’s coming up for each department.

For instance, even though my 24me account may be full of youth events and dates, if my account is linked with the children’s pastor, I can know just how many calendar events and tasks she has left for a given day.

Granted, this may be too personal for some, but when it comes to ‘being on the same page’, no question 24me gets the job done.

Plus, users can alleviate their tech budget by upgrading syncing capabilities and using the tasks database and backup on iCloud (which apparently, costs extra on similar apps).

Overall, when we talk about ministry functions, especially for bivocational leaders, 24me is a great app for event planning, maintaining notes, and facilitating communication…with the added bonus of automated administration.


1) Also considered the best Apple watch calendar

2) I don’t know about you, but the most frustrating apps are often ones with complicated pathways, exhausting my thumbs in the process

3) Granted, this is coming from a weather weenie

4) Note: the app doesn’t allow the user to check off tasks; you can only delete it if you want to get rid of it, so hopefully the next update with correct this

Feature cover by:

There’s an App for That: Slack

slackSlack is a wonderful means of alternative communication. As bivocationals, it is important to stay connected and communicate with other staff and volunteers at any given time. Slack serves as a hybrid between texting and chat, allowing you to access the same channel of communication from your computer and your phone. This handy app not only allows instantaneous communication, but also facilitates document sharing, searchable conversations and syncs with interfaces like DropBox. Just like Wunderlist (teaser) and Evernote, it is accessible across all of your devices (phone, computer and tablet) and will send push notifications according to your customization to both your phone and e-mail.

Some of handy features available are:

  • Searchable channels (up to 10,000 messages in the free version)
  • Functional channel hierarchy with multiple top level channels and channels for specific discussions/participants
  • Direct private messaging
  • Multiple integrations
  • Simple drag and drop functionality for attachments

If you are looking for an app to keep you connected and up to date, this is it. Like Evernote, this is a freemium product that is wonderful in it’s free form and has some great upgrades in the paid version, including unlimited storage and searching.

You know the features now, but how can it be practically applied to ministry?

Why…I am so glad you asked! 😉

1) Staff Communication

Maybe you are on staff with a church where others are full time. This can make communication difficult. Mass texts are great, but texts are only as good your most recent messages. E-mail is also handy, but lets face it: when you are bivocational, you are probably juggling at least three different e-mails and things can get lost. By utilizing Slack as a means of communication, all information is centralized and customizable. You can have a general channel that everyone is part of. This is a great place for questions and announcements, such as “We need to tear down the youth room for the fellowship dinner after service”. You can also set up specific channels. Say you have a team working on the 4th of July picnic. Simply create a channel and add the needed people. They will immediately have access to the thread from within their Slack app. If there is a new message, it will be highlighted. Not to mention, the search bar will search all conversations, making it extremely easy to find that message from last month with the cleaning schedule.

2) Volunteer Communication

In the same way you set up Slack for those on your church staff, you can create a channel for your volunteer team as well. Send invites to all of your volunteer team and set up a general channel. This is a great way to get out information, send out sign up sheets or even collaborate on graphic design. Let’s say you have a team within that team that focuses on connecting with church members throughout the week. You can make a channel for that. Or maybe you are a youth pastor and you’ve got a couple who are helping to coordinate a youth lock-in. Set up a channel for that and keep it out of the general flow. The beautiful thing is you can add yourself to every channel and get quick updates on where things are by simply clicking on a channel, even if you are not directly part of the discussion.

I am sure there are plenty of ways Slack can be used, these just happen to be the most basic options. Check it out and see if it doesn’t help streamline your life.

Can you think of any other ways Slack can be a valuable resource? Are you already using it and have some best practices? Share them in the comments below.

There’s an App for That: Trello

trello-blogOur next app to help make your ministry more efficient: Trello.

Trello is a great web based collaboration tool that makes project planning and execution a breeze. Whether you are working solo or with a team, Trello can help you organize your thoughts, tasks and resources in a streamlined and easy to use format. This tool possesses amazing visibility and cross collaboration features that will make planning any event or researching any project sail by. Features include but are not limited to:

  • Project specific boards
  • Task Cards
  • Sub-lists/check lists
  • Ability to assign to others
  • Card subscription so you are always in the know
  • Status bars and color coordination
  • Easy user interface
  • Drag and Drop
  •  Attachments (pictures, documents, etc)

How can Trello be used in a ministry arena? Here are 3 real life use cases for Trello.

1. Event Planning

Do you have a team working together to plan a summer camp? Are different people working on multiple tasks? Create a board for your even and share it with your team. Trello allows for a “swim lane” view of tasks. By creating an initial “List”, you can get a good picture of each over arching task that needs to be done by creating a “card” for individual items. Each team member can then have their own “List”. Once someone takes over a task, they move the card to their “list”.  Create a final “List” titled Complete, where team members can move finished tasks to. There you have it-an easy visual of what needs to be done, who is working on what and what has been completed. Picture staff meetings with this kind of simplicity.

2. Congregant Follow Up

Because of the simple structure of Trello, you can create a board for just about anything. Maybe you want to help yourself keep track of the people you minister to. Create a “directory” board. Next, make a list and add a card for each person. You can upload a picture, input a phone number, keep notes, etc. Next, create lists for each day of the week. Drag the people you want to contact with on Monday to the “Monday” list. Do this for each person you are contacting for the week. Using the check list option on the card, you can keep track of who you have contacted and any outstanding notes.

3. Music Archive 

That’s right bivocational Worship Pastor’s, this one’s for you. Set up your “Worship” board. Create a list titled “Songs” and create a card for each song in your musical tool box. Upload chord sheets/music/lyrics as attachments. Create a second list titles “Current Set List”. Once you decide on a song, drag it over to the list. Are you super efficient-you can work out as many weeks ahead as you like. Invite your team to view the board. They can download their music, review the set list and be ready before anyone shows up for practice. You can even make notes on the song on who is singing lead or playing keys.

There you have it. Simple and efficient. Head over to and sign up for free today.

Next time: Slack

Your Turn: Have you used Trello in your ministry? How do you currently facilitate these types of activities? Share in the comments below.

There’s an App for That: Evernote

As promised, our first app to make your ministry life more efficient.

hero_evernoteEvernote 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.