One of the things that pastors have to do (which I’m sure is not unique to a ministry job) is organize a whole lot of different things at the same time… sermon materials, lots and lots of meetings, little tasks, big tasks, on it goes. Everyone has their own system, but here are some tools that have really been helpful for me recently. I thought I’d share the love. None of these are “sponsoring” this material nor have they asked me to promote them… just my own experience and love of these products. Enjoy!
TeuxDeux – TeuxDeux’s byline is “a simple, designy to-do app” and it describes them perfectly. It’s an app that allows you to create multiple to do lists and sync them with your smartphone. On the top is the to do for the day (and anything you don’t do automatically shifts over to the next day) and on the bottom you can create other lists (I have someday, projects, groceries, mealplan, & blogpost ideas as other lists). It’s very, very simple, and in its simplicity, it’s very effective. I’ve used a variety of online list making tools and this is the best, and the only one that works for me.
Pocket – Pocket is a browser extension that allows users to save material to read later. What makes it different than other bookmarking tools? 1. One click. Unlike Pinterest, Delicious, and other bookmarkers I’ve used in the past, pocket requires just one click, and you don’t have to enter another site to create the bookmark, just grab it with the pocket button and it’s done. I use it to “clip” articles I want to read later or articles I’ve read that I know I want to reference in a sermon sometime… not right now. Easy. Done.
Followupthen – I think of “followupthen” as a snooze button for email. If I receive something that needs to be followed up with and I’m worried it’s going to drop down to the bottom of the ever expanding email inbox, I forward it to follow up then. Follow ups can be short “email@example.com” or long “firstname.lastname@example.org” The service then emails me the follow up when I have told it to. The big hassle for gmail priority inbox users (me!) is that followups don’t end up in the priority box, but filters can be set up to workaround that problem (I don’t usually need to do that because I check all of the inboxes with some regularity).
Coffitivity – Ok, so this one is wacky, but it works for me. Coffitivity streams background noise sounds (like a coffee shop) through your computer so you can focus. I love it. For me, hearing streams of indistinct noise helps me to focus where playing music or silence can be productivity killers. It’s free to stream on both Mac and PC or a one time 99 cent purchase to add as a desktop app (mac only).