9 Productivity Apps for Ministry Leaders

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Do you know what it feels like to be “in the zone” with ministry work?  It feels great when you are cranking content out like crazy!  The magic happens when you are passionate about something and have both the energy and the organization to get things done.  How often does that happen to you?
A personal mentor recently told me that I am one of the most productive and organized people that they know.  That may or may not be true, but I do tend to be organized and get things done before they need to get done.  I think my productivity is a result of a passion for my work and having found the right tools to help me with my work.  Maybe some of the tools that I use can help you.

Task : Task Management
Tool:  OmniFocus
There are many apps and tools that help you manage your tasks.  Pick one that you like and commit to it.  My #1 suggestion is that it is syncable on all of your devices (computer, tablet, phone..)  I have been using OmniFocus for almost 5 years as find it powerful and effective. It follows David Allen’s Getting Things Done methodology precisely.   It syncs with my laptop, phone, tablet, and watch! The learning curve to fully utilizing all of its features is steep - if you are a technology novice, you should probably investigate a simpler system.

Task: Posting on Social Media
Tool: Missinglettr
If you post professionally on social media, you already know that scheduling your posts ahead of time is a game changer.  Missinglettr takes your content (blog, sermons, whatever..) and creates a social media (Facebook, Twitter) drip campaign that you can use to schedule and reschedule posts throughout the year!  I've been using Missinglettr for almost a year now and love it!  It is a game changer for ministry leaders and communicators who post in social media.

Task: Managing My Calendar
Tool: Fantastical
Fantastical is a calendar system that syncs between all of your devices.   It can manage and aggregate all of your calendars (Google, Outlook..)I paid for it and used it over the calendar that came with my Apple devices because it is more intuitive and simpler when entering appointments.  I’m a visual person and it is better designed than the stock calendar on my devices.  I can’t recommend Fantastical enough.

Task: Writing
Tool:  Apple Notes
Until recently, I used the Ulysses app for all of my writing.  They changed their pricing model and to be honest, it ticked me off.  I went in search of an alternative and didn’t love anything that I found.  I ended up using Apple Notes and it is getting the job done.  It is super simple to use and easy to export text to almost any other app.  I’m still looking for a better, more elegant option here.

Task: Focusing on a Task
Tool: Focus
It’s a great looking countdown timer on my phone (and Apple Watch) that helps me focus on my work and reminds me to occasionally take a break.  Simple and it works!

Task: Email
Tool: Apple Mail
The standard Apple Mail App that comes with my Apple devices fits my needs.  I’ve investigated other options, but haven’t felt that their features justified the purchase price.  If you are overwhelmed by email and need help managing your inbox, I recommend InboxZero.

Task: Capturing Ideas
Tool: Just Press Record
There are times when I need to capture a quick idea and don’t have a pen and paper or typing something wouldn’t be appropriate.  Most often, this happens while I am driving.  I use Just Press record on my iPhone and Apple watch to record my ideas.  It records with a press of a button or voice commands.  Later, when I can take action on my idea, there it is waiting for me.  You can also translate your voice recording to text and export it to another app, email, or text message!

Task: Reading Online Content
Tool: Pocket
Ever find a good article online and want to save it?  Ever start reading an article and can’t finish it?  Install the pocket app and with the press of one button, save and organize all of your online reading for later.  You can also share articles with others easily with several share options.  I save several articles and use Pocket when traveling and do not have internet access to catch up on my reading.

Task: Social Media Management
Tool: Grum
Facebook has a built-in method for scheduling your future posts, Instagram doesn’t. Enter Grum. You can schedule your post ahead of time and interact/comment on them from your Grum Dashboard. This has been a huge time saver for me!

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Bryan Blackford