Whenever I connect with a multisite pastor, I like to ask them a series of questions. The one question I always ask is: “What app are you using that makes you more successful?”, because I’m always on the hunt for tools to help me do my job more effectively and efficiently.
Here’re my four favorite productivity apps:
Nozbe is my to-do list; it helps me complete all my tasks, and is user-friendly. I’ve tried all the others: Clear, Wunderlist, Remember the Milk, and Reminders on iPhone, but for me, no task management tool compares to Nozbe. I’ve been able to reduce email, increase collaboration with my assistant, and get more done by creating several categories that help me batch tasks which results in more productivity and higher efficiency. My categories include: calls, planning, email, thank you notes, books to read, etc., and you can set a reminder for each task which ensures you don’t forget about it. I like that I can use Nozbe on all my Apple devices, and even though it’s not free, it will save you a significant amount of time.
Everyone I know in ministry uses Evernote in some fashion or another, but not everyone uses the robust sharing feature. I share multiple notebooks and notes in Evernote with my wife, staff team and high capacity volunteers. Most importantly, I share individual notebooks with my direct reports that track and determine our one-on-one agenda items. These notes contain three priorities: their items, my items, and our action steps coming out of the meeting. A meeting that ends without action steps is a waste of time in my opinion. Since the notebook is shared, both you and the attendee can edit the file and populate it with future agenda items. I often use one-word list descriptions as a launching pad for the items I would like to discuss further in person. Michael Hyatt has a lot to share about Evernote; you can listen here. Don’t just use Evernote, share it.
I’ll never forget the day I learned about Pocket from my friend Brian Taylor. Pocket has become my favorite app for saving, storing and tagging articles and social media posts of interest. I don’t have time to read everything I see on Twitter, but I always have time to put it in Pocket and read it later. My favorite feature within Pocket is the ability to tag and archive fabulous content for future reference. Like Evernote, I have Pocket on all my devices. It has become a massive storage drive of invaluable information that is literally in my pocket every day.
While Evernote is a great collaborative app, it hasn’t proven itself to beat Asana as my project management tool of choice. Asana allows our team to decrease email, share our progress with the team, and organize our work around a large project. It has changed the way we delegate tasks, communicate progress and administrate events. I no longer have to text or email a team member to see where he or she stands with a project, I can quickly check Asana for a status update. My favorite feature within this app is the ability to archive projects and campaigns that repeat seasonally. Year-after-year, we do a lot of the same things in ministry, and Asana allows us to unarchive those projects and reassign tasks. It takes a little training and follow-through to use Asana, but the investment is well worth it. Read and send less email, use Asana.
Those are four of my favorite productivity apps. What productivity tools you are using?