Monday, June 23, 2008

Internet Applications For Pastors And Others

There are many Internet applications out there that are making life easier for pastors and others.

Here is a list of examples:

1. Gmail - I’ve been using Gmail for years for my all email. I was glad to have kissed Outlook goodbye and will never go back. I love the search-ability and use of labels. Also you can't beat the spam filter. and am now using it for all work email. Try Gmail Labs for fun beta options.
2. Google Calendar - I love the integration with Gmail and the ability to share my calendar with others.
3. Switchboard - Often times I need to find a phone number, and it's published, then I'll find it with ease with Switchboard.
4. Google Documents - Most documents are simple and therefore Google Docs is a great option. Also, it provides a great opportunity for sharing and colaboration. Plus with Google Docs, it is easier to find a document when I am looking for it.
5. Blogger - It’s how I share daily insights about ministry, leadership and life from my blog.
6. Twitter - This is a new app for me, but it has really begun to grow on me. It’s how I plan to share mini-insights throughout my day.
7. eBible - I love being able to read, search and study the Bible online.
8. Backpack - I am using Backpack mostly for the reminders. And with the Firefox extention, it has become an easy way to make important reminders throughout my day.
9. Jott - Jott converts voice into text. Jott is awesome. I can call a number and capture a thought while in the car, I can add an appointments to my Google Calendar, or update my Twitter. This has been an invaluable tool.
10. Xdrive - Provides free online storage when I’m looking to back up important files.
11. YouSendIt - It’s a great tool for sending big files to other people.
12. Scribd - This has been a helpful tool that allows me to post documents to my blog. It not only allows them to be "viewed" but downloaded as well.
13. Evernote - This program has come a long way over the past couple of years, and I love it. Evernote lets me capture and store stuff, mostly stuff from the web. With Evernote I can easily file sermon illustrations and important ministry ideas.
14. - I’ve started using this application for tracking personal finances. Easy to use and it delivers great reports.
15. PageOnce - I call this my dashboard of life. It takes all of my information that I may track on websites, and pulls it all together for an "at-a-glance" online dashboard.
16. Google Analytics - I use it to track stats for my blog.
17. Woopra - This site is amazing. I use it to periodically monitor live traffic on my blog. Also it has a desktop client that allows me to access my information very easily.
18. Google Reader - Using a "reader" is the only way to read blogs. In my opinion, Google Reader is the best.
19. TimeBridge - This program, linked with my Google Calendar, lets me schedule appointments with one or many people without having to be burdened with the back and fourth of "email tag". This has been a BIG time saver for me.
20. Pandora - This is a site that you can use to create your own Internet radio station that plays your favorite genre of music.
21. LetterMeLater - Not yet ready to send an email. Then send it later. You can have your email timed to go out when you want them. Plus they are integrated with Gmail. I won't be surprised if Gmail eventually integrates this option in their program.
22. Pinger - Send a voice mail out to a group of people. I love the ease of use and when people get a voice mail, it often gets more noticed than an email. I have used this program to send out quick reminders and information to the church, all done with one simple call.
23. FeedBurner - This is the service I use to track subscribers to my blog.
24. Facebook - I love how easy it is now to keep up with old friends. It has also been an effective communication tool toward young people who now consider email as passe'.
25. Doodle - This simple little program has been a real time saver. You set up an online poll, send the link out, and the program does the rest. It has helped to coordinate membership interviews when we are trying to find people's best date and time in their schedule.

[From Ministry Best Practices by Bill Reichart]