Ministers, need help getting organized? These can help.
By Natalie Aho
In the 14-plus years I have worked with ministers, churches or ministry organizations, I have found that most, though not all, ministers need help with organization. And sometimes their secretaries do, too. Thanks to the collaboration of the tech- nology world, many free tools are readily available. It may take a couple of hours to set up and a determined habit to learn, but the initial time investment is worth the headache of forgetting one more thing. Here are my top two tools with links to more if these don’t appeal to you.
1. Wunderlist (www.wunderlist.com).
The ultimate, free online to-do list. It will sync across your desktop, iOS device, Android and even Kindle Fire. Items are easy to add — to one or many lists, dates can be assigned, subtasks can be created, and notes, descriptions, files and comments are included. You can set a reminder, share it with others, turn emails into tasks, and print them out if you’ll be without wifi. And when you are done, you get the satisfaction of a check box and then it will save in your archives. Some of these features require a $5/month fee, but the free version is very robust. Why haven’t you been using this tool yet?
2. Asana (asana.com).
A free project management system. Asana can also be used like Wunderlist, though because it does so much more, I prefer to use this platform to organize tasks within a team. You can sync it with your Google account or use an independent email address. Create multiple projects, easily add tasks, create subtasks, assign responsibility, create a due date, and add files, tags and comments. You can also add followers to the task. If it is synced with Gmail, then your conversation can be contained in email responses, which will also show up as comments when you visit your Asana account. It can be synced to a Google calendar, and printed if needed. And once the task is done, it crosses them off and hides them in an archive. As a free tool, you can’t lose with this platform, especially if you already use Gmail.
Additional organizational tools:
• Doodle.com (schedule appointments or meetings with one or a group)
• Google calendar (although a familiar tool, take time to watch tutorial videos for all the extras)
• CareCalendar.org (schedule meals, child care, home help or more for a group of volunteers)
• Errands To-Do List (iOS app; recom- mended to me, but not one I have tried)
• Agenda Calendar (iOS app; recom- mended to me, but not one I have tried)
Share your favorite organizational tools with us at Twitter @abp_rh or Facebook/associatedbaptistpress.
– Natalie Aho is the interactive communications specialist for ABPnews/Herald and also provides communication consulting for individuals, non-profits and churches. She has an M.S. degree in interactive media and shares her resources at digitalclergy.com.
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