What are your go to apps for youth ministry?

I am constantly on the lookout for great apps, but the more that I look, the more likely I am going to go back to the core apps that I have been using for a while.  Apps can help automate your work week.  It can help you stay on top of emails, and ways to communicate digitally to different accounts.  Apps can send out mass messages to students, parents, or leaders.  You need the right apps.  They will help you be a better youth pastor.

Here is a list of 5 apps.  We really could have made this a 20 apps youth pastors need, but we will start with 5.  5 useful apps that you should be using today.  5 apps that will help you, if you really use them.  It might take work in order for you to test, and play around with them.  Trust me, it’s worth the small amount of money and time.

Apps help make your iPhone, iPad, or whatever digital device you have become a modern swiss army knife.  It has become an essential tool that will help you do, lead, and serve the people you are called to.

Here is our 5 essentials apps:

1.  Mailbox

If you haven’t heard about the mailbox app yet, you are in for a treat!  This is the best email app I have ever seen.  It is easy to blast through emails.  Save them for the next working day, or to remind you a week out to respond to an important one.  I also love that they came out with a desktop app.

It helps you get rid of the email clutter.  My email was so cluttered it took almost an hour and a half to dig out of my emails.  Mailbox lets you swipe to either archive it, delete it, save it as a note, or remind you later.  This simple concept is revolutionary.  I had over 600 unread emails, and 1000’s of saved emails.  Not anymore!

Remind me later.  I love this feature.  Mailbox will send an email whenever you want to resend it.  You can send it back to yourself in 30mins, or in a week.   Deal with the email right away and leave the stress in the inbox.

The design.  As a graphic designer, I love the look of it.  It is so simple, and it is the reason why dropbox purchased the app.  Not only is it easy to use, but it looks awesome.

2. Wunderlist. 

Wunderlist is the only to-do organizer that you will ever need.  Last year Wunderlist was one of the top apps of the year from apple.  It’s totally free, and is worth checking out.  I was a late adopter because they never had a reoccurring task feature.  They added it and I switched over.

Here are some of the key features:

• Create all the lists you need and access them from your phone, tablet and computer
• Easily share lists and collaborate with family, friends and colleagues
• Start conversations about your to-dos
• Attach photos, PDFs, presentations and more
• Share the work and delegate to-dos
• Setting a Reminder ensures you never forget important deadlines (or birthday gifts) ever again
• Organize your projects for home, work and everywhere in between with Folders

What are you waiting for?  Go and get wunderlist for free today.  It will help you get more tasks accomplished each week.

3. Wordswag.

The word swag app is a youth ministry life saver.  You can easily take picture and add text to the image.  The best part of this app is that you can select different styles that your text will be displayed.

Now you can create beautifully custom text layouts that would normally take minutes – or even hours – with just a tap.  I love seeing youth pastor friends use this app, and make their sermon series, or promos for their youth ministry look awesome.  It really does a lot of the graphic design work for you.  All you need to do is put the text in and generate your look.

I use this app all the time.  It is my go to app for sharing quotes from the sermon I just preached in my youth ministry, or from books I am reading.  It’s really easy to create and share with wordswag.

Wordswag costs $3.99, but I would pay triple that to get access to this app.  It’s worth it.  It’s only the price of a coffee at starbucks.

4. Remind. 

I have bounced around a lot on different texting plans for youth ministry.  I keep coming back to this free texting service called Remind.  Go and check it out.  It’s built for teachers to communicate with their class.  It’s easy to use, and it’s totally free.

Here is what remind can do:

You can sign up in seconds. Use Remind to send quick Announcements to your entire ministry, or start a Chat for one-to-one conversation.

Phone numbers are always kept private so information is safe and secure. Teachers, students, and parents have easy access to their message history, and can also use our reporting tools to flag conversations.

Save time by sending or scheduling Announcements directly to students’ and parents’ phones. This is a life saver.  I will schedule messages for a week or two weeks out.  I hate trying to think of something witty to say on the spot.  Schedule a message or two in order to promote an event or series for parents and students.

Any one can start using Remind today, for FREE, on any device. They also have apps that you can easily use.

Remind is a great way to send a mass text message to your group.  If you don’t have a texting service, I would recommend one.  I signed up for a different texting service years ago, and haven’t looked back.  I love knowing that the messages are going out, and that people are actually receiving them.  I would pay money for this, but Remind is totally FREE!

5. Evernote.

Remember when you used to have a note pad?  Well this is the only note pad you really need.  I loving having everything in the cloud.  All my sermons are in the evernote cloud.  They are all stored away waiting to be used.  I keep prayer requests from my small group, and my discipleship group on evernote.  It is the one place to put all your work.

On the Evernote website, it shows what it can this program can do.  It can essentially do 3 things.

1. Capture Everything: Chances are, if you can see it or think of it, Evernote can help you remember it. Type a text note. Clip a web page. Snap a photo. Grab a screenshot. Evernote will keep it all safe.  This is one of the best features of this online program.

2. Organize it: Everything you capture is automatically processed, indexed, and made searchable. If you like, you can add tags or organize notes into different notebooks.  If this makes no sense to you I will explain this in the next 8 post I will do on Evernote.

3. Find Everything Fast: Search for notes by keywords, titles, and tags. Evernote magically makes printed and handwritten text inside your images searchable, too.  This at first seems complicated, but I will explain how you can use this serach feature to find every file.

I love Evernote.  It is a great resource.  You can email to your Evernote account, add things from your web browser and more.  It has become my filing cabinet for my youth ministry, this website, and my personal life.  And the best part is that it’s free.

There is our list of 5 essential apps that every youth pastor should have.  What do you think of the list?  What do you already have?  What would you add to that list?  We love discovering new and useful apps that help youth pastors and the ministries they serve.

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