I use Mac, iPhones and iPads for a great deal of things I could only imagine doing a few years ago. I'm not blind to their imperfections... and I suspect android and windows etc have a lot to offer (often for a fair bit less money!). But I like what the operating systems and various apps allow me to do. So here on my little blog site, I'm going to share how I use these tools as a Pastor.
A Go To App
So here is what I use for my to do lists along with my attempts to stay organized.
Aa a pastor it is really easy to put things that can wait on the back burner while you give your attention to the immediate - I mean you have to have that sermon ready by church time, and honestly, planning a new and effective way for doing Nominating Committee can wait, right?
Here is where I use "Things". Jotting down small pieces of information in a "to do" list form keeps them ready for when I get back to them down the road. I spent far too long repeating what I'd thought about over a month ago, and can now not possibly remember.
But the downside... it's incredibly expensive. Especially in today's app market. It's $50 in the mac app store for your mac. Yep... for a simple little task to do manager. Because it is simple. That's beauty of it. I've tried a number of apps in this category (not all of them by any means) and this is by far the one I can get my head around in a few seconds, and yes... the app I use everyday.
And oh! - it's another $10 for the iPad, and wait for it - another $10 for the iPhone app that works with your apple watch. And the real genius of these apps is when you have to have them all to work together and help you at any moment of your life!
So that's Things. Expensive, but I use it all the time.
Hint: Using the scheduler I have annual things show up that need to get done - for instance in September I'll be reminded to Look at our staff meetings effectiveness and polish that up a bit - plus put the January through March preaching plan together as well as review our packets we hand out for Bible study interests. Because I am simply not organized enough to do that on my own.
This graphic is from a previous invitation to an Apple event. And if you know anything about Apple at all, you 'll know that rumors fly around when we are about to have another one. And as a rumor community, we are pretty sure you can tune in on Wednesday September 9 to hear about the new iPhone.
That's right, do not buy a new iPhone right now! We are 99% sure the 6plusS (or whatever they will call it) is not at all far away. We might even see new iPads (nothing spectacular though) as well as pick up some news on where the new watch will head as that market matures. There is also a chance that laptops will get something of a speed bump type update too.
But what most of us Apple users will enjoy is the hoped for releases of iOS 9 and OS10 El Capitan. That's the new operating system for iPhone, iPad, and macs. Not a lot will change, but the Notes feature (which is my no.1 used app across my devices) is getting a major update. I hope it does not ruin my workflow!!!
Have You Seen The New Macbook?
I often joke that I have one of everything Apple sells. Lately that has become harder to make happen. I like the watch but can't see that on my wrist any time soon, but I simple love the idea of this new Macbook.
I have the 11 inch Macbook Air. All kitted out - 500GB SSD, with the fastest i7 chip you could get in these things. I like it because it is tiny, and very powerful. Editing movies on the go is no problem for me.
But my computer now feels positively clunky compared to this new Macbook. And so therefore makes me drool with Apple joy!! ... except... its power is way down. The fastest processor you can get is a 1.3 intel core m. Whereas my current Air has a 1.7 intel core i7. So... I'd have to give up some processing power - which for most everyday tasks is not a problem. But if I did change, I'd have to spend $1749 plus taxes. So I'm keeping what is still a very slim laptop and let those who want the portability of an iPad, but with the Mac OS, pick these up - because that is really what this macbook is all about.
This new one is 2lbs, mine is 2.38lbs, though the new one is really really thin! If you bought mine new today you'd pay $1649 plus taxes - which now includes a 2.2 intel core i7 processor with a 500GB SSD over the macbook's one of 250GB SSD. Or, seeing as I did not pay near that amount for mine originally, try Apples refurbished Macbook Airs - which are in abundance in all shapes and sizes right now.
So... for a long long time now, I've been using the Keynote app (Powerpoint Mac equivalent) on my mac for sermons etc. And except for my current churches - so have my church for the whole worship services.
- Not everyone knows how to use it - and while it is very fast to learn, those using windows find everything quite different for a little while.
- It can be very clunky to skip a slide. While this certainly can be done if changing slides is someone's full time job - I would not recommend doing this on the go if you are in the middle of presenting!
- Not for bringing in new slides during the slide show - whereas purpose built software allows you to do this quite easily (Well, as easily as anything in their software is).
- Gives you that Apple design and clean look that can only come from Apples products (though Prezi can come some way to help with this) so your presentation is more likely to look beautiful/professional.
- You can create exactly what you want at home, and then take your laptop to church knowing exactly what you are going to get. This cannot be overstated!
- It's cheap! Once you have the mac that is.
- It is so easy and clean to add media. Please, lets have no more blue screens while we switch the computer to some other media player - these days must surely be behind us by now! (But I still see it from time to time).
Oh - and don't forget to use a good clicker. Here's what I use.
Ok, this is more on the ridiculous side, but if you have nearly a million apps on your app store page you are going to have some that hardly come under the "must have" title! Enter Ditty. A little app that will take your text messages, and pimp them up - sound wise! It's free, though you can pay for the more creative offers.
There are a lot of corny things out there, and this almost fits in that category, and is certainly not the thing to impress your boss with! But... if you've got some kids in your church, or that goofy youth leader - well, your street cred might get a bump in the new pew ratings! But use at your own risk!