Pastors, ministry leaders, and church communications directors must be able to wade through an immense amount of information each day. Whether it's for a sermon, a bible study, a missions project, or what's really necessary for the church's new website, church leaders need some way to organize and distill massive amounts of information.
These three free, online, multi-platform resources can help you do that.
Evernote may be the most well-known option. As a robust, multi-platform, cloud-synced, easily-searchable, notes-capturing app, its simple though highly useful functionality has few rivals. Evernote allows users to make notes and lists to their heart's content, as well as snap pictures, upload audio notes-to-self, and clip webpages or links for future reference. (If you need more storage or upload capacity, the premium level is cheap enough to endure the expense of $45/year). As a mostly text-based user of Evernote, I have yet to come close to surpassing my quotas on the free account. Folders and tags make organizing your data quite customizable.
Michael Hyatt is a big fan of Evernote and has written a series of posts on how he uses Evernote to organize his busy schedule. Additionally, pastors will specifically benefit from Ron Edmondson's ebook, A Guide to Evernote for Pastors, which is, as you've likely guessed, a guide to Evernote for pastors.
Don't laugh. If you're a visually-oriented, socially-savvy type of leader, Pinterest may be perfect for you. Boards allow you to group ideas found on the web or on Pinterest itself. If you see something online that's a perfect idea for your church website, pin it to your board, Awesome Church Website Ideas. Pinterest lacks the broad functionality of Evernote, but if you're mostly curating ideas from the web and may seek to have others' input (boards can be shared), Pinterest may be perfect. However, one of the drawbacks to Pinterest is that boards cannot be private (as far as I know). In other words, everything you pin is viewable by the public and/or your followers. (For more on Pinterest and the church, read To Pin or Not to Pin.)
Springpad is my new favorite. Even though its been around for a few years, its most recent iteration has been dubbed the child of Evernote and Pinterest. Springpad combines the best of both popular online tools and allows you to have public or private notebooks. Users can create notes or lists as well as "spring" items from the web, or other Springpad users, into whatever notebooks they like. Springpad's layout echoes Pinterest, so those with a visual bent will appreciate it, but the organizational tools are more powerful. Users can invite others to contribute to their notebooks as well, a beneficial tool for collaborative teams working on a certain project.
As for me, I've used Evernote for a year, Pinterest a little, and just started using (and loving) Springpad.
What online tool(s) do you use to organize your ministry or life?
If you've written a post about any of these resources, or about another online organizational tool, share it in the comments.