Periodically on Tuesday, I will be posting two tools that I use. These may be personal productivity tools. They may be tools I use in Kidmin. They may be tools I use in other ministries. It may just be a plain old tool I find cool and useful.
Personal Productivity Tool
Just about every week I use Evernote. I have tried so many different note-taking apps and Evernote is my go-to. It is cross-platform and can be used on my desktop, my phone, tablet. Just about anywhere! So what can you do with Evernote?
- Evernote is designed as a digital safe deposit box. It contains notebooks, and topics and you fill those notebooks with notes.
- You can write notes
- Search all your notes for a key phrase. Boy, that is always helpful. You can also have tags that you can use to sort like-minded notes.
- You can create checkbox todo lists,
- you can use a chrome extension and save helpful articles from the web
- The ability to attach files to notes as well as picture
It is so good and it is free. There is a paid version but the free one is probably more than most need.
So what would be a few good uses in Kids Ministry?
1. Quotes - find a quote and write it down. Find it later in your digital brain. If you are at a conference take you notes at that conference give them a tag. Tags are awesome. You can group all your quotes into certain tags.
2. Volunteer Gifts Ideas -- See an item while you are out shopping or online. Download it to Evernote. Save it for later.
3. Articles - Find a super great article on nursery care. Put it in Evernote. Give it a "nursery" tag and you can find it later. Maybe you want to share it with your nursery coordinator. You can do all that in Evernote. Maybe you can't read the article right now but need to later. Save it to Evernote. I did this just recently. I'm glad I did. I had children's pastor call me and ask about the very subject I just stuck in Evernote. I was able to share the article and recall where it was because Evernote had it waiting for me.
4. Remember where you parked -- Are you out at the MegaMall and can't remember where you parked? Take a picture of it in Evernote and there it is.
5. Business Card Reader -- Take a picture of the business cards you get at a conference. The OCR reader in Evernote will read the text of the cards meaning you can search for that person later. You can give them a tag and then they are cross-referenced to the conference.
6. Kidmin Shopping List -- Do you have shopping to do for next Sunday? Put it into Evernote give each item a checklist and off you go. I know I often write things on a scrap of paper and lose the paper.
7. Meeting Notes.-- In staff meeting and taking notes? Evernote is a great note-taking app. So you get tired of writing? I do as well. Take a picture of whatever is on the screen and put it into your notes. Evernote is great for this. It's cross-platform so when I go to my desktop all of my notes are there as well. That is awesome.
8. Tax Exempt Form --You are out at the MegaMall and need to make a purchase for your kids ministry. But you left your tax exempt number and form at the office. Take a picture of it in Evernote. I've used it many times this way and it has saved me a few times. Maybe it is the combination of the closet you hardly ever open. It remembers.
9. Voice Memos- Out for a walk and need to make a note. Make it a voice memo.
10. Prayer Journal - Kids give you prayer needs? Write them in Evernote. Keep a running log. Mark when they are answered.
Those are just 10 ways to use Evernote. Send me a note telling me how you use Evernote. I think it is awesome and I use it every day. You can take a look at Evernote at the link provided. https://evernote.com/
Tool Box Tool Number 2
I am so enthralled by good storytellers. If there is one tool that I want to continue to work on it is storytelling. I think it is one of the good keys to being a great kidmin communicator. Sometimes I will be visiting a church and they will want me to come into the kids church and "do something" I may not have brought anything with me. There is where a good story comes in handy. Just this past Sunday I was in a church for some consulting and they asked me to "do" something in the kids church. So I was able to do a story in about 5 minutes. With the story, I did a little paper tear as well. It went well and they were pleased with the story and it led to an opportunity to pray for the boys and girls.
As I write the Two Tools Tuesday articles one thing I will be searching for is good storytelling resources. Today I want to highlight 2.
1. Evernote. -- Evernote is a great place to store your stories. You can give each story multiple tags and when you need to have a good story it is right there to refresh your memory.
2. Tim Sheppard. Tim is a storyteller from England and he has a website that deals with storytelling. The helpful link on this site is the storytelling FAQ. There are a ton of storytelling resources there. Check out his FAQ at:http://www.timsheppard.co.uk/story/faq.html The other page that he has that is very helpful is this resource page for storytelling: http://www.timsheppard.co.uk/story/