A pastor rarely has one job in a church and often has to wear many hats at different times. Sometimes it’s mentoring people, other times it’s preaching, and sometimes it’s plain old organizing members of the staff. Obviously, this can require a wide range of tools to make sure you can get everything done.
Although this is not a complete list of apps, you may need something very specific, it is a good starting point.
Here are 13 essential iOS apps for pastors:
1. A Good Task Management App (Todoist)
The more hats you are juggling, the harder it is to stay focused on any one task and insure that you get it done. Using a good task management app will help you to insure you get what needs done, done.
The built in reminders app with iOS will be good enough for many people who have limited needs. It allows you to have multiple list, share items and tick items off. You can also add items via Siri, which is handy.
However, other people will need a more robust system which lets them view tasks from a range of perspectives and options.
Staying in contact with people is rally important no matter what specific role(s) you have as a pastor. Our favorite tools are Slack for group communication, a great way to have real time chats and share resources, and iMessage. Although iMessage is in many ways just SMS, the ability to send messages from your Mac or iPad via handoff is really useful to help you not be interrupted from your work fiddling around for the right device.
3. A Great Email App (Dispatch, Cloud Magic)
Email is a subject of much wailing and nashing of teeth at the moment, and pastors aren’t excluded. My favourite is Dispatch, as it makes use of x-callback-urls to do things with your emails. These include saving to Evernote, adding a new task in almost any task management system, add a calendar event, send via a messaging service, translate, add to your read it later tool, export as a PDF and more. It doesn’t stop there, it will also smartly work out a title to address the person you are sending your message to (which you can change and it will learn for the future, if it isn’t appropriate) and you can use textexpander within the app, very handy if there are some regular formate messages that you need to send.
Although Dispatch supports a variety of email clients, you may want to check out Cloud Magic which offers some similar features (such as exporting a message to evernote or adding a new task) and supports more email clients too.
4. Note Taking and Article Saving (Evernote)
Evernote is an incredibly powerful tool for providing note taking on the go. Although Simplenote and Vesper offer some similar note taking options, Evernote still shines with its ability to take a variety of note formats and web clipping options. This is a great tools for studying and more.
5. The Right Social Media Platform
It’s no secret that we think social media can be a powerful tool when used correctly. However, the right social media for you may be different from another church. Where it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Tumblr or something else the App developed by the company will probably be a good bet. Buffer and Hootsuite are also good tools to help you time when you share items to social media and manage multiple social networks at one time.
6. A Great Calendar (Fantastical or Sunrise)
If the most important aspect of a calendar is adding new events, then you have to check out Fantastical. It makes it incredibly simple to add a new event via natural language. You don’t have to spend time clicking through categories to make sure you enter the right word in the right place, instead you can just start typing (or even dictating the event).
Although Fantastical is great for adding tasks, it isn’t the best for reviewing your week and tasks. Instead you may want to check out Sunrise, a calendar app that supports a variety of calendars and has a great way to browse through events.
7. A Good Bible App (YouVersion)
There are a wide range of bible applications, many free, some with in app purchases and others without. Each app has a different features and I’m sure you’ve already picked up one or two that you like. However, If you haven’t I recommend checking out YouVersion bible. It has a whole host of different bible versions many of which you can download and all are free. It doesn’t have some features like viewing two versions at the same time, but it still includes features like reading plans, notes and highlights. All very useful.
8. The Internet (Safari)
Internet browsers are a touchy subject. People often have their favourite and won’t hear anything against it. There are two choices that attract different people so let’s look at the best reasons for each one.
Personally, I enjoy Safari as it is the inbuilt browser and so it’s simpler to open links within and the handoff feature can be interesting. However, Chrome is a great choice if you switch between iOS and another operating system like the PC or android.
9. A Voice Recorder
If you hate writing or typing then recording your voice is a great option to consider. Of course, you may wish to use a voice recording to supplement text as well for those who prefer to listen rather than read. Luckily, iOS has got you covered here.
Built into the iPhone is a voice memo app. It’s not the most advance but it will get the job done and lets you share your memos to a few sources. Alternative, the Garageband app will let you record and refine your audio further.
10. A Journal (DayOne)
Journaling is a brilliant habit, it helps you make sense of the day, stay thankful, notice the easily missed and clarify your thoughts. DayOne is a great tool for iOS which helps you build this regular habit. You can set up a notification to remind you to journal, it allows you to attach a picture, has markdown support and can also publish an item if you really wish.
11. The iWork and iLife Suite
The iWork suit on iOS provides you with a high quality WordProcessor, Spreadsheet and presentation tool. While Pages and Numbers may not be your top choice ahead of Google Drive tools or Microsoft office, Keynote is simple brilliant. The iOS app provides all the tools you need to create beautiful presentations to go with your sermons.
The iLife suite of iMovie, Garageband and iPhoto also provide great tools for editing videos, music and photos for whatever purpose may come up.
12. Creating Graphics (WordSwag, Over and Pixelmator)
iOS has a selection of great tools for creating beautiful graphics to use all across the internet and during services. Tools like WordSwag are great for adding artistic text to an image, Over can let you add a simple line of text over an image to frame the context, Pixelmator enables you to make professional looking posters or advertisements and there are even more tools out there.
13. Podcast (Overcast, Castro, Pocket Casts and Podcasts)
Podcasts are a great study tool and tool for personal devotions, especially for those who prefer to take in information via audio. Luckily on iOS there are a selection of great different podcasting apps. Personally, I really enjoy Overcast with its playlist features, voice boost and smart speed up (it detects pauses in the audio and fast forwards through them, saving you time and keeping the audio snappy). However, it lacks a desktop app and some features you might see in other apps.
Pocket Casts has a great sync feature and you can purchase (for an additional cost) a web streaming service. Castro has nice circular avatars and a great iOS 7+ design, But even the default podcast app from Apple may be good enough for you.
What apps are essential for you?
Are you a pastor or minister in a church? Are there some other apps which are essential for you? Leave a comment with them below.