A few weeks back on a day out with my wife we ended up at the local home improvement store. Eighty-four aisles ranging from showers to shrubs greeted us with the express purpose of expanding my todo list. We’re in the midst of tackling some much needed repairs and updates on our home, and as we walked from home and garden to plumbing then into electrical and paint and appliances, the list grew. This presented the perfect opportunity that comes every time there is home renovation to be done, the excuse to purchase a new tool.
Tools are designed to make the job easier. The right tool is often vital to get the job done right. It is the same with small group ministry leadership as it is with home remodel and repair. Tools assist and empower us to do more and do it better. But what are the right tools? As I stood in the midst of tool world at that home improvement store, I realized there are a lot of tools that might work, that might help, but what is really going to improve my odds for success? I find it the same with leading a growing ministry. There is a seemingly endless amount of resources for managing people, communication, file sharing, productivity and the like, but what is really helpful? Here are seven apps and electronic resources, tools, to help you get the job done.
1. Evernote: Evernote is one of my absolute favorites. It is a digital notebook that allows you to organize and share your thoughts in one place. I use it for everything from writing and sermon prep to organizing my weekly, monthly, and yearly goals. Alternatives: Microsoft Onenote & Notability
2. Google Drive: Flexible cloud storage that allows sharing files. The great thing about Google Drive is most people already have a Google account. Alternatives: Dropbox, iCloud Drive, OneDrive
3. Google Docs: While on Google, Google docs are great free online documents that your team can collaborate on together and edit in real time. There are Docs, word processing documents, Sheets, spread sheets, and Slides, slide presentation maker. The great thing with Docs is the ease of collaboration and shared documents plus it’s integration with Google Drive. Alternatives: iCloud Pages, Microsoft Office 365
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4. Asana: This is the one tool which will help your team thrive on project and task management. You can manage team projects and monitor each team member’s task completion. A super app and web tool that will change how you manage projects like a groups link. Alternatives: Basecamp, Trello, Zoho
5. Mailchimp: Design, send and track amazing email campaigns. Alternatives: Benchmark & Campaignes.
6. Slack: Team collaboration in the cloud. Allows for communication and collaborative work plus Asana integrates with Slack. Alternatives: Rocket Chat & HipChat
7. Survey Monkey: Get instant feedback for your events, track group engagement, and plan ahead by creating surveys with Survey Monkey. Alternatives: Google Form & Survey Gizmo
So now that you know the tools you are ready to take on whatever project comes your way.