Pastor Emile Burgess from Trinity in Caledonia, WI writes … evernote_logo_grande

My helpful tech tool pick is the free app for desktop and mobile: Evernote. I started using Evernote about 4 years ago. I’d been doing paper-based GTD (Getting Things Done) for a little over a year and decided to switch to digital and I think I heard Martin mention it on a podcast. Since then I haven’t looked back and really love it. It fits well with the GTD philosophy of “keep your system as simple as possible but not too simple.” That said, you can make your Evernote system as complicated and “Byzantine” as you like, but simplicity is usually best. Evernote is really just a simple note file manager with Notebooks and Tags for organization. You enter text notes directly into the system or send them in via email, web clippings, pics, video, voice recording, and probably others I’m forgetting.

How is it helpful for ministry?

I have a note file for each of my members and prospects to which I add info as I see fit. I try to update my shut-in note files after each visit. My most-used tags are the GTD standards and a couple others: Project Support, Agendas, Errands, Computer, Home, Work, Waiting For, Calls, Read/Review, Someday/Maybe, Reference, Prayer, Brain dead. I also have a note for each of my GTD “Horizons of Focus”: Mission, 3-5 Year Vision, 1-2 Year Goals, Areas of Responsibility, (Current Projects is a tag with a note for each Outcome and Next Actions is its own whole Notebook.)

I also use Evernote for a daily journal in which I check-off and capture the “work” I’ve completed and any miscellaneous thoughts.

I have simplified my Tickler File (Follow-On File) over the years to be in a single note for the least amount of clicking around.

Recently Evernote added a Reminder feature which comes in handy. To my knowledge it does not have a template feature, but I still have a number of notes that I use as templates: Weekly Review checklist, Tickler file months, Shut-in record, etc.

Evernote is an invaluable tool for ministry. No tool makes “work” easy; you still have to work your system. But Evernote does make work for me easier.