Evernote is one of the most used apps on both my phone and computer. Here’s seven tips on why Youth Pastors should be using it.
1. Evernote helps a youth pastor organise youth group events.
Anything from camps to discussion nights to movie nights Evernote can help you keep organised and plan an event that is coming up. Writing lists, keeping a to-do list or even noting the various job’s and which one of your leaders can do it can all be stored in various notes. The helpful tagging option allows you to bring up all specific notes about the event, say, “Movie Night”, which could include details of what movies are on – where and when, as well as the various contact details for those places. There are always a number of things to be done in putting together a youth group night, keeping those thoughts and ideas in one central place is always helpful.
Perhaps as 1b i would suggest that Evernote can also help in de-briefing various youth group events. It is a place to store notes and thoughts on how the night went, who turned up, what was done, who organised what, what needs improvement for next time and the like.
2. Evernote helps a youth pastor in designing the upcoming youth group programme.
Young people and youth leaders are always full of ideas about youth group events. Nearly every week there will be one person in the group who suggests, “we should do ………. next term”. Evernote enables you to store information about possible youth group activities, including their contact details and what’s around, possibly even a website or two. When coming to organise the next term’s programme this will make the process a lot easier. For example, there is a local roller-skating rink that occasionally posts me information in the mail. All i do is take a photo of the information on my phone, upload it to Evernote and then it becomes fully searchable for when i need it.
3. Evernote helps a youth pastor remember a good game for youth group.
How many times, perhaps at the end of the night, does it happen where there is about 15mins to go and you’ve run out of games. Games are the bread and butter of youth groups, they are always needed and new ones are always great. Evernote allows you store heaps and heaps (as many as you like really) on your phone or computer, which can be easily accessed and then played within a few minutes. While i haven’t needed this one yet, i can imagine that this will come in very handy in a few weeks when we have youth group camp. Storing games from the net, writing your own, or evening taking notes of a few you’ve seen can all be stored and tagged under various names. i.e. adventure, messy, physical etc.
4. Evernote helps the youth pastor remember conversations with young people, youth leaders or parents.
Last year i held a parent afternoon tea and jotted down some of the feedback that they were saying. There were also a few new ideas floating around the place and some encouraging things that they said. At the end of the afternoon tea i took a photo of the discussion notes and they became searchable using the OCR capabilities. This has helped me to remember what we talked about and what we could implement in the future. After a conversation with a youth leader i type notes of that conversation into Evernote so that i can remember what was said and the action points from it. This helps me and reminds me of where my various youth leaders are at. I think this is a highly useful tool, which rather than having a whole heap of .txt or .doc files stored on the computer i have them all in note form and in one place.
5. Evernote helps the youth pastor store contact details of other youth pastors, young people, leaders or churches.
There are many youth pastors around and at a number of different churches. Evernote helps me to store contact details of them and remind me where they are at. Sometimes it is through a business card that i can simply take a photo of and upload while other times it is simply me entering text. Having knowledge and contact details of those in your area who are also doing the same thing you are doing is always helpful. You never know when you might be of help to some and when they might be a help to you. It’s always good to get that support from those in the same situation. Having their details on hand and easily searchable is a bonus with Evernote.
The same goes here for any details of youth group attenders and your youth leaders.
6. Evernote helps the youth pastor with all that ridiculous administration.
I have to admit that i try to avoid administration like the plague – don’t we all? But sometimes something just has to be done. I get sent quite a few things in the mail (or email) including advertising material, receipts and invoices, duty of care booklets etc. What i have tended to do with this sort of stuff, and only with the stuff that i want to keep, is to scan the receipt or material and then store it as a .pdf in Evernote. With Evernote the .pdf’s are searchable, just like pictures, and so if i ever need to go back and reference purchases or events (perhaps for the church treasurer) then i can easily find them. This cuts down on paper storage and the high possibility of it being lost.
7. Evernote helps the youth pastor write bible talks or devotions for youth group.
Every youth group
usually should have at least some sort of bible talk or devotional. I regularly do them as well as my leaders. With Evernote i can write up that talk in plain text and print it when it’s ready to go. I can highlight, tag and store the note in a variety of forms and ways which make it easier to know what i have done in the past. For example, i may do a number of talks on the miracles of Jesus from the Gospel of Mark. I can tag “Mark” in each note, store it in the notebook entitled “Youth Group” and have that sit under the “Church” category too. Additional tags might be stuff like, “Jesus”, “Miracles”, “Healing”, “Casting out”, “Evil Spirit”, “Talk”, “Youth Group” etc.
In sum Evernote is a great central app for youth pastors to use and enables them to be far better organised. It helps in ministry, and we all know that we need a lot of help at times. Are you a youth pastor that uses Evernote? What else do you use it for?