FYI: This is a very old article, written in 2011. I no longer use Evernote, but you be you.
Evernote is one of the most used apps on my phone and computer.
Here’s seven tips on why Youth Pastors should be using it.
1. Evernote Helps A Youth Pastor Organise Events
Anything from camps to small group socials to the stock standard youth night. Evernote helps you keep organised and plan an event coming up.
Writing lists, storing information about what needs to purchased, and delegating which leader is responsible for what. All these things can be stored in various notes.
The helpful tagging option allows you to bring up all the notes about “Awesome Camp”, which can then include details about registration, budget, what to buy, and the contact details for the campsite itself. There are a number of ways to put together a particular youth event but having them all in one central place is helpful.
Once the event is done and it’s time to debrief this is where notes can be kept and help you improve the next time it comes around.
2. Evernote Helps A Youth Pastor In Designing The Youth Ministry Programme
Young people and youth leaders are full of ideas about youth events. Nearly every week there will be one person that comes up to me and says, “We should do […insert event here…] next term.”
Evernote enables you to store information about future youth ministry activities. This can include details of what it is, contact information, and the links to the websites. When coming to organise the next term’s programme this will make the process a lot easier. Pull your phone out, have a look at what’s there, think about whether it achieves what you’re after and put in on the planner. Easy.
A local roller-skating rink posts me information every now and then with their information for youth groups. All I do is take a picture of it, store it in Evernote, and boom. It’s sorted and searchable for when I need it.
3. Evernote Helps A Youth Pastor Remember A Good Game
Games + Youth Ministry = Fun times.
How many times do you find yourself, perhaps at the end of a night, where there is 15 minutes to spare and you’ve run out of games?
No Youth Pastor should be without a few games up their sleeve. They’re the bread and butter of many traditional youth groups and youth ministries. Evernote allows you to store heaps and heap and heaps of games on your phone and computer, easily accessed in seconds.
Storing games you’ve come up with yourself, finding a few gems on the net, and even taking a few notes from games some of your leaders come up, can all be stored in Evernote. Tagging them into what kind of games, i.e. Adventure, Messy, Group, Ice-Breaker and the like becomes extremely helpful too.
4. Evernote Helps The Youth Pastor Remember Conversations With Young People, Parents And Leaders
Last year I held a Parent Afternoon Tea and jotted down some of the feedback given. There were a few new ideas floating around and also some encouraging things being said about the youth ministry. At the end of our time together I took a photo of the discussion notes, uploaded them to Evernote, and they became searchable using their technology. This has helped me remember what we talked about and we we could implement in the future.
After a conversation with a Youth Leader I type out some brief bullet point notes in Evernote so that I remember what was said and the action points decided upon. This helps me to know where my Youth Leaders are at with a variety of matters and also helps me in following up the next time we catch up.
This is so much more useful than some form of text file stored on the computer. Here I have them all in note form and in my hand.
5. Evernote Helps The Youth Pastor Store Contact Details Of Other Youth Pastors, Young People, Leaders, And Churches
The amount of ‘networking’ events for those in Christian ministry is quite extraordinary. Every week there are multiple emails promoting different organisations, churches, and leadership events. It gets confusing and tiring.
Anyway, Evernote helps me to store the contact details of those I actually want to stay in touch with. Sometimes it might be the dreaded business card (Does anyone actually use these anymore?) , take a pic, snap, upload, sorted. Sometimes it is simply me entering the information of the person right in front of them, or even handing the phone over and asking them to enter it themselves.
Having knowledge and contact details of those in my area, those I wish to continue a working relationship with, and organisations who could be helpful for our youth ministry is handy to have. you never know when you might be of support to someone or they to you. Having their details on hand and in an easy to find place is awesome.
This could easily apply to people in the youth ministry, church, and others.
6. Evernote Helps The Youth Pastor With All That Ridiculous Administration
Every job has administration, the Youth Pastor can’t avoid it either. However, Evernote provides a great solution in storing what’s important and also the not so important.
I get sent a fair few things via snail mail and these things can easily be scanned and uploaded to Evernote directly. It was only the other week where I read an article in one of the Christian papers and then took a picture of it for Evernote and future use.
But there is other stuff too. Receipts and invoices, important emails you want to keep in one place, and even those rare thank you notes you receive from people. These can all g into Evernote, be made searchable, and like that you’ve cut down on paper, reduced the need for a filing cabinet and stored them forever.
7. Evernote Helps The Youth Pastor Write Talks For Youth Ministry
Every youth ministry should have some form of talk that is Bible-based and aimed at encouraging, equipping, or evangelising youth people. I regularly do them, as do my Youth Leaders.
With Evernote I can write up that talk in plain text then take my phone with me to the front of the group and go bang. Granted, I do prefer paper for that purpose but if I was to ever lose or have my talk stolen by one of our members then I can easily retrieve it on me device.
Evernote provides heaps of editing options to helps highlight important things to say and remember for delivery. Using the search and tagging function also provides good reference for the future. For example, when speaking on the Rich Young Ruler from Luke 18:1-18 I can have my notes in Evernote and tag them, “Youth Talk”, “Jesus”, “Wealth”, “Gospel”, “Cost”, “Works” etc.
In sum, Evernote is a great app for Youth Pastors to use and enables them to be better organised, which I think produces a better Youth Pastor. It helps in ‘doing’ ministry, and we all know we need help sometimes. There are plenty of other things I’m sure we could come up with. But hey, seven is a godly number. Let’s leave it there.
Are you a youth pastor that uses Evernote? How does it help you?