Ready to increase your productivity? I wanted to share a few top 5 lists that I think will be a blessing to my readers/subscribers. My first list is the top 5 productivity apps I use on a regular basis. I have found the process to be beneficial, in terms of both productivity and spiritual growth/development. I hope it would do the same for you. So without further ado, my top 5 apps:
Lifechurch.tv put together a life-saving, highly accessible app for reading the Word of God. You can highlight, bookmark, and take notes with this app. There are over 200 translations available and it includes several reading plans for those who are interested in reading through scripture over a period of time (e.g. 30 days or a year). I use this app every day.
One of the best productivity-driven apps available right now. I use Evernote for everything. Anything I’ve ever written is in the process of being transferred and stored in my Evernote account. Blog posts. Kindle highlights. Class notes from seminary (yes, I still have them all). Favorite Tweets. The one great feature about Evernote is that it is fully searchable. Anything you type/import into Evernote may be searched for keywords. So if I’m looking for a post or exegetical notes I may have written about a particular passage of scripture, I need only type that scripture into the search field and it returns all results for that passage. Time saving would be an understatement when it comes to this app. Michael Hyatt has written a great number of tutorials/posts on this app. I’d suggest you check them out if you are serious about increasing your productivity.
Many people make the mistake of thinking you need an actual Kindle device to take advantage of the Kindle perks. You do not. I don’t own a Kindle, but I use the software extensively. The Kindle software is available for download to several devices (including your PC, Mac, or smart phone). With the software, you can read books you purchase through Amazon on any of these devices…without even owning a Kindle. Why is this huge? Many public libraries now allow patrons to check out books electronically using the Kindle software. My wife and I take advantage of this weekly, as we check out books using our Kindle software without setting foot in the library. Granted the selection isn’t voluminous by any stretch of the imagination, but they are adding books every day. Also, Amazon Prime account holders may check out free books electronically using their Prime accounts. As I mentioned earlier, I can import all of my highlights from books I read through my Kindle software to Evernote. And they are fully searchable if I am trying to remember a quote from any book I read.
4. Mobile RSS
I think it was Karl Barth who said pastors/Christians should keep a Bible in one hand and a newspaper in the other. I read a ton of blogs. Theology, spirituality, hip-hop/culture, news/current events, and sports just to name a few. Well I don’t read them all. I usually skim most of them. This app allows me to move quickly through feeds of over 100 blogs/sites each morning before I start my work day. Again, this increases my productivity. There are a ton of RSS feed apps out there, but this one is simple (and free) and serves its purpose–allowing me to get through the various blogs I’m subscribed to in a reasonable amount of time. If you find yourself overwhelmed by social media noise and your subscriptions, I highly recommend this app. Another great thing about it? It allows you to log in to your Google Reader account, so if you already have Google Reader, this app is a no brainer.
5. Hoot Suite
As with the Mobile RSS app, there are a ton of Twitter apps out there. I have tried a lot of them and I like this one the most. Two reasons: (1) It allows me to post to both Twitter and Facebook at the same time (another time-saving feature) and (2) it highlights @ mentions and DM’s for me so I don’t have to read my Twitter feed carefully to scour for those items. Of course the updated Twitter app came out a few weeks ago and it is much improved, but it still lacks the Facebook integration that I need to make sure I’m maximizing my time. Social media is here to stay. This is a great way to stay engaged and to build relationships with other bloggers/pastors/leaders.
There you have it. I hope this list helps you increase your productivity.
Note: Although this post contains the Apple Store links for all of the apps, some of them are available across platforms (i.e. for both Mac and PC).