If you are anything like me, you are in a never-ending hunt, roaming the iTunes App Store looking for the next app that will make your iPad better than ever.
After trying many different apps, I have put together a list (in no particular order) of my absolute favorite iPad apps for ministry that I truly believe every iPad packing pastor needs.
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Essential iPad Apps for Pastors
Evernote – Never forget anything ever again. This the best note-taking app ever. I use Evernote for keeping a database of every sermon I have ever preached. I also use it to capture down random ideas for sermons, illustrations, blog posts or whatever else comes to mind. Evernote helps you capture great ideas before you forget them. A must for every pastor!
DropBox – Dropbox is an amazing hard drive in the cloud. Dropbox syncs with your computer so you can easily drag and drop any file into it. Then, you can easily pull these files up at any time on your iPad or iPhone. I love having it for things like volunteer applications. Any time someone asks me about volunteering, I can simply pull up Dropbox and email them an application on the spot. (Similar apps: Google Drive and Box)
Day One Journal – Day One recently won the app of the year award from iTunes for a reason. It is a great app for anyone who journals. It is especially useful for your quiet time with God. Another great use is for having a record what God has been speaking to you in your time with Him, so you can pull those ideas for sermon preparation.
Paper – Paper also won the app of the year award from iTunes. It is an awesome note-taking / drawing app. Paper allows you to organize notes and sketches into different notebooks just like if you had a bag full of notebooks with you. The interface is smooth and easy to use. I love using it for brainstorming sessions. Plus, it just looks beautiful (Similar app: Penultimate)
LogMeIn – A must for the pastor on the go. LogMeIn allows you to access your desktop computer at any time from your iPad. It’s like having you computer with you at all times. Everything you need is right on your iPad. It can be a little pricey, but it’s worth it if you are rarely in your office.
1 Password – Never forget a password again! Like most tech-savvy pastors, you probably have multiple different accounts on multiple different websites. Forgetting a password can be an extremely frustrating and time-wasting scenario. 1 Password is an app for keeping all of your passwords in one secure place.
Downcast – The best podcast listener out there! If you want to grow as a pastor, listen to free podcasts from your favorite preachers. It automatically syncs across your iPad and iPhone. The best feature is the ability to speed up podcasts. By going up to 2x speed you can cut an hour-long message to 30 minutes, or a 30 minute message to 15. This is a great time saver, and you will be surprised at how quickly your brain adjust to the increased speed.
Logos Bible! – Logos gives you the power of an entire research library with you wherever you go. If you haven’t purchased the Logos software you can still do Hebrew and Greek studies and read the Bible for free. However, if you use Logos software, this app will sync with your entire book library. Excellent for sermon study on the go!
The Bible App – The Bible App from YouVersion is the best Bible app without exception. This has practically replaced my paper Bibles. The reading plans are a fantastic way to keep you accountable for daily Bible reading. And if you are driving, working out, or just don’t feel like reading, you can listen to the audio versions. All for free!
Reeder – This is my favorite RSS reader for the iPad. Reeder automatically syncs with your Google reader account to push the content from all your favorite websites directly to your iPad. Once the data has synced, you can even take it offline! I use this app to sift through hundreds of blog posts a day. Leaders are readers. Why not take advantage of the great free content some of the best minds on the internet are producing every day? (Similar App: Flipboard – Does the same thing, but puts it together in a visually-appealing magazine that also includes news feeds and social media.)
Planning Center – Planning Center is the best worship service and volunteer management system available. If you have never heard of it, do yourself and your worship pastor a favor and go to PlanningCenterOnline.com right now! Hurry up! I use this app weekly to manage the service order and coordinate the scheduling of hundreds of volunteers. Makes planning services and coordinating volunteers easy!
HootSuite – If you are using Social Media to reach your people and community (which you should). HootSuite is a great way to schedule posts across multiple sites. Use it for the church Facebook page, twitter profile and more. The greatest feature is the ability to schedule posts in advance. You no longer have to log in to each website individually at the perfect time to get the message you want out at the optimal hour. I am currently 3 months out in scheduled posts. Did I mention it’s free!
Pages, Numbers, Keynote – The office products from Apple are second to none. For writing documents, managing spreadsheets, or creating presentations, these apps are a must-have for every iPad. Check them out. (Similar app: Documents To Go, iA Writer)
More great iPad apps that I just don’t have time to write about right now:
Are there any apps that I am missing? I would love to hear what you are using.