I made a little list of the Tech and Tools I use to get stuff done for this weeks Wednesday What-Not. I thought I would drop the information here, and try to keep it updated as things change, and the new and better replaces the old, etc.
Tech and Tools, First Annual Edition…
I’m always poking around for different tools to get things done. I thought it might be helpful to create an inventory of the tools I’m using (with the hope that you will find something helpful here for you as well). Let me know. And if I’m missing something, send me a note.
Bible: Thomas Nelson Pocket Reference Edition
New King James Version. Center-column cross-reference. Good concordance. Nice font. Perfect size. I love this Bible. I’ve been through three of them now, and the one I have is getting fairly beaten up. It’s out of print, so if you find a box in the back of a Bible bookstore, call me.
World English Bible (https://worldenglishbible.org/)
The W.E.B. is a public domain translation of the Bible. I’ve been using it a lot lately, and it is pretty good. The website isn’t that fancy. The text is good, and it is really wonderful to have a free Bible version to build things with.
Pen & Paper: Lamy Safari
I picked it up in the airport in Germany. It’s the best I’ve ever used. I always keep a piece of paper around for notes, folded like this. Just about every Wednesday What-Not idea started out as a note on my little one-sheet books.
Inbox for Gmail (inbox.google.com)
There’s no easier way to get to inbox-0. When Flamme switched he said, “I feel like I have grown-up email now.”
Google Calendar (calendar.google.com)
I’ve got lots of different calendars which different people can access. Especially helpful has been the creation of the Hope Lutheran Church Pastoral Care Calendar, which has birthdays, anniversaries, baptismal birthdays, anniversaries of deaths of members, etc.
I use Evernote as my to-do and project management list. I have it set up for Getting Things Done in some crazy way, using tags for projects, urgency, and contexts. I used to use a little Chinese program called Doit.im for years, and like it, but I switched to Evernote because of the flexibility the various ways to capture information. I pay $3.99 a month so that I can forward emails into Evernote.
I’ve been using Trello as a shared project management platform. Pr Flamme and I have a Trello board for pastoral care which helps us track people in the hospital, homebound visits, etc. We have an office Trello set up which helps manage the daily work of the church. The church council even has a Trello Board where reports are posted and the agenda is set, and we work off that board for more streamlined meetings. If you are a visual person, Trello is a great productivity tool.
Getting Things Done (http://gettingthingsdone.com/)
This is the beginning of productivity thinking for me. I’ve mentioned it before, but if we are talking tools, this is a big one.
Email your travel plans and they are magically sorted, but on your calendar and into the app for easy access.
On the travel topic, I’ve been relying on Kayak to find flights for the last six years. I’ve tried other sites, and always come back to kayak.
Buffer is great for social media management. I can post things to Facebook without going to Facebook, !spread posts out through the day, etc. This helps me keep my “Four O’Clock Facebook” only engage in social media once a day plan. Pablo is a sister program that allows you to quickly edit and share images from the internet. It’s also very slick and fun to use.
This Chrome plug-in is great for spell and grammar check. I’m a terrible proofreader. Grammarly does the heavy lifting for me. (Now I need to figure out how to get it to work with Evernote.) I recently downloaded the Grammarly extension for Word, and it looks promising.
www.wolfmueller.co is a WordPress site. We use Weebly for www.whatdoesthismean.org. Both are great, but I like the flexibility and low-cost of WordPress.
This is a free graphic manipulation program that is pretty powerful. I’ve used it to make the covers for Everyone’s Luther and the other graphics for some books, etc. I’m not the best, but Gimp seems to do the trick. I’ve got all the Adobe programs, but I still haven’t made the jump from Gimp to Photoshop.
Player FM (www.player.fm)
For Wednesday What-Nots. Also for the Around the Word devotions. We even started using MailChimp to send out a weekly newsletter for Hope.
I also have One Drive and Google Drive for cloud storage, and have different things in different places for no good reason, but Dropbox seems like the easiest thing to use. I use it to backup the photos from my phone. We use it to transfer audio for TTR and video for WEtv. I have, lately, been using Google Drive and Google Docs a bit more, especially for projects that will mostly run through email. A lot of the project support files for the Germany trips are in Google Drive.
If you don’t know it, this site is pretty nice. It automates all sorts of things. When we post the Sunday Sermon audio, IFTTT sends it to Facebook and my website. When I post something on the blog IFTTT sends it out to Twitter and Facebook through Buffer. When an Issues. Etc episode is tagged with my name, IFTTT sends it to the website. All this stuff happens without me touching it.
Lulu (http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/wolfmueller )
Publishes all the books. What an amazing tool.
Logos Bible Software
I have it, and I’m using it more and more, but still not enough for me to think it was worth the price. There are so many free Bible Study tools, I don’t think you need it. The best thing about it is having the American Edition of Luther’s Works available.
SBL Greek New Testament App (link)
This one’s for your phone. I can’t recommend it enough.
(One day I’ll build a list of the best Bible Study tools online.)
And, speaking of phone stuff…
I have a Samsung Galaxy S7 with service from T-Mobile. (T-Mobile’s price is hard to beat, they don’t give you trouble about unlocking your phone, and their international plan is lights out. Free international data roaming!)
I use my phone for almost everything, including recording the Grappling (using the Cinema FV-5 app so I can lock the focus) and man-on-the-street videos, recording the audio of Bible Class, and taking and posting all the pictures from our trip. I use it for podcasts, etc. Somehow I ended up with a 256 GB SD card, so I’m able to load the guy up with books from Google Books. I have a few Evernote Widgets that pull down my urgent and phone to-dos.
I also have a Samsung tablet (Tab S2, I think) with a Bluetooth keyboard. I’ve been using this a stand-in for my computer when traveling. It can’t quite handle everything the laptop can, but it is extremely portable and fast. I’ve been trying to use it to read more, and it is really nice to cut and paste chunks of text into Evernote and Buffer. I think you’ll see more blog posts with “Reading Notes” coming along soon.
Google Books (books.google.com)
You can find all sorts of free old public domain books here. I’ve found a bunch of great theological resources, including Bullinger’s Critical Lexicon, and Schmid’s Doctrine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. I’m using Christopher Wordsworth Commentary on the New Testament to fill out my notes for Revelation and 1 Peter. Ludhart is there. Luther is there. Chesterton is there. Krauth is there. I recently downloaded Athanasius’s On the Incarnation in Greek and English. It’s like having a library in your pocket.
I’m sure I’m forgetting something, but if you’ve made it this far, you probably forgot how this started.
Thanks for reading. I’m really happy to be able to touch base with you all each week.
Lord’s Blessings, and keep in touch!
Pastor Bryan Wolfmueller