Free Website Tools I Use Often
- Sermoncentral is a great resource for sermon preparation. The services and tools they offer are free, but I would highly recommend getting a paid Pro membership. As a subscriber, they have lots of free videos, text illustrations, PowerPoint and worship slides for every occasion. Because members can rate everything, you don’t have to spend hours trying to select the good from the mediocre.
- Sermon.net is a free resource to upload sermons that can show up on your church website and ITunes simultaneously. If you use it a lot, a minimum cost is required that is negligible.
- Evernote.com is another free tool to help you organize your thoughts, ideas, documents and sermons. Download it on all your devices to access your notes anywhere.
- Canva.com is a simple graphics tool to help you quickly design graphics for social media or any other use. You can upload your own pictures, use theirs or buy additional for $1 ea.
- Churchleaders.com is a great resource for trends in the church and timely articles for those who lead God’s people.
- Outreach Magazine and Website is another great place for cutting edge tools, articles, church campaigns and materials.
My Favorite Apps
This is by far my favorite app. Go to the website and download it onto your smartphone. Set up your basic information and MileIQ tracks your mileage every time you drive. Since it is always on, you never have to activate it. At the end of the day or week, MileIQ shows you every single trip you took down to the tenth of a mile. You swipe to the right to indicate it was a ministry trip and to the left to indicate it was a personal trip. That’s it! It automatically adds up your miles and keeps track for taxes at the end of the year. No more keeping logs or forgetting to record your miles. The app comes with 40 free trips per month. I opted for the paid plan ($60/year) because I found that I drove a lot more than I thought. Click here to try it for free.
Here is another great app that enables you to create instant pictures with graphics right from your phone. You can select from thousands of images by typing the subject into search, and then superimpose your favorite quote or saying. For an extra few dollars, you can also create a “watermark” that puts your church or personal website info on every picture. You can instantly create great quotes or sayings and post them to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter in a matter of seconds.
Hootsuite is my latest addition. This app enables you to post to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google Plus…etc. from your phone and schedule posts automatically for the optimum times during the day. If you want to have a presence on social media, Hootsuite is great. The first 3 networks are free. If you want to post on more networks, the cost is $10/month. Buffer is the same cost, but I don’t think has as many features. Meet Edgar is another but is much too expensive in my opinion. Hootsuite allows you to post to your favorite networks in one sitting instead of being a slave to social media.
More Great Tools
Audible.com is an Amazon Company. You gain access to over 120,000 books to listen to each month for $15.00. This is great for driving, jogging, working out at the gym or listening at your leisure. Audible comes with a thirty-day trial and free book. If for any reason you don’t enjoy it, cancel within 30 days and keep the book with no questions asked.