057: Chromebooks with David Simmons

David Simmons knows his Chromebooks. In this episode, he makes his case for using them in ministry and beyond.

056: Remind for Church Communication

Show Notes

Remind.com

Steps to Set Up

1. Create an account
2. Create a "class" - any type of group, large or small, with 1 recipient or 1000
3. Add people to your group
+ This is the true beauty of Remind
+ You don't have to download the app at all to get messages the teams (classes) you subscribe to. 
+ After you create a team (do this on the desktop), Remind gives you the option to help people subscribe to your class in a number of ways: 1) Show people how to join manually, 2) sharing a link (remind.com/join/classname) 3) Add people directly by their phone number. None of that requires them to set up a Remind account nor download anything!


A few tips:
1. Make sure your people enable push notifications
2. Don't send out too many messages! Remind is meant for announcements, not necessarily conversations

The Remind web interface

The Remind web interface

055: YouTube Basics for Churches

From the Pro Church Tools Podcast

From the Pro Church Tools Podcast

054: Slack

053: My iPhone Home Screen

My Current Home Screen:

IMG_1590.PNG

052: Plain Text Productivity for the Preacher

In a long-awaited episode 52, we explore the various options and advantages to becoming a plain text preacher. 



Notes from this episode:

##Why Plain-Text? (Advantages)

  • Original - Because it's been around for a loooong time, and it will continue to be around for a long time
  • Portable - will work and can be read by any app, word processor, code editor, or even web browser
  • Small - takes up a tiny tiny amount of space (1GB = 1000 MB = 1,000,000+ text files) [54 files = 127 kb]
  • Future-Proof - will work on anything in the future, almost certainly
  • Robust App Ecosystem - tons of apps for iOS, a few for Android (iText Editors)
  • Editable - edit on the go, no need to PDF anything, make last-minute changes to lessons, sync through Dropbox/GDrive
  • Flexible - can import plain text into anything (Word, Pages, code editors, web forms, Taskpaper)

##Disadvantages

  • Limited Styling - some styling through use of Markdown (but can paste easily to other apps)
  • So nerdy and simple some people don't (or won't) understand it
  • Need for nested file structures in a sync system (such as Dropbox)
  • Sync may or may not be instant through various services (looking at you, iCloud)
  • Setup and customization can be time-consuming and difficult

Plain text is perfect for preachers because we so often live in text - not so much a need for spreadsheets and formatted materials, but most of our stuff is for internal use and mostly only seen by us.

##Getting Started

  • No matter what platform you're on, there's plain text support there
  • Mac: Typora, Taskpaper, Byword, TextEdit
  • PC: Notepad, Filenotes
  • iOS: Drafts, Editorial, Byword, 1Writer
  • Android: Draft, MarkdownX
  • Sync with Dropbox is probably your best option - fast and reliable
  • iCloud also an option to sync on iOS/Mac

##My Workflow

  • Dropbox + Typora + Editorial + Taskpaper
  • Everything starts with Dropbox - nested files live here, and everything syncs here (saving files)
  • Typora (beta) on the Mac is where everything usually starts
  • Editorial ($9.99, Universal) is where I manage/view text files on iOS devices (search built in!)
  • Taskpaper ($24.99) is where I manage my to-do lists (iOS = Editorial)

##Markdown

  • Markdown is where everything ties together
  • It's a way of writing styled plain text (if that makes sense)
  • It lets you style text but still maintains the integrity of a plain text file
  • Created in 2004 by John Gruber (open standard)
  • Pages/Word/Excel/Publisher/Scrivener have their own metadata formats
  • Markdown includes no metadata whatsoever, just like plain text
  • You won't have any problems opening an .md or .txt file, because they're the same

##Conclusion

I love plain text. I know plain text. I have been working for the last four years in plain text, and every time I abandon it for some other note-syncing service, I always end up coming back. It's just better, and I know that I won't have to jump ship when it comes to using different apps and services. I love it, and I know if you give it a chance, you'll love it too.

050: It's Your Show

In this episode, we take your questions!

049: Capturing and Streaming Your Services

In this episode, we look at capturing audio and video for your services. 

Gear

Services & Software

048: Starting Out with Wes and Jess

In our first three-person episode, we talk to Wes Ayers and Jess Eastep of the Ministry Zoo podcast, and how they just started out with a new podcast which is also a ministry.