Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Tools I Use in Ministry pt 1: The Red Pearl

I stole this idea from Tim Schmoyer over at the Life in Student Ministry blog. Tim provides some incredible resources and I have been blessed by him several times since I discovered him a few months ago. If you are a youth pastor/leader/worker you should make it a point to check out his blog. His blog on Rememberthemilk.com may have changed my life and saved my marraige (okay, so that's extreme, but my wife loves that I'm getting more organized.)

Like I was saying, I love reading about the tools that others use to stay organized, be more efficient or make themselves more creative. So I submit to you this series, with updates whenever I feel like it, and I pray that it helps you in some way.

The Old Way:

This may become a two or three part blog in itself, because there is no end to the praise I can heap upon the Blackberry Pearl. Based on Tim's advice I started using rememberthemilk.com in order to help keep myself organized on a daily basis. It was(and is) a great site that I could update anytime I was at work or at home, and it helped tremendously with breaking my job down into manageable steps.

The Problem:

For all of it's tremendous ability, most of my ideas come when I'm standing in the youth room after church, or during dinner, or at the movies. So in order for an item to make it on my task list it had to be written down, placed in my pocket, removed from my pocket before going in the wash, set next to my car keys so I wouldn't forget it, placed in my car cupholder and finally taken to the office and input. It wasn't a perfect system, but it worked for me okay, as long as there wasn't a breakdown along the way.

How the Pearl saved the day:

It syncs to Outlook! For some of you the power of that statement just blew you out of the water and you're sitting there nodding your heads. If that's you, skip to the next paragraph, there's no need for you to read on here. But maybe some of you out there in bloggerland don't quite understand the power and magnitude of what I just said. For you, I offer this tidbit of advice: Find someone who knows how to use Outlook and have them help you set it up. In the next couple weeks I'll discuss how I organize my tasks, contacts and notes. But for now, just sit and play with it for a while.

The gripes:

There's only one right now, my 8100 doesn't have A2DP support. That means I can't use a stereo bluetooth headset like the motorokr S9, which I would love to own. I ordered a regular bluetooth earpiece last week and I'm waiting for it to come in. Once it does I'll know whether I can listen to music at all through bluetooth. If that doesn't work I'll be seriously bummed. But if it does I think I can handle not getting it in stereo for now, until OS version 4.3.1 comes out (it's been rumored since November though, and there's still nothing).


I think the Pearl has doubled my productivity. I'm going to post more in the coming weeks about how I've done this, but suffice it to say that I love my new smartphone. It has been well worth the investment ($180 including tax, not including $50 rebate that I still haven't sent in). There maybe other phones with more features, but for me, the Pearl is all I need.


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