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7 tools to help you go paperless

We’ve gone paperless a year or two ago and it was the best decision we ever made. We were able to throw away literally thousands of pieces of paper and about 20 binders, thus creating a lot of space in our study. But not only does our home office look a lot better and less stuffed, I can also find our documents way easier now that we’ve gone paperless. I don’t lose important documents, I always have them at my disposal (even when I’m not at home) and I’m always prepared for whatever meeting I have.

Needless to say, going paperless has huge benefits. Aside from the ones mentioned above, there’s another big one specifically for youth ministry: I’m using a lot more of the ideas and resources that I have collected from several magazines because I’ve made them searchable in Evernote. I used to have this bog box stuffed with clippings, but I hardly ever used anything because I forgot what I had in there.

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Get more out of your magazine subscriptions with Evernote

I have a subscription to several magazines, including youth ministry magazines. I love reading these because they build me up and I get tons of great ideas for them. Lots of times there are articles, ideas for games or practical stuff I want to file someplace. But where do you file it in such a way that you can actually find it when you need it?

Before I had Evernote, I had tons of clippings from magazines and newspapers in a big box in my youth ministry office. Needless to say, I rarely ever used anything because who wants to dig through piles of clippings to find something? That’s if you remember you have anything in there in the first place. Most of the times, my magazines would end up being read just once, all that valuable material barely used.

When you don't have a system to digitally file magazines, you'll end up reading them just once. With Evernote you can access articles again, whenever you want. (photo: Bjarte Kvinge Tvedt)

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Training and informing your leaders using Evernote

I’m a huge Evernotefan. I can’t think of a single app that has saved me so much stress and time as Evernote. In previous posts I’ve shown three great ways to use Evernote in youth ministry and gave you an idea of how Evernote can change the way you work in youth ministry, but obviously there are many more things you can do with Evernote. Today we’ll have a look at how you can use Evernote to train and inform your leaders and volunteers.

I’m assuming you have lots of info you want your leaders and volunteers to know, to have accessible. There are so many important documents in youth ministry that leaders should have access to at all times. You could email it or give it on paper, but chances are they’ll lose it, keep an old version by mistake or won’t be able to find it when they need it.

And of course you want to train your leaders to make sure they grow in their youth ministry skills. So you give them articles, posts and documents to read, podcasts to listen to and maybe even videos to watch. But how to do this in an easy way, a platform where all your leaders could access the info at any time?

A screenshot of my Evernote for Mac. As you can see, I have close to 3,00 notes stored in my Evernote.

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How Evernote can change the way you work in youth ministry


Going paperless is completely possible with Evernote

This post is part of the Time Management in Youth Ministry seriesEvernote is one app that has truly changed the way I work. Not only that, but since I started using it about two years ago, it has saved me a considerable amount of time, energy and frustration. In a previous post I discussed 3 great ways to use Evernote in youth ministry. Today I’d like to show you how Evernote can change the way you work.

Go paperless

A year and a half ago, my husband and I decided to go paperless as much as we could. We bought a Fujitsu ScanSnap, a portable mobile scanner that scans all paper formats like crazy (take note that we own the Mac version of the ScanSnap, there’s another ScanSnapfor pc users).

And we tested it to the limit, feeding it every bit of paper we could find: policies, official correspondence, college notes, readers, conference proceedings, newspaper or magazine clippings, handwritten summaries from books, handwritten notes from sermons, courses and conferences, recipes, correspondence from friends over the years, bills, business cards, minutes from meetings, old spiritual diaries, mind maps I’ve made over the years, copies of important documents (passport, driver’s license, birth certificate) and much, much more.

By now, we have scanned over 35,000 papers and every time something new on paper comes in that we want to keep, we scan it. We’ve only kept hard copies on paper of the most important things (like current insurance policies) and everything else we’ve simply thrown out. I. Love. It. The ScanSnap (we affectionately call it Snappy) isn’t cheap, but it’s been worth every dollar so far. Continue reading How Evernote can change the way you work in youth ministry

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3 great ways to use Evernote in youth ministry

Evernote is by far one of the best apps I’m using. It’s one of the few apps that truly make a difference in my life and saves me tons of time, energy and frustration. I am convinced that Evernote can help you become more efficient and effective as well as you serve in youth ministry. I’ll show you why.

What is Evernote

It’s an app (either web based or installed on your MacBook, laptop, pc, smartphone, etc) that lets you collect any digital information and store it. The basic version is free, but the premium version I’m using has tons of extra features. Check the differences between basic and premium out on the Evernote site.

You can add files in any format (basic version only allows for images, links and pdf), clip complete webpages to Evernote (where they are readable as pdf), share notes via Twitter, Facebook or email and you can even do voice recordings when you want to record your thoughts. If you add a scanner (like the Fujitsu ScanSnap we have, take note that you’ll need another version of the ScanSnap if you have a pc), you can scan anything you want to, straight into Evernote. It’s a dream come true.

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