The Comprehensive List of Communication and Productivity Tools for Your Ministry
Increased productivity and communication in the workplace are perhaps the two most widely cited areas of improvement we hear from leaders. BCWI’s research has shown that providing effective tools helps individuals and teams work more effectively. This is important for individuals to feel productive, giving them a greater sense of impact.
It’s easy to say “We want to be more productive,” or “We want to communicate better,” but you need practical systems in place to achieve those goals.
You may be wondering, Where do I even start? Thankfully, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite and most helpful productivity and communication tools for ministries.
Here are some useful tools for keeping your team organized. Stop searching for miscellaneous papers, hunting down missing files, or collaborating on multiple different documents and utilize a cloud-based solution for file organization.
- G Suite
- G-Suite offers users an all in one solution for file creation, presentations, data collecting, calendar scheduling, and more. Not just an email product, G Suite’s family of apps makes collaboration with your team easy (especially with remote teams). This robust suite of apps allows teams to work on documents, spreadsheets, and presentations in real-time together.
- Microsoft Teams
- For those organizations using Office 365, Microsoft Teams is a collaborative option like G-Suite that offers chat, video and voice calls, and collaborative file editing in Word documents, PowerPoint, and Excel sheets. Microsoft Teams allows users to customize workspaces with other commonly used integrations and software, increasing productivity. Our team at BCWI uses Office 365 and Microsoft Teams and has seen significant improvement in our productivity and teamwork, impacting those we serve in a positive way.
Note Taking Tools
Want to help your team organize notes and thoughts digitally? Gone are the days of pad and paper, a digital note-taking software makes it easy to share meeting notes or brainstorming ideas with teammates.
- A pioneer in the digital note-taking software, Evernote has been leading the pack for years offering both desktop and mobile versions of the application. Evernote makes it easy to search through your notes, sort screenshots, index and sort by keywords, share with other Evernote users, and on the paid plan— collaborate in real-time.
- Google Keep
- Part of the G- Suite, Google Keep is organized similarly to a digital bulletin board and looks like post-it notes. Notes are more dynamic and can be implemented into other Google apps (like Docs or Slides) easily. The Google Keep Chrome Extension makes it easy to save URLs, text, and images.
- Microsoft OneNote
- Part of the Office 365 package (but also available for free), Microsoft OneNote mimics the look of paper while allowing users to type text, insert images and files, highlight, create checklists, and more. The interface is user-friendly and has some tech-savvy features, like converting handwritten images into digital text.
Project Management Tools
A project management tool helps everyone on your team stay organized and accountable for deadlines. Project management tools also serve as a central location to track project progress, access previous versions of projects, or communicate with teams about the status of a project.
There is a multitude of project management options on the market, depending on the features, functionality, and sophistication you are looking for. Some offer free versions with limited functionality, while others offer paid versions based on the number of users.
Here are a few of our favorite project management tools.
- Microsoft Planner
- For Office 365 users, Microsoft Planner is a great way for teams to create new plans, organize and assign tasks, share files, chat about what you’re working on, and get updates on progress.
- An integrated project management solution, Basecamp allows users to create to-do lists, communicate with team members through message boards and group chats, reporting, document storage, and project scheduling (with calendar integrations).
- Smartsheet takes tracking project progress in a spreadsheet to the next level. Visual timeline management combined with the usability of a spreadsheet makes project tracking a breeze, while other features like file sharing, discussion boards, and workflow automations help your team save time and increase productivity.
- Using a visual board, see where you and your team are on different projects while tracking milestones and status updates all in one place. Asana is useful for teams that have multi-step processes and allows users to report on key aspects of the project all in one place.
- Like Asana, Trello uses boards and project cards to organize project progress. Collaborate with other team members, get updates on project milestones, and track overall timelines and status in one easy to use platform.
In the age of digital communication, these tools help make communication more effective and productive, including communicating with team members who may not physically be in the workplace.
- Slack brings together your team communication, file sharing, and integrations with other systems all in one place. Similar to instant messaging, Slack gives users the flexibility to communicate with teams in separate Channels, as well as with Direct Messaging. Designed to help users eliminate the need for email and texting, Slack contains integrations with powerful software like G Suite and many other project management software platforms, making it easy to collaborate with team members. Slack is a great tool for large and small teams, as well as teams with remote members.
- Host meetings virtually with Zoom. Great for remote teams, or teams that frequently work with outside vendors who may not be local, Zoom is an easy to use video conferencing software for teams of all sizes. Host meetings or webinars, screen share, and easily record the meeting for future reference or for those who could not attend.
- No longer worry about misspelling a word or forgetting a comma in your email to a coworker, Grammarly is a free, AI-based writing assistant that can be installed on web browsers and in Microsoft Word. The free option corrects grammar, spelling, and punctuation, while the paid versions offer more sophisticated editing tools like readability and vocabulary assistance.
This list is just a small sampling of a variety of productivity and communication tools on the market. We hope you find this list useful as you work toward increased productivity and communication in your organization.
Did we miss a tool your team loves? Let us know in the comments below!
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