iPad and Clergy: A Perfect Match

The other day, a parish Priest called me to ask about my recommendations in regards to a mobile solution for his appointments and contacts.  As I always say, “Technology are tools that provide solutions.”  Here’s a problem and we needed to arrive at the best device to provide a solution.  Like most who might be reading this, you’re thinking iPhone, Android phone, right?  I did too.  Which were one of the options I gave him, but the objection was valid . . . screen size.  So what was the next best option . . . the iPad.  This just makes perfect sense for any parish Priest.

  1. Easy to use interface that allows for access to a lot of information all in one spot.  Since I also have him set up with Google Apps for parish email, calendar, and contacts; we could easily tie in that service which would make syncing the information easy over a wifi connection creating a constantly updated backup.
  2. Access to multiple email accounts in one spot.  Handling email is very easy on Apple products.  You can add multiple email accounts to the Apple provided email application which allows for offline viewing as well.  Click here for the easy instructions for setting up a Google account sync with the iPad.
  3. Apps provide a lot of information and tools accessible in one spot.
    1. iBreviary or iMissal offer the Missal and much more with you all in one place in beautiful rich user interfaces.
    2. eReader applications for reading ebooks.  You can get your ebooks from multiple places with various applications allowing you to carry a very large library with you at all times.
    3. PadNotes for taking notes.  Couple this with a capacitive touch stylus and easily write on the screen like you are used to doing or simply type notes with the virtual keyboard.  Notes are not messy (based upon your handwriting).  Send your notes as a PDF via email to someone else.  Have a blog idea while out?  Jot it down.
    4. Mapping for directions
    5. News apps
  4. Social networking on the go. Whether it be Facebook, Twitter, etc.; you have access whenever you on on a wifi connection.  If you are Twitter user, the iPad Twitter app is very nice.
  5. Unbelievable convenience.  The briefcase reduces down to one device.

What are your thoughts?

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Author:Brad West

I live in Palm Coast, FL with my family and have assisted my local parish with our website and communications. Our parishes today can benefit a great deal from technology. Whether it's improving communications, community building, evangelizing, business operations, and much more; we have the tools today. To help provide some direction and advice to parishes and parishioners, I wrote and published an eBook titled "The Connected Church" which is available through Barnes and Noble (Nooks and Nook apps) as well as Amazon (Kindle and Kindle apps).
  • http://catholicservant.com Craig Berry

    Good list Brad. Regarding mapping (3d) – if it’s an iPad with 3G service, it can also be used for GPS directions.

    I know some priests use GPS a lot, since they often go to places they’ve never been (hospitals, parishioners homes, etc.) Of course, mounting it in the car may be a bit tricky…but I’ve seen it done.

    I’m using Navigon GPS on my iPhone4 and it’s great…so I’m sure it’d work even better on an iPad2.

  • Brad

    I totally agree. I prefer using my phone as a GPS than the GPS device we purchased a while ago. The mapping is always up to date and works a lot better. Mounting would be rather tricky as you pointed out. Not sure if there are iPad car mounts out there. Have to give that a look.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=702521071 Fr.Nels Gjengdahl

    Anyone know the best app for the ipad for note taking in a meeting?

  • Brad

    Soundnote (Soundnote.com) is a really nice one. It allows you to type, draw, and record vocals all in one. It’s $.499. Notability is another really nice one which allows for typing and drawing for $.99.

  • http://catholicservant.com Craig Berry

    I’m a big fan of Evernote, since they have a free version and it’ll sync nicely with the desktop version…but it can be a bit much.

    I’ve tried Stickies and Penultimate, but not crazy about them.

    If someone is going to be doing hard-core typing, I recommend getting a zaggmate bluetooth keyboard/case. Since it retails at $99…I only recommend it for people who do A LOT of emailing/note-taking/blogging on the go.

    On a side note – I’ve heard good things about the LiveScribe pen http://www.livescribe.com/en-us/. My father-in-law used it extensively on a trip last year and he was pleased with the results.

  • Fr. Nate Harburg

    brad, perhaps a comparison bt ipad and an android tablet would be helpful?

    • bwest2

      That is a great point, Father. I personally haven’t had the opportunity to get hands-on with an iPad beyond the first generation and a brief experience with a Android tablet. Overall, iPad is a better experience than most of the Android tablets. I am anxiously waiting to try out the new Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 because I think they addressed a lot of the “awkwardness” that has cropped up with the lack of good stylus solutions and touch combined. Overall, I prefer the Android OS but in the tablet arena Android has really lacked in a good selection of apps but it’s getting better.