Monday, June 27, 2011
I've had my iPad 2 now for six weeks, and I'm ready to give my review. When the first iPad came out, I was not impressed. To me, it was nothing more than an oversized iPhone. My question was, "Why would you want an iPhone that can't make calls and that can't fit in your pocket?" I thought those were pretty good questions, and at the very least it kept me from catching gadget fever. At least for awhile.
A few months ago I borrowed John Carroll's iPad for a couple of days. Gadget fever started taking its toll on me right away. I immediately loved reading Kindle books on the iPad, and websites on Safari were much better than I had expected. I started doing some research and learned that I could fill out real estate contracts with an iPad and even get clients to sign them with it. I also saw how pastors were using the iPad in ministry. So I decided to start saving my money.
So after six weeks of use, I have to say that the thing I'm most excited about is the opportunity to go paperless. OK, maybe not completely paperless, but I'm getting close. Here's how I'm doing it. I was already using a lot of apps on my iPhone, but but there are two new ones that have become game changers for me. The first is Instapaper. With Instapaper, if I come across something worth reading, whether on my laptop or my iPad, I click a button on my browser that says "Read Later." The article is then formatted to remove ads and other clutter, and then I can access it through the Instapaper app. The only thing I wish it had was the ability to highlight in the app, but I'm sure at some point this will be available.
Instapaper is great, but what is even greater is PDF Expert. This app allows me to import a pdf from Dropbox (also on my iPad), and then mark it up. A more technical term would be "annotate", but I like "mark it up" better. I can highlight, underline, type notes, and even insert my signature or someone else (again, like a client's). So far I have used this for charts when leading worship, notes when teaching, and reading/annotating articles. I have no reason to ever print off another chord chart, or sermon notes, or an article. It's all here. And once I have my highlights and notes, I can email it back to me if I choose.
These two apps, along with the Kindle app, are wonderful and are meeting so many of my needs. If a book is on Kindle, chances are that I'm going to buy that version instead of a hard copy. And not having stacks of paper lying around is going to make me so much more productive. Plus, it will make my wife very happy!
I recently finished renovating a home in my neighborhood. It's now for sale, so if you or someone you know is looking to buy, let me know. Here's a picture of my favorite room.
Friday, June 24, 2011
Our second Weekender begins in two hours. We have carved out three weekends a year for us to be together. Tonight we kick things off with a discussion on our transition from one church to a network of smaller churches. Afterwards we're headed to Josh and Ginger's for a party. Tomorrow morning, after breakfast, we'll have four workshops on practical topics that relate to this new vision. On Saturday afternoon we have a service project at Peabody Elementary School. And then on Sunday morning we end our time with a prayer brunch.
These Weekenders are going to be our most important gatherings of the year, and I'm so glad that so many are coming to learn and to be together.