Cheap Technology and The Ordinary Pastor
But there is one thing I do not like about it. It is expensive. Whether the Mac version or the PC version, it is simply downright expensive. Until recently, Microsoft had us right where they wanted us. There were no other truly inexpensive options. True, Word Perfect was out there, but then again, you were stuck in the Corel Corral and could not interact with the rest of the world who was using and sharing Word docs.
That may not be so now. Google is hot on their trail. Calendar is excellent and now boasts of offline abilities. Mail now includes multiple inboxes, contacts, and tasks. Google is formatted for most smart phones (the iPhone web apps are particularly impressive). Google docs, notebook, and spreadsheet are improving, though not quite up to par. And the beautiful thing about Google is that it is all free. They are also now offering some very inexpensive business solutions.
Open Office 3.0 and Zoho are two very viable options for a full suite of productivity tools; and they are completely free. Open Office allows you open and edit Word docs and even allows you to save your work in a host of formats, including Word. Because they are open source, a host of extensions exist and seem to be ever expanding.
I’m ready to give them a shot.
So, for the month of April, I’m going to try to go free (or as close to free as possible). I’ve downloaded Open Office. I will be importing my contacts and reworking my tasks into Google. My Google calendar already syncs with Outlook, so I’m good to go there. I will also be trying a free 30 day trial of Carbonite to keep my documents backed up. As I go through the month, I will blog about the various tools I am using to stay organized and functioning. I hope to post on the pros and the cons of the various applications I’m using. By the end of April, I want to not only make an assessment on the free options available to us, but actually put together what I think would be the best and most inexpensive suite of productivity tools for the ordinary pastor. I may end up biting the bullet and returning to the mammoth Office ““ again, I really like it. But, so far, I think I’ve come up with a possible plan that could save me and my church a great deal of money without shredding quality and productivity.
In fact, last week I tweaked OpenOffice writer to my liking and used it for all my sermon preparation and – I just composed and published this post using OpenOffice’s Writer and a Weblog tool that let me post it to THE CAPRANICA.
Let the testing begin. So far, so good.