iPad and Pastoral Ministry: An Update – Part 2
4. Ultra-portability of Information.
From all the documents I need in any given day, to all of my e-mail, notes, and internet capability, I am finding this aspect of portability to be one of the greatest benefits of the iPad. I would much rather pull out my iPad to edit documents while travelling (by air, car, etc.). All of my tasks, weather forecasts, maps, video, articles to read and mark-up, contacts, etc. are with me wherever I can take my iPad. The footprint is small and is super easy to access. The only reason I use a desktop or laptop is for major formatting issues. With the ability to synchronize any document over the internet, I can access all the same information from any electronic platform I choose (phone, desktop, laptop, iPad).
For documents, I use DocsToGo. It will synchronize material from my Dropbox account or from GoogleDocs. So, when in a staff or elders”™ meeting, I bring only my iPad. I can bring up our agendas, take notes on them (sometimes using a blue-tooth enabled keyboard), and have them saved and all the documents synchronized, again, accessible from just about any device I may have with me. Using the iPad for meetings has decreased the folders, papers, laptop footprint, and necessary cables to bring along with me. With the iPad 2 capability to mirror the display, I can quickly connect it to a projector or TV and display any content needed for others in the group to view.
I even now use the iPad to preach. I”™ll give you another post on just how I do that ““ pretty simple and I”™ve loved using it.
5. Consolidation of gadgets.
I have read the reports on why Kindle”™s remain popular. Primarily people want a dedicated reader without the possibility of distraction from e-mail and the internet. Maybe. But the reality is that if you are too undisciplined to keep reading and your mind is dying to know what your Facebooks friends are doing, you are just about as likely to whip out your smartphone.
Honestly, I would rather not carry another gadget. While on a recent trip, I used my iPad to read, check mail, follow and update Twitter, check on some notes, edit two sermons, read the news, keep up with the local weather, find contacts, read my Bible, do some quick and simple math calculations, take notes during a seminar, make appointments on my calendar, and keep up with important tasks. One device. One easily accessible, ultra-portable device. Just one. I love that.
E-mail is a given on the iPad. I “˜ve yet to use any real telecommunications on it. Facetime and Skype are available, and I could easy plug in my iPhone ear buds to use them. I”™ve continued to use my iPhone for both phone and video communications. This could change with the iPad 2″™s front and rear-facing camera. Because I have 3G capability on my iPhone, I have yet to spend the extra cash for a 3G iPad. So the phone is the only other gadget I use and it is primarily for communication.
I am finding the iPad (both first and second generations) a great device to use in the regularities of life and pastoral ministry.