The 2016 Byte-size Series


Byte-size series

The Byte-size Series

I hope you’ll follow along this year with the new Byte-size series to help you learn some easy tech tools, one month at a time.

In 2014, I wrote my first series, The You-Can-Too Series, which was very extensive. This year, I know many of you will appreciate a Byte-size Series. Both of these series are built on four basic building blocks that I view as a minimum tech skillset for Cru staff. (Read this post if you want a detailed review of these four, but it’s not necessary.) You probably have some aspects of all four of these essentials already:

  1. email
  2. one database
  3. a social media presence
  4. a web presence

I know how busy Cru staff are, so I will write one monthly post in this series with two easy new skills or habits you can pick up. (Today is post #1). These suggestions will definitely be do-able and “quick.”

January Byte-size Tips

Choose one or both of these to start new tech habits.

A tip for email

Set up the Priority Inbox for Gmail (see this video). Your inbox will be sorted with your most important emails on top. However, if you’re using the tabbed inbox you cannot do tabs with the Priority Inbox. It’s easy to test drive the Priority Inbox and switch back to tabs if you prefer them.

You may have one more category in addition to the three provided for the Priority Inbox. I made a calendar items category. Once I’ve processed an email, if it has a flight itinerary or documents to take to a meeting or anything to do with things on my calendar, I move them to this category. If you want to do this, too, create the calendar items folder and then in the future click on an email and use the Gmail folder icon to move the email to your calendar items category (or another category you create).

Are you using lists on Facebook?

Remember, Facebook is like walking into a party that’s in full swing. You want to just head over to one small group and join the conversation. Use lists to check on the people you care about. Here’s what you need to know about lists from Facebook Help.

If you haven’t friended your ministry partners, it’s likely many of them would love being connected with you on Facebook. Put them on an MPD list and check this list frequently.  I also have lists for my team, for family, and for church friends.

Another benefit of lists: choose the audience selector on your wall to write specifically to any of your lists instead of posting a public announcement on your wall. (Here’s how).

And more to come…

In the Byte-size Series, I’ll present a variety of ideas (mostly using the four building blocks) and applicable for MPD, evangelism, and more. With this intentional variety, you should find one thing each month to learn and add to your tech toolkit.

As you know, technology changes rapidly. I recommend embracing tech skills as a regular part of your life. My motto for you is “no staff left behind!” You can master these tools. Thank you for joining me in the Byte-size Series. The next post will be in mid-February.

For those who might want to go deeper on these topics:

  1. Syncing Google Apps and Outlook
  2. How-to Tips for Social Engagement on a Time Budget

 

Byte-size series icon

The Byte-size Series:

Each byte-size series post is meant to be easy for you to do.

  1. Priority Inbox for Gmail and using lists in Facebook
  2. Your web presence and your online MO
  3. Email subject lines
  4. Google Apps and search tips
  5. You could afford a tablet
  6. 5 Easy Tech Ideas You Didn’t Know You Needed
  7. Saving Facebook Posts… for Bloggers, Too
  8. Painting a Bigger Picture for Your Ministry Partners
  9. Easy Tips for Cropping Photos with Paint.net
  10. Your eTools for Your Myers-Briggs Type
  11. Facebook Live Is an Easy Ministry Tool

Source: The photo is of a 28-pin integrated circuit, CP2102 (USB to Serial chip).

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