Guest post by Taylor Doe from the CareNotebook
People feel genuinely cared for when you remember the details in their lives. Most pastors have a system for remembering details about relationships, and I’ve taken the time to study how these pastors, chaplains, and leaders keep care details organized. Some of the questions I’ve asked include:
- How do you stay organized when caring for your congregation?
- How do you remember conversations and important events in people’s lives?
- What system do you have in place to quickly recall these events and details?
- If you have staff members and/or volunteers providing care, how do ensure care is actually taking place and meeting your expectations?
I’ve noticed four primary ways pastors organize care. Listed below are the pros and cons for each approach.
1. Good ol’ pen and paper.
Pro: Some pastors are comfortable with handwritten notes. Sometimes it’s easier to just keep the analog system that’s already in place.
Con: Trying to locate a name/detail in a spiral notebook or multiple notepads can feel like finding a needle in a haystack. Losing the notebook or having it fall into the wrong hands is always a worry. A particular notepad must be within arm’s-length to be of any value.
2. Word or Excel Document.
Pro: Most everyone has access to Word and Excel. People with varying degrees of computer knowledge are able to use word processors and spreadsheets to catalog care.
Con: “Is this the most recent file?” When updating and sharing Word documents, it’s hard to feel confident everything is up to date. Once someone has received care, they often get erased from the list. This eliminates all care history which could be important in caring for that person’s needs in the future.
3. Basic notes app on smart phone.
Pro: Your phone and notes are with you wherever you go. It’s easy to copy and paste information into an email if you need to relay information to others. From the palm of your hand, search for names and details quickly.
Con: Some note apps don’t allow you to backup your information on your computer - it’s only on your mobile device. If the phone is lost, stolen, or broken, there goes everything! Also, team collaboration proves difficult with this approach.
4. Cloud-based Applications.
Pro: Cloud-based apps are becoming more and more popular. Evernote and Google Drive are the two most popular in the care industry. All the information is stored online so you can access important details from any device. Team features allow you to share information with others.
Con: It’s hard to find just the right way to set-up these applications for you and your team’s specific care requirements. Relevant notifications and reminders aren’t available in these applications, so a separate tools are needed to organize date/time specific events in people’s lives.
I have felt the same frustrations as pastors and chaplains I interviewed.I have felt overwhelmed with the pressure of remembering details and important dates. Because of this, I decided to assemble a team and build an app specifically for caring-minded people.
The CareNotebook is a web/mobile application that helps organize details and record the care pastors and chaplains provide to others. Add Care Updates when you have important conversations. Set Care Reminders for important events such as surgery or starting a new job.
We built this tool to serve people and help continue care legacies for years to come.
Find out more at www.thecarenotebook.com
(this post provided as a courtesy of Ministry Best Practices, no renumeration was offered or paid)