Not to long ago I had the opportunity to share God’s word on Sunday morning with my church family. In the past, I’ve headed to the front with my printed Bible and several pages of notes. This is a bit awkward for me because my Bible is electronic; I rarely use the printed one. This time around, I prepared as usual and had a printed version available…but on Friday I did a dry run using my iPad and decided to use it on Sunday.
It’s no marvel, preachers have been using iPads for a number of years. But it’s not mainstream either, so I thought I’d share my experience and some tips:
Pick the App that works for your style
There are a number of apps out there that are useful for presentations – those likely are not what you’re looking for. For the most part, preachers focus on speaking and let someone else handle the presentation of audio/video…but you can do so from an iPad if you need.
If you’re simply focused on speaking notes, as I am, Pages, Notability, or even iBooks are your best bet. I’ve been considering Pages for a number of things, but have yet to take the $9.99 plunge. I do my word-processing in the desktop version so it would be simply to convert. iBooks is a free option if your notes will be simple PDFs. iBooks comes on the iPad and Calibre is a free conversion utility that can make your files into ebooks or PDFs for iBooks.
Neither really work for me. I manuscript my talk, then use highlighters and pens to make notes, cross things off, highlight, doodle…whatever helps me remember the point rather than read it. Notability is the almost perfect app for this and at $.99 it’s worth seeing if it works for you. You can mix text and handwriting, there’s highlighters and pens, and even the ability to insert photos and audio. INCLUDE A SCREENSHOT.
The one drawback that I had was that importing from a pages file in dropbox lost all formatting and line breaks – not cool. Importing from Evernote worked better and I only lost the bold and italics…not a big deal. Perhaps a future version will import PDFs easily.
One thing to think about in choosing an app – do you want to flip pages or scroll? iBook flips, Pages and Notability scroll.
Whatever app you go with, there’s a few things you’ll need to consider for your comfort as well as the audience.
- Lock the screen orientation – you don’t want to accidentally get things flipped around
- Mute the sound – you don’t want an errant pop up to be audible
- Set your auto lock – in system preferences, you can set auto lock as high as 15 minutes, or even turn it off. You don’t want to have to swipe open your iPad in the middle of a sentence, it will throw you off
- Get a nice case – while most people will still know it is an iPad, it looks less pretentious
- Stylus – they’re cheap on Amazon and work well if you doodle or highlight.
Finally, know your iPads capabilities. If you need to use a note program and still want access to a Bible, open both apps and use the 4 finger swipe to go between them. You may already know this, but I’m throwing it in because I’ve found there’s a large number of people that don’t know all the gestures.
Lastly, carry written notes anyhow. I see many articles about using the iPad to save paper and I understand that desire…but save paper by printing less draft copies. You may never need the printed version, and you can leave it in the pews…but if you have an accident and the iPad becomes unusable (dead battery, spill, drop), you’ll be glad you have a backup.
Do you have an tips on speaking from an iPad?