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Tools I Can’t Live Without


My name is Jonathan Cliff and I m a Family Pastor. I work hard, I think. I can get off-track sometimes, I know.   I m working hard to keep from getting off track. Here are 5 essential tools that keep me on the right track and I can t live without them.

Producteev I ve tried a dozen task management applications for my iPad, iPhone, and general web usage. It s been a struggle to find exactly what I need, and for the most part I can t find anything to replace Producteev. Want it synched between devices? CHECK. Want to create groups of different checklists? CHECK. Want to prioritize tasks so that the important ones don t get lost? CHECK. Want to have a to-do list fairy follow you around and remind you of things? NO CHECK. Proucteev does so much, but not that much. Go get it NOW (www.producteev.com)

Google Calendar Don t be tricked into thinking that you don t need a calendar. You need a calendar. Your spouse needs a calendar. Your kids need a calendar. Google Calendar is what you need. My wife can open her iPhone at anytime and know what meeting I m in, where I m having lunch, or find secret messages from me embedded in the calendar just to mess with her mind.   Google Calendar is something you need. Go get Google Calendar NOW. (www.google.com/calendar)

Email Sounds silly to say email, doesn t it? If you re still that leader that needs someone to call you to say, Check your email! then it s time to change. I see more children s leaders than any other leader in the church ignoring email. Face it, the reality of our world demands you have email. You don t have to be a slave to it, but as a leader you need to be accessible and email gives you perfect accessibility.   Go get email NOW, or better yet start checking the one you have now.

Facebook See #3. I was a late adopter, and I still detest much about the book of faces. However, it s another way we connect with families. Spend 3 minutes on Facebook and you ll see pictures of kids, moms, dads, and cats. Throw out the cat pictures and you got something valuable. Go get Facebook NOW. (www.facebook.com)

Sleep The most important tool of all. What, you think this is a dumb must have tool? Let s do a little experiment. Tonight when you go to bed don t go to bed. Just stay up and keep working. You ll go for about 2 days before you crash and burn. It s time to admit that God designed us for sleep, use it for the tool that God intended it to be. Get some sleep NOW!

These are the 5 things I ve learned to use as a leader to families. Some are probably on your radar, and some probably aren t. But at the very least this helped make you sleepy and you are now well on your way to accomplishing #5!

What would you add to this meager list? Any tools you can’t live without?

Jonathan Cliff is married to his wife Starr and they together live out their days with two sons and a daughter. Jonathan serves as one of the Pastors at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, Tennessee; where he works with leaders throughout the city to help develop Christian community that leads to deep and meaningful spiritual friendships. His journey has been an adventurous one, having served in the local church for 15 years in family ministry developing leaders, building environments for kids and students to belong, and encouraging parents to take big spiritual steps with their families.


  1. Jeff · July 23, 2012

    These are all great tools Jonathan. I’d also add Google RSS, Remember The Milk, and Evernote to this list.