As a missionary, I would like to recommend an app to you that could be a great blessing in organizing your deputation or your furlough. I use it all the time, and it has made this process easier. If you are like me, you have a list of churches that looks like a spreadsheet. This contains churches that you know pretty well, and also many churches about which you know almost nothing.
You have no idea how close these churches are to each other, and even if you list all of them by ZIP code, that is still no guarantee that you could find them on a map. How would you like to organize these churches geographically in a visual way that makes sense?
That is what the app Sales Navigator for iOS is meant to do. It takes all of your contacts and puts them on a map so that you can see where they are in relationship to your home base, or whatever church you are visiting on Sunday.
Not only does this app visualize your contacts, but it also lets you group and categorize them in ways that can be useful to you. For example, a missionary on furlough wants to see all of his supporting churches. What about the ones he missed last furlough? They should be at a higher priority, right? This app lets you make groups so that you can put a higher priority on the ones you missed last time.
Would you like to see all of the churches you have scheduled for your next furlough at a glance? You can do that with these groups. Would you like to see just the supporting churches you have yet to schedule but need to? You can do that as well.
Another useful thing about this app is that any group of contacts you make within this app, stays in this app, and does not affect any of the contact groups in your Contact app on your phone.
You can categorize your churches into whatever order fits your needs. You can group your churches into scheduled or not yet scheduled, supporting or non-supporting, prospective supporters, or whatever would work for you.
When you need to find a church to schedule on Sunday morning that is close to a church you already have scheduled for Sunday night, this app has a mode in which it shows you all of your contacts within a radius you set.
For example, you have a church scheduled in Springfield on Sunday night, and you need something within 2 hours driving distance (about 120 miles) from that church. With a spread sheet that can be hard to do. With this app it is easy.
Here is a church in Kansas. You can see everything that falls into the circle would be a church you could call and ask for a meeting that would be close enough to reach within 2 hours.
Have you ever called or emailed a church, and forgot whether or not you contacted them? I know I have. Sales Navigator keeps track of every time you make a phone call, email, schedule, or make a note about a church. It does this in two ways. First, you can touch any church on your map and look at the log for that church and see all of the contacts you have had with that specific church.
Secondly, you can look at the general log in the app which will list all of the phone calls you made in the order that you made them.
Sales Navigator does many other things as well. When you schedule a meeting, it will put it on your calendar, which will include the address of the church in the calendar note. This is useful if you are sharing your calendar with your relatives or home church, so that people not only know when you are busy, but also where you are.
You can email and make phone calls directly from the app. If you are on the mission field making phone calls, you can use the app like you would use Skype, and buy time to make long distance phone calls (the quality could be better, but it works).
You can look at your meeting schedule for the next three days, three weeks, or three months right in the app. The price of this app is just right. It’s free. You can choose to pay to be able to use different pins on your map which cost about 3.99 depending on the type of pins you get. They sell phone time through their app, as was discussed earlier.
Overall it’s a great app. There are, however, some downsides to this app. First, it uses Apple maps which works great most of the time, but the app does not allow you to use any other mapping service to map out your contacts. Secondly, if indeed you have a spreadsheet of churches, you will need to get that spreadsheet into the Contacts app on your iOS device. You can do this by creating a CSV file and importing it through an app called “Contact In” that is listed for the iPhone. This app costs $3.99 in the App Store. Thirdly, it does take awhile for the app to load up. The first time it imports all of your contacts it can take 10 minutes if you have a few thousand. Every time thereafter it takes about a minute, checking to see if there are any changes in your contacts. The last problem with the app is that the iPhone app works best with 3,000 or less contacts, and the iPad app works best with 7,000 or less contacts.