iPastor iPhone App [review]

This is a gifted review.  As always, while I claim I can be bought, buying me doesn't guarantee you will get gold stars...but hopefully you will get good feedback!

I was gifted a copy of iPastor from the developer of this iPhone application.  It's basically a CRM for pastors that allows you to input a person's contact info but then append five areas to their contact info:
  • Connection: drop-down list of how you know the person (church member, visitor, etc)
  • Situation: drop-down list of what's up (grief, end of life, decision-making, etc)
  • Care strategy: drop-down list of how to respond (visit nursing home, card, prayer, etc)
  • Delegated to: fill in the blank
  • Notes: fill in the blank.
Then when you are ready to fulfill ministry needs, you can select to view them by category.  Say you are on a nursing home run, you scroll to nursing home and the people you say need a visit will show up there.  Check them off as you visit.  Works exactly as a CRM should.

As you know, I review gifted items as fairly as ones I purchase.  So do I like it?  I do and it is great to keep things organized, but its Achilles heel is that it requires a tedious amount of text-input. Would it be great to scroll to nursing homes and see everyone?  Yes, but I have to input all of them...or hire a 5th grader to input them.  Each individual is entered individually, and if I want multiple contacts on one individual I have to enter them multiple times.  My test is which is faster or more useful: an iPhone app or a piece of paper. I don't see an advantage yet, but it could be useful if you take the time to input.

Some suggestions:
  • Connect with the Contacts module in the iPhone so I can simply select individuals or auto-complete individuals or grab most recent individual instead of typing in their info all over again. That would remove 90% of my frustration and be a time-saver.
  • Allow for custom fields of ministry needs or responses.  There's a lot of drop-down lists which makes for an easier program but isn't as customizable as I'd like it to be.
But don't take my review as Gospel.  Their website has some video reviews, so check it out and read the reviews on iTunes.

Anyone else have ideas on what would make an effective CRM app for a ministry context? Shout 'em in the comments!

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