Episode 105 – Greg Godwin from Shepherd’s Crook Orphan Ministry

Greg Godwin from The Shepherd’s Crook Orphan Ministry uses the iPad full time for his work. Learn about his approaches to email, task management, scanning, project management, volunteer management, website development, and much more!

This episode of iPad Pros is sponsored by Spark by Readdle, love your email again with the best personal email client that is revolutionary for teams. Get started with Spark by downloading the app for free in the App Store. Learn more at SparkMailApp.com.

YouTube Version of the Podcast

Links and Show Notes

NonProfit Workflows
Shepherd’s Crook Orphan Ministry
Shepherd’s Crook Podcast
Things 3
Brother Scanner – ADS-1700W
DevonThink Pro Office
XLR to Lightning
Ferrite Recording Studio

Greg’s Notes

Table of Contents

[/Introduction and Broadly How I Use the iPad]
[/Share a Bit about TSC and the Work I Do There]
[/Using iPad for Work for How Long?]
[/Core Apps]
[/Drafts versus Bear]
[/Preside versus Spark]
[/Kinds of Projects in Trello]
[/Why Things over Other Task Management Apps?]
[/Keep It]
[/Most-used Shortcuts]
[/Digitizing Documents: Apps and Hardware]
[/Wordpress: Creating and Updating Pages]
[/Wordpress App versus Safari]
[/Communication with Volunteers]
[/TSC Podcast]
[/Apps for Managing Social Media]
[/Using MailChimp in Safari]
[/Tasks That Require a Mac]
[/iPadOS Wish List]
[/Anything Else?]
[/Where can people find The Shepherd’s Crook Orphan Ministry and the work you do?]

Introduction and Broadly How I Use the iPad

  • married for 13 years
  • nine kids, including five adopted special-needs kids
  • two cats and two tree frogs
  • been working at same nonprofit for almost 13 years
  • I use the iPad primarily as a desktop computer with an external keyboard and mouse, with the iPad elevated for ergonomics
  • I manage just about everything in my life—whether for work, personal, or church—with the iPad: email, document creation, file management, image processing, audio editing/podcast creation, video editing
    • I use two iPads: a 2018 12.9” iPad Pro and a seventh-generation iPad

[/Table of Contents]

Share a Bit about TSC and the Work I Do There

  • primarily advocate for waiting children (define “waiting children”)
    • we’re not an adoption agency or home-study agency
  • work with about 15 agencies
  • currently, we have more than 1,000 orphans listed on our site who need to be adopted
  • my role is to fill all the holes that need to be filled:
    • bookkeeping
    • website creation and management
    • managing volunteers
    • managing social media
    • creating our podcast
    • helping plan conferences and events
    • maintaining records

[/Table of Contents]

Using iPad for Work for How Long?

  • moved from iPad mini to 9.7” iPad Pro in 2016, just before traveling to China to adopt Jonathan
  • more and more work shifted to the iPad after that
    • I love solving problems, so figuring out new workflows was a fun challenge for me
    • automation on iOS now exceeds what I could do on the Mac
  • have barely used my MacBook Air since getting this 12.9” iPad Pro in 2018

[/Table of Contents]

Core Apps

  • Communication
    • Spark
    • Preside
    • Slack
    • Messages
    • Business Suite (for answering social media questions)
    • MailChimp
  • Knowledge Management
    • Things
    • Trello
    • Bear
    • Notes
    • Fantastical
    • Airtable (the service, not the app)
    • 1Password
  • Documents
    • Files
    • Keep It
    • Dropbox
    • Yoink
    • PDF Expert
  • Creation
    • Pages
    • Keynote
    • Ferrite
    • LumaFusion
    • Pixelmator
  • Automation
    • Shortcuts
    • IFTTT
    • Zapier

[/Table of Contents]

Drafts versus Bear

  • Bear is for long-term storage of notes
    • it’s where I put things that I want to keep
    • wish list for Bear:
      • true backlinks
      • view attachments inline
      • collaboration (not a huge deal for me)
  • Drafts has two main purposes:
    1. scratchpad/starting place for text
    2. text processing, especially via Shortcuts
    • I’m experimenting with using Drafts to plan blocks of my day

[/Table of Contents]

Preside versus Spark

  • Spark is for managing my email everyday
    • advantages over other email apps:
      • stable
      • drag-and-drop into and out of Spark
      • URL scheme provides enough automation
      • keyboard shortcuts (not as many as Airmail, but more than most)
      • multi-window support
  • Preside is for finding things in my email archive

[/Table of Contents]

Kinds of Projects in Trello

  • agency updates
    • perfect for tracking the status of these update inquiries
    • all changes to this board are fed into a Slack channel, so I can monitor what’s going on without even having to open Trello

Have you tried other solutions?

  • used to use a spreadsheet, but that was particularly ill-suited to this purpose
  • I haven’t investigated other options, as our volunteer loves this workflow

[/Table of Contents]

Why Things over Other Task Management Apps?

  • been using Things for a decade
  • once their system and nomenclature clicked in my brain, it became very fluid
    • I’ve never read Getting Things Done, but Things clicked in my brain around the time that I listened to the five-part miniseries on the Back to Work podcast (episodes 95-99, from late 2012)
  • why change what works?
  • I have had to adapt my thinking to the app some over the years, but it’s so stable and solid that it’s worth it
  • it’s always one of the first apps to incorporate new iOS/iPadOS features
  • I’ve kicked the tires on other apps, including OmniFocus, 2Do, and Todoist, but I keep coming back to Things because it does everything I need it to do

[/Table of Contents]

Keep It

  • documents that I need to reference often and/or quickly
    • manuals
    • (sometimes) information for an active project
    • original pictures of the children we advocate for
    • voicemails that I need to process
  • I tried the new version of DEVONthink last week, but I think Keep It does everything I need it to, without me needing to move my files to a new app

[/Table of Contents]

Most-used Shortcuts

  • TSC:
    • Database Updates
    • original photos of TSC children to Keep It
    • Agency Updates
    • Monthly Account Updates
    • turning emails into projects (e.g., agency updates, new adoptions)
  • personal:
    • Rx Refill Request
    • Pick Up Rx
    • Medicines Dispensed

[/Table of Contents]


  • create social media images for podcast

[/Table of Contents]


  • Aplos
  • Excel for compiling, formatting, and sharing reports

[/Table of Contents]

Digitizing Documents: Apps and Hardware

[/Table of Contents]

WordPress: Creating and Updating Pages

  • I do it all in Safari
  • I have the WordPress app installed on my iPad, but I only use it for my personal blog, and only occasionally

[/Table of Contents]

WordPress App versus Safari

  • Safari works fine
    • When I built the website on my Mac in 2016, I used a plugin that gave me drag-and-drop control over the page elements. I’m in the process of moving us away from that plugin (I only have one page left to redo), and I haven’t tried it on the iPad since 13.4 came out last year. Increasingly I’m working in HTML and CSS to create new pages, so the iPad works just fine for that.

[/Table of Contents]


How do you interface with it on your iPad? Shortcuts? Directly in the AirTable app?

  • no shortcuts for the TSC base
  • website shortcut is how I use Airtable on iPad; I don’t even have the Airtable app installed
  • I don’t automate any of the data entry into Airtable, because I want to have a step that involves human review to look for errors and duplicates.

[/Table of Contents]

Communication with Volunteers

  • mostly happens via email
  • Slack also plays a significant role

[/Table of Contents]

TSC Podcast

Format of the Show

Is Ferrite your one-stop shop for everything you need to do for that?

  • it is now
    • started with Cast because I didn’t know what I was doing when it came to podcasts
  • still have to use my Mac to record an interview, though I’m considering options for that
    • I now have a setup that should allow me to record interviews on my iPad, but I haven’t made use of it yet

[/Table of Contents]

Apps for Managing Social Media

  • Business Suite from Facebook
    • this pulls in messages from both Facebook and Instagram and allows me to respond
  • Twitteriffic

[/Table of Contents]

Using MailChimp in Safari

  • works well enough
  • sometimes have to play around with the scrolling
  • I created the templates years ago on my Mac, so I don’t know how hard that is to do on iPad

[/Table of Contents]

Tasks That Require a Mac

  • I don’t remote into a Mac. I have a 2015 11” MacBook Air that sits in a drawer next to my desk that I use when needed.
  • things I can’t do on an iPad:
    • mail merge
    • full backup, including iCloud Drive
    • creating mp3 files for our kids’ music players (not exactly work-related, but still)

[/Table of Contents]

iPadOS Wish List

  • ability to make an actual backup to an external drive
  • option to allow certain apps (e.g., TextExpander) full system access, like you can do on macOS
  • updates to the sound system to allow multiple apps to access incoming and outgoing audio (obviously)
  • horizontal split screen (e.g., for spreadsheets)
  • allow shortcuts to designate a folder outside the Shortcuts folder to save files to
  • clear indication of which app has the keyboard at any moment
  • let the Apple Pencil control the whole interface, including the home indicator and split-screen handles

[/Table of Contents]

Anything Else?

  • using iPad as your primary computer can be cost-effective in the longterm
  • Federico Viticci is right that the modular nature of the iPad makes it a flexible, malleable computer.
  • Thanks for having me on the podcast!

[/Table of Contents]

Where can people find The Shepherd’s Crook Orphan Ministry and the work you do?

  • tscorphans.org
  • adopt.tscorphans.org
  • podcast.tscorphans.org
  • nonprofitworkflows.com

[/Table of Contents]

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