Many people have asked me over the past several months what kind of technology we use in Compass. So today I’m going to share with you some of the tools that the Lord has revealed to us regarding technology in our operations and in our materials.
Operations– The name of the game for us is to keep things as simple as possible and as financially lean as possible. This perspective drives how and what we use to operate the Service Center. Here are some tools we are currently using that have been effective for us:
- Carbonite: Carbonite is an online backup tool we just started using for our computers. It is $50 annually and automatically backs up all our files. The initial backup took a long time (4-5 days), but after that the automatic backups are quick. The great thing about Carbonite is that they have an app that allows you to access any of your files from your smartphone- this has really come in handy!
- Dropbox: We have just started utilizing Dropbox. By having our administrator invite all our staff to join Dropbox, it has allowed us to accumulate a significant amount of free space for files. Although this is a change in our email and attachment culture, we have found it to be highly effective to this point. The price is free and Dropbox also has an app with similar functionality as Carbonite to access files from your phone.
- Salesforce: We are just now exploring using Salesforce as our database. We have several folks on our team who have used it successfully. For non-profits there is no cost. We’ll keep you posted on this one as it comes to fruition. If you know anyone who has experience setting it up we would love to meet them!
Materials– Our goal with materials has been to give people options that best fit their need. We feel we have made great strides with this in several areas:
- Money Lounge: Money Lounge is an online budgeting tool that utilizes Mint.com. It is amazing and was developed by Doug and Robin Michaels. This will be a great option for those going through our Navigating Study who are tech savvy. This also has a smartphone app with incredible functionality. There is no cost to users!
- Online Training: Along with on-site training, we will also be using an online format to train people to facilitate the Compass Small Group Studies. We have utilized the GoTo Meeting platform, which has been an incredibly effective tool. We have had a great group of our staff folks developing this training- it will be released and available at the end of May.
- Navigating App: We are currently exploring developing an app for our Navigating Study. Rather than someone purchasing the hardcopy edition, they would be able to purchase the app for their Ipad. From the Navigating app, students would be able to access all the online tools, budgeting options,calculators, scriptures, homework questions and much more all from their Ipad. This could be very cool!
- Online Small Group Experience: We are also looking at how we can recreate a small group experience on-line. We have looked at several options over the past year and are excited about one in particular. We will be having our first demo of this study May 31 with several of our International and US staff. The vision of this format is to be at your computer from home, see all the participants in your class and conduct the study just like you would a normal small group (with some obvious technical differences!) The ability to have multiple languages gives this the potential to spread globally as well.
Well, I hope this gives you some insight into how the Lord has been working and revealing himself to us. There have been a lot of folks who have put many hours and days into developing and testing all of these tools. We would love it if you had any suggestions or insight from your experience regarding utilizing technology!
God Bless, Kyle