11) Affinity Designer: A Fantastic Photo Editing App

affinityThanks tons to Ed for pointing us to Affinity Designer. Yes, it’s currently available only for Mac, but for all the Windows users out there, the writers say a Windows beta is just weeks away. (You can sign up to be notified.) The great part is — it’s not a ‘subscription-based’ deal. Pay $50. Own it. For good. Love it. Looks like one of the most powerful photo-editing tools we’ve seen, but, then, we don’t use Mac — so you’ll have to verify in the comments following this post in the web version – please.

9) What’s Your Favorite Mind-mapping Software? (to Track Groups)

If you’re doing three-thirds groups (or Discovery Bible Studies), you’ll want to track your streams (those who are being trained and training others). Seems like the front-runner, for those who can pay the piper, would be MindJet, or the bigger package, MindManager. Learn more at

If you’d rather go the free (web app) approach, try…

It’s still very powerful, especially for the price. Use these mind manager apps for org charts, knowledge base bubble charts, project planning, and much more. Amazing that you just paste the spreadsheet data into the web portal there. No need to register or pay anything. Pro Pricing (kind of stiff; $99/month) gives you security and password protection, faster geocoding, 10 users, PDF support, 20K datapoints at a time and more — plus, no ads.

6) The Best of the Best Outliner

outliner*** This is another area that has generated a ton of contenders. One thing for certain: It’s NOT Microsoft Word. How could any program be so HUGE and so WELL-RESEARCHED (not to mention so popular) and still not have a decent outliner?????????? For me, most recently, it feels like WorkFlowy will win this category. It’s free, great for real-time collaboration with teammates, and has some powerful features. The web interface is great and the phone interface updates instantly. How is it that these folks have passed up the software engineers at a certain Redmond, Oregon office complex (Yes you, Microsoft)??? Either way, what’s YOUR favorite outliner?

11) Best CRM Software Might be Less Expensive Than You Think

tntmpd logoHow about FREE? We asked, in our June 29th edition, “6) Are You In Search of Great Constituency Relationship Software?” Scott commented, “We have used tntmpd (put out by Campus Crusade) for several years now and find it to be quite useful. It syncs perfectly with Outlook and MailChimp, and our mission sends us a file we can import each month with donations that have come it – so we can keep updated on what is coming in and from whom. And best of all, it is free.”

Learn more at…

And Scott, thanks for the input!

6) Are You In Search of Great Constituency Relationship Software?

bloomerangYou’ll see it promoted as “CRM” software – Customer Relationship Management. In the non-profit sector, we sometimes substitute the word, “constituency” for customer… but the idea is the same: How can we keep track of all the people we know? If we keep track of their names, addresses, contact information, and characteristics, we’ll presumably be better at being their friends and saying thank-you when they partner with us through prayer, giving, and meaningful friendships.

There are multiple ways of tracking all these loose bits of information. We’ve covered several previously. See, for example,

However, we haven’t mentioned Bloomerang. I know; funny name. But serious intentions. See them at…

Pricing might scare away some of us. See their model at…

But for those who are serious about helping donors become partners and partners become friends for the Lord’s purposes, this is indeed another viable option. Let us know if you try it please, along with what you conclude.

12) Here’s a $90 Online Bible Study for Free!

logos logLogos Bible Software, available for 15% off at

was GOING to sell their Faith Life Bible app, A free study Bible with layers of notes, infographics, videos, maps, etc., for about $90. Instead, they’ve now decided to offer it for FREE. Check it out at…

By the way, every month they give away a free book. This month, it’s “300 Quotations for Preachers from the Puritans.” Find it at

2) MAF to Release Educational Tool for Isolated Christians

luminThere’s a rumor on the street: On May 14th, 2014, Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) is planning to launch a new software package called Lumin. It’s rumored to be a Windows™ based program that makes it easy for isolated educators to create and deliver digital curriculum, presentations, eBooks, exams and more. The software and the exported project (called a ‘Pak’) can be viewed in most modern web browsers, and both work without the need for Internet connectivity. This means that a Pak created in Lumin can be viewed on almost any mobile device, laptop, or desktop computer.

Rumors are swirling that MAF will release Lumin for free at:

In addition to the product, the word on the street is that MAF will be staging a contest for those who want to create a project with the new software. The top software, as chosen by MAF, will apparently win a new tablet computer. If you’re interested in this kind of technology, we suggest you run, not walk, to this URL above on the morning of May 14th. Hats off to MAF for addressing this important and strategic need. Just remember, you heard about it first on Brigada. :-)

12) Free RSVP Software Might Help With Your Next Meeting

There are lots of membership and event software offerings these days. However, maybe that’s more than what you need. Maybe you don’t even need a sign-up list. Maybe all you’re looking for is a way to determine “Who’s in?” for your next home Bible study or missions committee meeting. If that’s the case, I’m hearing a lot about…

It looks easy enough. Throw out a date/time and hear back instantly, via this app, whether or not your group can make the date. Try it — and please report back here whether or not you like it. Thanks in advance for your feedback.

9) CobianBackup Continues to Impress

I believe we first mentioned Cobiansoft’s CobianBackup in 2009. But even today, it still continues to impress. For the purchase price (zero), it will do just about as a great a job as anything at helping you prepare for disaster. It supports FTP backup, runs as an application or as a service (consuming very few system resources in the latter mode), can compress or not compress, encrypt or not encrypt — it’s your call.

Remember, most computers have moving parts. If they don’t move, some of them likely warm up. It’s not a question of IF you’ll someday experience data loss due to some kind of failure. It’s WHEN. Backing up is a bit like buying fire insurance: The moment you realize you wished you had it, it’s too late to get it. Begin a vigilant and routine backup policy today so, when it happens, you can smile, and say, “Brigada told me I should prepare for this.” :-)

8) Free Sample Downloads and Clips from VideoBlocks

Wow. Our I.T. person at Team Expansion (Greg) shared a URL with me this past week that he had seen via one of the lists he monitors. On the surface, it looks like one could download free for 7 days from the 100,000 motion picture backgrounds at See this website to learn more…

They have motion backgrounds, countdowns, production music, and much more! Looks like you get 20 clips/day, absolutely free! (Thanks Greg!)

5) UDisciple iPhone app

Tim, a colleague here at Team Expansion, showed me this past week the little iPhone app that T4T has put together called uDisciple. (It’s at least available for IOS; check your own phone operating system to see if it’s available in your own smartphone’s OS.) It’s pretty cool. About two-thirds of it is dedicated to orality, providing a couple of major sample story sets that one could memorize and retell. But there’s also a section designed for Training 4 Trainers implementers. It essentially provides quick notes to remind trainers about lesson plans for 11 major sessions on everything from baptism to the Great Commission. I love it… and hope we see more of this sort of thing in the future. Learn more about all the other resources offered by T4T here…

(Thanks Tim!)

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