MailChimp

MailChimp is my favorite system for sending out youth group emails. Constant Contact is a near-competitor, which is also quite good. I prefer MailChimp because a) it's free and b) I think it's templates are a bit more hip. If your church isn't using something like this for emails that you can piggy back on, get MailChimp. Although, if your church is already using Constant Contact or something else that works well, just stick with that.

The benefits to these email systems are myriad. One, they let you see how many parents and youth are opening your emails. That's pretty handy! It also lets you see who is clicking through your links, etc. My favorite thing about using these email systems, though, is that they mean I save a lot of time writing emails each week. I simply duplicate last week's email, and change a few details. Then I change anything else that needs to be changed, and I'm done. After you do it a few times, you'll be saving quite a bit of time. Or, if you're not emailing regularly, you'll up your game substantially.


Seven Typefaces

Regularly, I mention "the seven default fonts." This comes from a comment I heard in a documentary on Helvetica (one of the most ubiquitous typefaces in history). Some well-known graphic designer mentioned "I only need three typefaces." I googled that, and found a list! In truth, he uses about seven typefaces, and he exaggerated in the documentary. 

Fortunately, you already have many of these typefaces, as they come preinstalled with Windows. Better yet, almost all of them come with MacOS. 
Here's the list: Baskerville, Garamond, Museo and Bodoni are serif fonts (like Times New Roman). Windows has Baskerville and Garamond built-in, I believe. The other two are more interesting, but Baskerville and Garamond are very helpful.

Helvetica, Futura, and Trade Gothic are the three san-serif typefaces the guy mentioned. 

If you aren't great at design, you can get by with Canva and Adobe Spark (more on that below). They'll usually pair fonts for you. But sometimes, you have to do basic design, like when you're in Powerpoint. If you aren't great at design, default to these seven fonts. 

Oh, and if you don't have Helvetica or Trade Gothic, get Bebas Neue here. It's a great, super fresh looking equivalent.


VistaPrint

Vistaprint has great templates for almost everything, and they're cheap. Life tip about Vistaprint: their normal prices aren't impressive. Wait until you can use a coupon. They come about 3 times a week. This is my default printer, unless I'm way behind schedule. If you notice a competitor called Overnight Prints, I'd avoid them. I've used them 3 times in the past, and always had a problem.


Cheap Banners

Cheap Banners is great, if you need banners. They make banners affordable. Once you notice this is an option, it might start to give you ideas.


Canva and Adobe Spark

These two platforms help you create great looking graphics for cheap. If you don't have time to learn Photoshop, these two things will give you editable templates that look great, and you can use quickly. Canva has a free phone app, while both Canva and Adobe Spark have free website platforms. Adobe Spark, in my experience, has more types of things they can help you make for free. If you're trying to up your Instagram game, this is a way to do that quickly. Bonus: it will almost immediately pay off in everything else you touch.


Remind

Remind is an app designed for schools to text message an entire class. This is pretty handy for youth groups. Your youth send a text message to a phone number, and then they're subscribed to your Remind messages. Then, when you need to message everyone, it's pretty straightforward. Lots of youth workers I know use this extensively. Here's the website, though you'll wind up using it more on your phone.