Time for me to vent:
Microsoft Office is expensive.
Even with a monthly subscription, the cost of using Microsoft’s suite of office productivity tools isn’t cheap.
Google’s G-Suite offering provides churches with a less-costly option of office productivity software. Only major issue is that booklet production (read: weekly bulletins) is basically impossible, unless you want the worship bulletin producer to sit for a longtime trying to figure out how to make it work each week.
Apple is similar to Google, but much cheaper.
Apple’s office productivity software is free.
And like G-Suite, Apple’s productivity software has its advantages and disadvantages. And it is the disadvantages that get people to stop using it.
So most churches stick with Microsoft Office 365. It may be expensive, but at least everything that a church needs to produce newsletters, bulletins, worship slides, etc., is included. Here at St. Matthew’s, this is what we use. I pay the annual subscription fee.
We use it mostly for Word to produce digital bulletins and letters; Excel for the times when financial reports are needed; and PowerPoint, for in-church worship slides.
However, we’ve been using the Google G-Suite more often in place of PowerPoint. Yes, the PowerPoint program is much more robust than the Google Slides offering, but are all the bells and whistles needed for slides on a Sunday morning?
Google Docs (a word processing program) is fine for what it offers. Word is a bear of a program that offers way too many options for word processing. If you just want to type a letter, Google Docs suffices. If you need to mail merge names and addresses onto letters, then Word is your champion.
But if you’re not into mail merging addresses onto letters, then you really could get by with just Google’s G-Suite. Unless if you want to publish weekly bulletins. Creating booklets is not humanly possible in G-Suite. You’ll need Microsoft Publisher.
Apple’s suite of productivity products is terrific. They look great, work incredibly well, and do the tasks you need. Of course, there is that booklet production issue in the word processing program, Pages. It can’t be done without tearing your hair out. Yeah, I’ve read and tried the various ways the internet offers to produce booklets in Pages, but if it takes more than three clicks, I’m stopping and going back to Publisher.
And it takes more than three clicks to do anything booklet-wise in Pages.
So St. Matthew’s is stuck with Publisher. That is until everyone ceases to use printed bulletins in church and relies solely on the screen.