Put Your Ward List on Your Smartphone with Mapping & More

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We previously told you how to put your ward list on Google Earth, then a much easier way was provided by the church to view your ward on Google Maps and Bing Maps. We also wrote about how to get Yahoo maps to text your home/visiting teaching route to your phone. Now the Church has released an awesome new mobile app called LDS Tools that does all these things for you, automatically, right on your smart phone.

LDS Tools is largely the result of a lot of volunteer work from the LDS Tech community, just like the other official apps: Gospel Library, and The Mormon Channel.

The interface is simple, but works just how you’d expect. Once you login with your LDS account, it will automatically download your entire stake directory, and also choose your home ward as the default view. From there you can search the ward directory, switch to another ward, or view by calling. The calling view is great if you need to know who the stake executive secretary is to schedule a temple recommend renewal appointment, or are new in the ward and need to get in touch with the Relief Society President, Bishop, or whoever.

Once you find the person you’re looking for, everything once again works exactly how you’d expect. Tap a different person in the family and it will display their unique info (like if they have a mobile phone number listed), tap a phone number and it brings it up in the dialer, tap an address and it pulls it up in Google Maps (at least on Android) so you can easily locate it, get driving directions, or have Google’s Navigation show and tell you right where to go.

I’ve found it extremely handy for a lot of things, especially since we’re new in our ward. I’ve been able to call people’s cell phones, find their homes quickly, and even look up who is in a specific calling so I can know who to call or talk to. I also found it helpful to figure out why people kept calling my wife’s phone for me, and me, when they wanted my wife (plus some other mistakes that had been entered, such as the incorrect email in the screenshot above).

If you’re not already using it, head over to the mobile app page at LDS.org and get it for your smartphone! NOTE: it may be available for your device, even if it’s not listed on that main page. For example, it’s definitely available for Android (that’s what I’m using and took the screenshots with), but is only listed once you select Android on the right-side of that page.If you’d like to volunteer to help with projects like this (or to bring these apps to the mobile platform you prefer), you can join the community at tech.lds.org and contribute anything from code, to graphic/UI design, to testing for bugs.

What ways have you found LDS Tools Helpful? Or if this is new to you, what other mobile apps to you use regularly to help in your calling, family life, etc.?

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Tevya Washburn

Website Creator at FiddlerStudios
Designer & creator of Mormon Life Hacker. Tevya keeps a personal blog, & another called Sacred Symbolic, about learning the Gospel through symbolism. Currently serving as: Exec Sec

2 comments on “Put Your Ward List on Your Smartphone with Mapping & More

  1. Josh says:

    I live in a transient ward and am looking for something similar to the LDS tools app that will synchronize with the ward list and also allow me to create notes on the families. Adding handwritten notes to a newly printed ward roster every few weeks is getting tedious and I simply don’t have enough room to list all the information for some families. My perfect app would keep the notes connected to the family for as long as they are in the ward. Any ideas?

  2. Sorry Josh. I don’t know of any way to do this. You could of course keep your own notes in Evernote. I think it would be awesome if they integrated Evernote into it so that you could save notes like that in Evernote. I don’t think the Church wants to backup everyone’s personal notes, so an integration would probably be ideal. I think yours is a great idea and this kind of integration would be the ideal way to do it without adding a bunch of stuff to the app. Then again, LDS.org does already sync gospel notes, so I suppose it is possible it could just sync your notes to your lds account. Either way, I hope they add it. Would be helpful even if most of us just use it for the few families we home teach or whatever.

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