Highlighting strategy: Separate files for separate books, or one file to rule them all?

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Matthew | Forum Activity | Posted: Sat, Mar 7 2015 5:14 AM

I find myself making highlights much more frequently lately, and I anticipate that trend will continue. I do this because (1) it helps me remember the material and (2) it enables me to later come back and skim what I thought were the more important ideas in a book or article. So far I have had Logos save all highlights to a single "Solid Colors" notes file, but I am reconsidering the way I do highlights after a recent scare I had where I could not access or add to that file from my mobile device (https://community.logos.com/forums/p/101763/704354.aspx). I would like to solicit feedback regarding how others handle highlighting. Do you maintain separate highlight files for separate books, do you have one master notes file containing all your highlights, or do you have a strategy somewhere between these two options? What do you like/dislike about how you manage all your highlights, and is there a better way to do it?

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Graham Criddle | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 7 2015 5:28 AM

Matthew:
Do you maintain separate highlight files for separate books, do you have one master notes file containing all your highlights, or do you have a strategy somewhere between these two options?

I have multiple notes documents based around a number of different areas:

  • I have one for each biblical book for general notes on those books
  • i have documents for devotional reading so I can keep notes relating to that
  • i have documents for each book (meaning non-biblical book) for notes and highlights
  • i have documents for themes I study
  • i have documents for sermon series (with an individual note for each sermon)
  • and others....

I find this is better than maintaining a single notes document for several reasons:

  • it is easier to navigate
  • it allows me to easily enable / disable particular notes or highlights if I don't want them displayed while wanting to display others
  • it "makes sense" to me to have the notes and highlights associated with particular books or topics

The one issue with this is that you need to ensure that you are putting the notes and highlights in the correct place so always need to maintain an awareness of what resource / notes document you are working with at any particular time.

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JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 7 2015 6:04 AM

The default behavior is a disaster waiting to happen. I am a strong believer in "resource specific" note files. I also utilize a few thematic note files (I.e. Song suggestions) and temporary note files (Sermon research). For my taste, book by book in the bible is overkill, but I know why some would want it. 

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Matthew | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 7 2015 6:06 AM

Graham Criddle:
i have documents for each book (meaning non-biblical book) for notes and highlights

This is increasingly what I am thinking about doing, although honestly it did not even occur to me that you could have both "regular notes" and "highlighter notes" in the same file, so I just learned something new! I would assume you just name the notes file whatever the name of the book you are working with is? 

Graham Criddle:
it allows me to easily enable / disable particular notes or highlights if I don't want them displayed while wanting to display others

Can you elaborate on this?

Graham Criddle:
The one issue with this is that you need to ensure that you are putting the notes and highlights in the correct place so always need to maintain an awareness of what resource / notes document you are working with at any particular time.

I know how to do this on the Android app. I think this can be done on the desktop version by right-clicking and telling Logos what file to send the highlight to. Is there a faster way to do this on the desktop? What I have been doing so far is I set a keyboard shortcut that applies a yellow highlight under "Solid Colors." Following your advice, I take it I would have to re-program that shortcut every time I change books?

Thanks for the help!

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JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 7 2015 6:22 AM

Matthew:
 I would assume you just name the notes file whatever the name of the book you are working with is? 

thats what I do. 

Matthew:

Graham Criddle:
it allows me to easily enable / disable particular notes or highlights if I don't want them displayed while wanting to display others

Can you elaborate on this?

each resource has a "visual filter" menu (three circles icon). You will find the name of each and every related note file for that resource. One of the reasons I don't use a note file for each bible book is because I don't want 66 note files in that list!

anyway... You can turn the note file on & off. Imagine you have a note file for devotional use and another for sermon prep. You Can easily switch one off while you use the other. 

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JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 7 2015 6:26 AM

Matthew:
I know how to do this on the Android app. I think this can be done on the desktop version by right-clicking and telling Logos what file to send the highlight to. Is there a faster way to do this on the desktop? What I have been doing so far is I set a keyboard shortcut that applies a yellow highlight under "Solid Colors." Following your advice, I take it I would have to re-program that shortcut every time I change books?

on the desktop app, you change the behavior in the highlighting pallet menu (hover over the right side of its name to get a menu button). The behavior you will want is "last used" (what I call "sticky"). The note will go into the note file you "last used" (opened, clicked on tab, etc) Until you interact with another note document. 

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Matthew | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 7 2015 6:35 AM

alabama24:

each resource has a "visual filter" menu (three circles icon). You will find the name of each and every related note file for that resource. One of the reasons I don't use a note file for each bible book is because I don't want 66 note files in that list!

Let me make sure I understand you, especially the part about "each and every related note file for that resource." The highlighting I am doing is for non-Bibles, primarily monographs. If, for example, I make highlights over time in 500 monographs, and for each monograph I create a separate file to store those highlights, am I to understand that I will NOT have to deal with a list of 500 visual filters? If I follow your logic correctly, only 1 out of those 500 notes files would ever be related to a given monograph, so I would NOT run into the problem of having an endless list of visual filters?

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Matthew | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 7 2015 6:41 AM

alabama24:
on the desktop app, you change the behavior in the highlighting pallet menu (hover over the right side of its name to get a menu button). The behavior you will want is "last used" (what I call "sticky"). The note will go into the note file you "last used" (opened, clicked on tab, etc) Until you interact with another note document. 

Thanks for the tip! I will have to mess around with this when I have a chance and will post back if I cannot get it figured out. What all counts as "interacting" though? Does merely opening the document count as interacting with it, or do I have to actually send an initial highlight to it to count?

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JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 7 2015 7:50 AM

Matthew:
If I follow your logic correctly, only 1 out of those 500 notes files would ever be related to a given monograph, so I would NOT run into the problem of having an endless list of visual filters?

Correct. Bibles can be a little different, so let me show you my list for the NIV:

I have one "resource specific" note document for this resource. It is currently titled "01- RP:NIV M'Cheyne (2015)." I will let you figure out why I named it the way I did, except I will tell you that the "01" is for ease on the mobile app. All of my "currently reading" works are given a numerical prefix. 

You will notice that there are 5 other note files. 4 are "thematic" and were created not with highlights, but with notes attached by reference. That means that those note files will be available in EVERY and ALL "versified" resource (including bibles and commentaries). 

The note document with ESV in it likely means I made a mistake at some point and either added a note "by reference" in that note document, or added a highlight to the NIV in that document (which for me is rare to do). 

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Matthew | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 7 2015 8:31 AM

alabama24:
Correct

Then I am sold. I am afraid of what the answer might be, but is there an easy, non-time-consuming way to transfer highlights from one large file into many smaller ones?

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Graham Criddle | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 7 2015 8:43 AM

alabama24:

Matthew:
If I follow your logic correctly, only 1 out of those 500 notes files would ever be related to a given monograph, so I would NOT run into the problem of having an endless list of visual filters?

Correct. Bibles can be a little different, so let me show you my list for the NIV:

I would have said the same as Alabama and so was very surprised when it doesn't seem to be the case!

While the list of notes-related visual filters in a Bible only seems to include notes documents which relate to notes or highlights in that Bible, the list for monographs seems to include a lot of biblical ones as well as demonstrated below:

The book in the bottom of the shot has many filters associated with it which are nothing to do with the resource. I created one to demonstrate this which simply has one bible note by reference and it appears in the list of filters.

This is different behaviour to that on the iPad app which only shows relevant filters.

I'll flag this in the beta forum (though I am seeing this on the stable release) and see if it is expected

EDIT: Cross posted in https://community.logos.com/forums/t/101872.aspx 

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Graham Criddle | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 7 2015 8:44 AM

Matthew:
I am afraid of what the answer might be, but is there an easy, non-time-consuming way to transfer highlights from one large file into many smaller ones?

Sorry, but the only way is to drag them from one file to anotherSad

If you have the two open side-by-side you can do it quite quickly but it still takes time.

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Matthew | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 7 2015 9:53 AM

Graham Criddle:
Sorry, but the only way is to drag them from one file to anotherSad

Well, on the bright side that at least means I am not going to have to re-highlight everything. I am still not where I am physically able to try this yet. I will be curious to see if it is possible to check the box to the left of each individual highlight and move all the highlights from a particular resource at once. I guess I will find out! Thanks again to both of you for your help!

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Graham Criddle | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 7 2015 9:59 AM

Matthew:
I guess I will find out!

I don't think there is currently any mechanism better than the one outlined at https://wiki.logos.com/Notes#How_can_I_copy.2fmove_notes_to_a_New_Note_file 

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Bruce Dunning | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 7 2015 11:09 AM

alabama24:

The default behavior is a disaster waiting to happen.

I really wish they would change the default.

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Rick Ausdahl | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 7 2015 11:15 AM

One thing that threw me early on in my use of Logos was my unpleasant discovery that Logos was taking my highlights and classifying them as notes.  Even worse was that without notifying me in any way, it was choosing to name the notes file according to the high-level highlight category name to which my specific highlighter belonged (Solid Colors, Emphasis Markup, Highlighter Pens, or Inductive).  I could understand how/why it might do this if it had to store them somewhere without input from me, but what I couldn't understand was why it was doing it that way by default, rather than giving me the option of choosing where to put them.  What I didn't know at the time, was that by hovering over any of the four highlighter category names, I could alter that default behavior by getting a drop-down menu that would allow me to choose other options for where the highlights went--e.g. choosing one of the notes files I had created, or even more versatile, the option to simply use my most recently opened notes file, whatever that might be.

At this point I have a question for Matthew.  An excerpt from your post reads: The behavior you will want is "last used" (what I call "sticky").  I don't see a "last used" option, but when hovering over a highlighter category name and getting its drop-down menu, there is a "save in" option that when selected, provides a "Most recent note file" option.  Is that the same thing you're referring to by "last used"?

Sadly, after discovering this hidden ability to choose a file/location for my highlights, I forgot I had to keep going through this rather convoluted (and out of sight) process to ensure future highlights went to the appropriate place.  As a result, I rediscovered much later, that once again, I had many, many, many highlights that were in the wrong place.  I realized they were either in Logos' default notes file choice, or just as bad, were in a specific notes file I had chosen but forgot to change when highlighting in other resources, or... even worse, they were scattered across numerous unrelated notes files because I had chosen the "Most recent note file" option, forgetting that my most recently opened notes file (for actual notes I was making) was now also the recipient of all the highlights I made with highlighters in that highlighter category.

Well, I guess I'm just a slow learner, because stumbling across this thread made me realize I had once again forgotten about how mucked up highlighting can get when

  1. Highlights go to notes files
  2. Background highlighter options at the category level determine where all future highlights for that category will go, and that depending on the option chosen, those highlights might all go to the same notes file or to any number of notes files 
  3. When you highlight, Logos does not show you which notes file it's using as it does when you make actual notes

Bottom line--it's real easy (for people like me) to completely hose the filing structure for highlights.   And I'm very good at doing that.  Huh?

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JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 7 2015 11:31 AM

Rick Ausdahl:
At this point I have a question for Matthew.  An excerpt from your post reads: The behavior you will want is "last used" (what I call "sticky").  I don't see a "last used" option, but when hovering over a highlighter category name and getting its drop-down menu, there is a "save in" option that when selected, provides a "Most recent note file" option.  Is that the same thing you're referring to by "last used"?

It wasn't Matthew, it was me... and yes. I was being sloppy. I always think of it as "last used," but FL calls it "most recent note file." 

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Greg F | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 7 2015 11:36 AM

I've thought about posting a thread on this subject for a long time. Please add my voice to the chorus of those who find the default behavior for highlights and notes to be nonsensical.

I also mess up highlights all the time: why isn't the default behavior a book-specific note file (one that users don't have to select each time they change books)? Shouldn't multiple book note files be the exception rather than the rule? 

The whole process of choosing where you want your notes to go, by opening a note files and choosing the right file in the right-click menu, is clunky and unwieldy, to say the least.

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Matthew | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 7 2015 11:37 AM

Rick Ausdahl:
Bottom line--it's real easy (for people like me) to completely hose the filing structure for highlights.   And I'm very good at doing that.  Huh?

Don't feel bad, Rick. The whole reason I started this thread is because after losing access to all my highlights I realized there is probably a better way to handle them than what I have been doing. I was taking a "put all my eggs in one basket approach" and had a minor panic attack when my basket went missing!

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Rick Ausdahl | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 7 2015 12:47 PM

alabama24:

Rick Ausdahl:
At this point I have a question for Matthew.  An excerpt from your post reads: The behavior you will want is "last used" (what I call "sticky").  I don't see a "last used" option, but when hovering over a highlighter category name and getting its drop-down menu, there is a "save in" option that when selected, provides a "Most recent note file" option.  Is that the same thing you're referring to by "last used"?

It wasn't Matthew, it was me... and yes. I was being sloppy. I always think of it as "last used," but FL calls it "most recent note file." 

Alabama,

my apologies to both you and Matthew.  Thanks for catching (and noting) the error.

FYI, I didn't take it at all as being sloppy.  I figured that's what you were referring to--it's just that with some of these Logos options being a little off the beaten path so to speak, I wanted to double-check in case it might yet be another option that I hadn't found or... that I had forgotten.

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