Method for Capturing Ideas?

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Liam | Forum Activity | Posted: Sun, Jul 12 2015 8:45 AM

I recently read a book called Lit! by Tony Reinke. In it he says that he records great quotes and ideas from all the books he reads and copies them word for word into a topical database so he can find them later. This sounds similar to Jonathan Edwards practice of writing his ideas in his work called the "Miscellanies". 

My question is: do any of you on the forums do the same? Do you use paper or computer? What software do you use for this? Is there a piece of software that makes this easier? Do you build this into a Logos personal book? What method do you use? What are the nuts and bolts of how you record these ideas?

I'd like to start to do this, but don't know where yet, so just looking for helpful ideas how. Hopefully this thread will help others as well!

Thanks all!

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NB.Mick | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jul 12 2015 9:36 AM

Liam,

I have heard people using OneNote (or Evernote) for such purposes - in former times people used index cards for this, so the early versions of Windows had a cardfile application to facilitate that. I never got far into using this or any other tool for that...

My main reason to answer, however, it to offer a much better link to Reinke's Lit!: https://vyrso.com/product/29634/lit-a-christian-guide-to-reading-books  

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Liam | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jul 12 2015 9:51 AM

NB.Mick:
My main reason to answer, however, it to offer a much better link to Reinke's Lit!: https://vyrso.com/product/29634/lit-a-christian-guide-to-reading-books  

Ha! Missed that one!

Thanks!

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Bruce Dunning | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jul 12 2015 12:40 PM

Thanks Liam for bringing this book to our attention and thanks NB. Mick for pointing us to the Vyrso link. I picked up a copy as it looks really great. I read a lot but don't read much fiction so I have been thinking about ideas about how to read more broadly.

This book also reminds me of James Sire's book "How to Read Slowly" - http://www.amazon.com/How-Read-Slowly-Wheaton-Literary-ebook/dp/B004BLK7J8/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1436729588&sr=1-1&keywords=James+Sire%27s+book+%22How+to+Read+Slowly%22  of Mortimer J. Adler's book "How to Read a Book" - http://www.amazon.com/How-Read-Book-Intelligent-Touchstone/dp/0671212095. I would love to see both of these in Logos or Vyrso.

As far as keeping a journal of great quotes I can often remember what book I read an idea and can go right to the book and do an in-line search. If I'm not sure which book it is I use Logos highlighting. I tag each book that I have read with BooksFinished and can search that collection. 

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James Taylor | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jul 13 2015 7:25 AM

Liam:
What method do you use? What are the nuts and bolts of how you record these ideas?

First I create a palette with my custom highlights with shortcuts. 

Then I go through my reading lists of a specific topic applying the specific highlights from that palette (for this example the "quote" highlight is of interest, though I also find my "mainpoint" and "conclusion" to be very relevant in an Edwardsian Miscellanies sort of style, though he wrote the topics himself in most cases (there are places where he summarizes other works in the Miscellanies)).

Then after I finish reading on a topic I can go search for those highlights by changing the "all text" to (in this case) Moblie Ed=>Conclusion; Main Point; Quote .

Then I type the topic name (in this case HOLY). 

Then I open the resources and usually do an inline search for the highlights {Highlight *} to remove all the text that is not under consideration, leaving just the highlights (By the way, this is now possible through the information tool).

After finding the relevant highlights, I then copy and past them one at a time into a topic specific clippings document, editing them to be even more concise if needed.

Then when I have repeated this process for all of the books that I have read and highlighted on the topic, I drag the clippings document to my alphabetized folder in my favorites tool (in this case under the "H" folder). Then simply repeat the process for every topic you study:-) 

**Sidenote: The process invites many opportunities for reviewing, since you have to read the highlighted material 3 times in order to bring the process to completion.

Logos 8  | Dell Inspiron 7373 | Windows 10 Pro 64, i7, 16GB, SSD | iPhone X | iMac 27" i7, 16GB, SSD | OS 10.13

Posts 176
Al Het | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jul 13 2015 1:08 PM

Liam:
My question is: do any of you on the forums do the same? Do you use paper or computer? What software do you use for this? Is there a piece of software that makes this easier? Do you build this into a Logos personal book? What method do you use? What are the nuts and bolts of how you record these ideas?

I'm old enough that I used 3x5 cards for such things, before transferring to electronic notes.  Today, there are tools that make this soooo easy, compared to the "olden days."

Evernote is a great, free (for most uses) tool, that is a really magnificent for such things.  Evernote is a free, cloud based note system.  You can load it on your computer, tablet, and phone, and/or you can just log in to your secure page online.  Make a note on any device (or website) and it is there any time you access it on any device or website.  Evernote has some weaknesses, and many people like OneNote better (same idea, but a Microsoft product, more robust, and I think a better organizational structure).  My experience so far is with Evernote.

For any notes, you can create categories, tags, and all notes are searchable.  I have a category (think of it as a file folder) for general illustrations.  Any time I'm doing anything and I come across something that would be a great sermon illustration, I make a note in that category.  If I'm out and about, or I'm in the middle of something, I'll make a quick note with my phone, and then come back and fill in the gaps when I'm at my computer. 

To your question, I also have a category for quotes and notes from books I've read.  Coolest part: if you buy an electronic book from Amazon (for a kindle) you can highlight anything you read, on the fly, while you're reading your book.  I will also often take notes at the end of each chapter, summarizing the main point.  Then, when you are done, you can go to your Amazon account, and pull up your highlights and notes, and copy them right into a note in Evernote.  Just like that, you've got every quote you thought was valuable in the book you read, and your written notes, all together in a single note. 

I will tag that note with a variety of tags that I might be looking for later.  So, a book on marriage, I might tag with "marriage," and if it has good stuff on communication, I would add "communication," and anything else I think I would want to look up as a category later.  Also, all these notes are entirely searchable.  "I remember a story in some book I read, about a guy who walked a high wire.  I assume I would have highlighted it..."  Go to Evernote, perhaps look at my tags for a topic it might relate to, or go right to a search, "highwire," and maybe another word or two that would show up in that section.  Bingo.

If you don't buy your electronic book on Amazon, but "send" it to your Kindle, or if you were to import a book from Logos to your Kindle, you can still highlight, or take notes.  However, you either have to manually retype them into your notes, or some Kindle readers allow you to connect it to your computer, and copy a text file with your highlights and notes back to your computer.  You can then copy/paste your highlights and texts over to a note.  A little more detailed than if you buy the book through Amazon, but still MUCH easier than typing all the notes manually.  For this reason, unlike most here, if Logos and Amazon both have a book I want, I will consider buying from Amazon.  If I want to search it as part of Bible Study, like a commentary, or a lexicon, I would obviously buy the Logos version.  However, if is a book I will read, I will buy from Amazon.  They are almost always cheaper, and when I am done reading, I have everything I find significant from the book easily accessible in my notes, with a really small amount of effort involved.

As far as using Evernote goes, you can organize these categories into "stacks," sort of like-minded categories.  I have categories for "general illustrations," "book notes," "quotes," and "movies/tv notes."  I group these all together under "Illustrations." 

Evernote is a really useful tool for a pastor.  I have a variety of other categories as well.  One for sermon topics, so if/when I think of topics when I'm out and about (or even sitting at my computer) I can make a quick note of that, and go on with what I was doing.  One for blog ideas.  A general "church/ministry ideas" category, a "miscellaneous thoughts" category, and even one with general notes on people I meet with.  I'm pretty careful not to put anything too personal in that one, but it is useful to keep track of general information on people you meet with.

The ability to use my phone when I am away from my office makes it very useful to me.  My mind is always thinking.  I often get ideas while driving, or out meeting with someone, or just am away from my computer. I can make a quick note with a few words, a sentence or two, and go on with life.  I fill in the details when I'm in my office.

If I sound like a sales guy for Evernote, I'm not.  There are a number of things I wish it did differently.  OneNote has it's own strengths, and I sometimes think about switching.  However, either of these are GREAT tools to do what you're asking about, and much more.

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Wade Wickman | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 22 2015 8:55 PM

I use OneNote for all my note taking as it's modeled after a simple paper notebook with different section tabs so it's very intuitive to organize. It also has great search capabilities along with the expected word processing features. And if you have a decent tablet and stylus, you can write notes by hand and translate them into text w/ a simple button click. And the translation is surprisingly accurate even with my horrible handwriting and spelling.  

But the thing I like most is that I can use the Logos "Copy location as URL" (keyboard shortcut Ctl+Alt+C) and paste the link into my notes and then when I click on it, it opens Logos and that resource to the exact location.

I keep everything there - book notes, Bible study notes, sermon notes, my personal journal, everything. It is all searchable, linkable, shareable and shows up on all my devices, laptop, tablet and phone. I can even leave it open on one device and edit the same document location on another device. Very powerful note taking tool and with the URL linking "integration" to Logos, it makes for a smooth workflow experience.

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James Taylor | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 22 2015 9:41 PM

Wade Wickman:
I can use the Logos "Copy location as URL" (keyboard shortcut Ctl+Alt+C) and paste the link into my notes and then when I click on it, it opens Logos and that resource to the exact location

Good reminder, I use onenote for my office needs, but haven't thought of a useful way to incorporate it into Logos.

Wade Wickman:
It is all searchable, linkable, shareable and shows up on all my devices, laptop, tablet and phone. I can even leave it open on one device and edit the same document location on another device.

Thanks for sharing these suggestions. I may give onenote a try in my Bible study process for a while and measure the pro/cons verses using Logos built in note system.

Logos 8  | Dell Inspiron 7373 | Windows 10 Pro 64, i7, 16GB, SSD | iPhone X | iMac 27" i7, 16GB, SSD | OS 10.13

Posts 24
Peter Sanad2 | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 22 2015 11:29 PM

Scrivener is a great option, and is now available on Mac and Windows. Originally designed for book writers to gather their ideas and compile into a book, I find it very useful as a place to index what I have read, or take notes for future reference.

It runs a fold/subfolder system of 'index cards', which you can use for indexing ideas, articles or even books. Each index card is also a text document, that can be used to store notes for that particular topic. Further, each index card has a notes pane that allows storing thoughts.

It can be viewed in single or double pane, with or without notes on the side, in index card or text view, and is very customisable. It can also be used to collect an index of images, pdf files, web pages etc. Very versatile.

Here's an image form the developer's website:

Posts 67
Bryce Hufford | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jul 23 2015 5:12 AM

Another One Note user here, although admittedly I don't take notes as well or as often as I should.  I like the logical hierarchy that One Note uses for separating and organizing subject, sub-subjects, and topics.  it is easily searchable.  One other thing that hasn't been mentioned is that I love the integration with my iPhone.  I don't always have my computer with me when I need to take a note (or reference a note), but I almost always have my phone.  The Mac version of One Note is free, but much more stripped down than the Windows version.  Hopefully the Mac Version will be closer at some point in the future.

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Wade Wickman | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jul 25 2015 11:16 PM

Yeah, that's a good point. And with an Office 365 Subscription, you can run Office on 5 different laptop/desktops + 5 different tablets and phones. And w/ the subscription, you now get unlimited OneDrive space so storing your notebook in the cloud makes accessible from any device anytime. Even w/out Internet access as long as the device can sync to the cloud from time to time.

I'm a software engineer and have been toying with the idea of writing a OneNote add-in to integrate OneNote directly with Logos. Logos has a programing interface that allows other apps to integrate with it quite nicely for sharing content back and forth. For example, you could write notes in OneNote and have them automatically show up in the Logos note book, copy and expand Bible references or any other resource text from Logos into your OneNote notebook, etc. There are a lot of interesting scenarios that could be quite useful. I've thought about it just for myself, but it there was a lot of community interest, it might be something to consider more seriously.

Posts 109
Larry Heflin | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jul 26 2015 1:09 AM

Nice, James Taylor! I picked up several useful ideas from your post on putting a few seldom used tools to work. The whole thread has got me thinking on how to improve note taking and highlighting. I have far too many lost notes and wasted highlights. Thanks folks!

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Liam | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 8 2015 10:31 AM

Thanks a lot for all the suggestions everyone!

I'm leaning toward One Note; have tried it out and like it so far!

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Micah Gilmore | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 17 2015 5:47 PM

Hey Wade!

I just got a surface pro 4 and am new to Logos, but I'd love to pick your brain on how you have been using OneNote and Logos.  Your thought of writing a program to integrate the two of them sounds like it's something I would totally use.   I haven't gone through any of the training videos, nor have I had much time to mess around with Logos yet, but I realize as I'm trying to figure out workflow I need to understand the capability of both (daunting task).  Anyways, thumbs up for a plugin!  Let me know if you have any tips and tricks =)

Micah

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Sascha John | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 17 2015 7:54 PM

@James why do you Highlight irrelevant Statements?

Sascha  

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James Taylor | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 17 2015 9:49 PM

Sascha John:
why do you Highlight irrelevant Statements?

Due to my strong interest in apologetics, I intended to train my mind to think critically and learn to decipher logical fallacies, irrelevant points of argumentation, philosophical inconsistencies etc while studying resources in my library. That's the nature of having such diversity of books, many of which are by authors who argue for points I strongly disagree with. 

Several of the styles in my palette don't get used very often but I'm happy to have to capability to customize them for even the least regular of my needs.

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J. Remington Bowling | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Dec 18 2015 6:08 AM

Easiest way I've found: use the Clippings feature, tag "quote"

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J. Remington Bowling | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Dec 18 2015 6:40 AM

Well, my advice above was just in response to the OP which asked about capturing quotes, but I see that the discussion has turned in to more in-depth note taking strategies. For that I use a combination of custom highlights (like James Taylor) and OneNote. 

I rely heavily on OneNote (and not just highlights) because the act of writing facilitates memory. Here is an example of my daily work set-up:

I try to keep my different OneNote pens colored for different purposes. The brown pen is always for direct quotes. Black pen is for general purpose summarizing. Blue pen is for my own thoughts about what I'm summarizing or quoting. Green pen is used for arguments on behalf of a proposition. Red pen is used for arguments against a proposition. Obviously this method requires having a tablet-like device. The picture above is using a Surface Pro 4.

[Edit: Here is how I organize OneNote for this: a notebook titled "Books", tabs titled "Epistemology Books" etc. and the page is the individual book (sometimes I will create a sub-page for each chapter of the book, but in the example above the book is so short that it is all on one page and I've written in large, bold letters the chapter divisions).] 

Naturally I don't bother with this method for every book I read, only those which are in my main field of study and work. Recently I've been reading Putting Jesus in His Place: The Case for the Deity of Christ. This book is apologetically useful to me, but not in my primary areas of focus. So I rather copy useful sections from this book into a Logos "Bible Note" that is attached to the relevant verse. This allows me to still make use of what I've read, in the future by the time I've largely forgotten the details of the book, without the slower process outlined above:

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David A Egolf | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Dec 18 2015 3:12 PM

Bruce Dunning:

Thanks Liam for bringing this book to our attention and thanks NB. Mick for pointing us to the Vyrso link. I picked up a copy as it looks really great. I read a lot but don't read much fiction so I have been thinking about ideas about how to read more broadly.

This book also reminds me of James Sire's book "How to Read Slowly" - http://www.amazon.com/How-Read-Slowly-Wheaton-Literary-ebook/dp/B004BLK7J8/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1436729588&sr=1-1&keywords=James+Sire%27s+book+%22How+to+Read+Slowly%22  of Mortimer J. Adler's book "How to Read a Book" - http://www.amazon.com/How-Read-Book-Intelligent-Touchstone/dp/0671212095. I would love to see both of these in Logos or Vyrso.

As far as keeping a journal of great quotes I can often remember what book I read an idea and can go right to the book and do an in-line search. If I'm not sure which book it is I use Logos highlighting. I tag each book that I have read with BooksFinished and can search that collection. 

I read Mortimer J Adler's book after hearing it cited in multiple online seminary courses I had been auditing.

The last time there was a Logos thread where it was mentioned, the thread devolved into a discussion of whether you needed to read Adler's book in order to read Adler's book; ad infinitum. :)

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Liam | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 19 2015 12:22 PM

I'm intrigued by many of these ideas and responses! Thank you all!

Keep em coming!!!!

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