---unless it's notes!

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Posts 199
James Hudson | Forum Activity | Posted: Sat, Jun 5 2010 4:13 PM

In a recent post concerning cloud computing Bob said:

"Will we do them, and suffer the hassle and inconvenience, if they are the top priority of a huge number of users?

Yes."

 

...that is, unless it is effective notetaking within Logos!

 

It's so sad to see multitudes of users have to post work arounds - e.g. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5QGGD7rOEYs- the respected long-term Logos user here even resized an external note-taking product and put it on top to make it  "feel" inside. Can't help but notice that when he hovered over references in OneNote nothing popped up!!!!.... How sad!

Tell all those missionaries in the field .. "Logos is great, but oh, by the way, you'll will need to pay extra for the note-taking facilities because this software is useless apart from a costly MICROSOFT add-on."

To answer Bob's question:

"Which really gets to the bottom line: where do you want us spending our time?"

 

I think the hundreds of posts in the forums and votes on uservoice about notes tell you want we want 'your smart team' to concentrate on!

 

Oh, and we don't want a word-processor. Times have moved on -  we want a Logos integrated version of One-Note! ( BTW, even the visionaries at microsoft saw effective note-taking as different from word-processors, hence the two products).

 

Apologies for the sarcasm in this note. Having invested a tremendous amount of time and money over the years (many many thousands of resources) and with current 'bids' on about 90% of the titles in prepub and 100% Comm pricing, I feel frustrated when such a simple thing - managed to be implemented successfully by every other competitor including freeware and opensource products - is broken and the cause of much contention and work-arounds by the majority of the user base.

 

Thanks for listening.

 

James

PS  For the record I think RTF has had it's day - it's an old format that hasn't moved on. The way to go is XHTML (with CSS) - it's changing and moved on, but I think it'll be around for a while yet. In a previous post Bob mentioned tables needing to be resized as an example of how difficult note-making can become. Simple if you use HTML & CSS!

Posts 3810
spitzerpl | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jun 5 2010 5:32 PM

I believe there have been some noticable improvements to notes since L4s launch. Granted, much of it is fixing things(like hyperlinking), Personally, I would rather have notes stay simple to increase the likely hood of them being able to import over to L5 without tying it down. The fewer variables that need to be accounted for the easier the transition should be....in theory. There are certainly improvements that I would like to see to notes. I can guarantee you that the list I would come up with of things that would make notes "advanced" would be different then yours, so Logos could put in a bunch of time adding various features that satisfy some while everyone else says "where's my features". Personally I like that they are easy and uncluttered. If they do add features to it I would love to see a simple interface and a full featured interface included.

No doubt the debate will rage on and as long as we voice it with the heart and attitudes of Christ I fully welcome the debate.

 

 

 

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Fred Chapman | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jun 5 2010 5:48 PM

Philip I tend to agree with you in large part.

There are couple of capabilities I would like to see (the ability to add tables; and a simple alpha numeric outline capability) are a couple fo examples. However, I am one of those users who does not really see a big problem with the notes feature as is. Maybe it because of the way I have used them. I guess if there were more capabilities I would try to find ways to take advantage of them; but it is not a huge issue for me.

This feature has certainly come a long way since I purchased the first release of L4. The ability to import from L3 was a huge step. Once we can print and/or export the note files I'll be completely content with the feature.

Posts 533
Jonathan Burke | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jun 5 2010 6:23 PM

For recording interesting material in Logos books I'm browsing, I find Clippings much better than OneNote. I don't see what the problem is with Notes in Logos, since the program does all I want to do with notes.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jun 5 2010 6:43 PM

Fred Chapman:
However, I am one of those users who does not really see a big problem with the notes feature as is. Maybe it because of the way I have used them

This is a case where they (notes) are a big problem because of the way I used them in L3. Many of my notes were tables and illustrations. Full files of notes could not be ported over. I understand why the illustration files could be problematic in L4 and am prepared to find a work around. However, I will not be happy until I have table capabilities. And yes, I have stated this position directly to Bob P. His response convinced me that the work involved to go that route meant that a number of other features useful to me should have higher priority. Once we get printing, PBB's, sentence diagrammer and import/export I'll start my new harassment campaign.Cool

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jun 5 2010 6:54 PM

Jonathan Burke:
I don't see what the problem is with Notes in Logos, since the program does all I want to do with notes.

My biggest issue is with tables which I use to create templates. I also previously included a number of illustrations created in other software in my notes to have them indexed appropriately. While I don't use it heavily, I think outlining is a legitimate need. I also would like to make primary links to multiple passages rather than having to do a search on My Content.

What I think is reasonable is for Logos to take the standard note-taking methods taught as study skills in major universities and be able to support them. Logos is a study tool. Therefore, it should support the study skills students coming out of high schools and colleges have. My standard post presenting this line of argument:

Consider how students now learn to take notes and consider whether your vision matches. [At the end I ask the purchasers the same question]. Examples of university level instruction on notetaking (much different then when I was in school):

    * The Cornell Method
    * The Outline Method
    * The Mapping Method
    * The Charting Method
    * The Sentence Method

http://ctl.stanford.edu/Student/studyskills/taking_notes.pdf

    * The Cornell Method
    * The Mapping Method (fleshed out more than on Stanford site)
    * The Outline Method

http://www.alextech.edu/en/CollegeServices/SupportServices/StudySkills/LectureNoteTaking/MethodsOfNoteTaking.aspx

    * annotations on notes

http://www.northcentral.edu/files/46/Editing_Lecture_Notes.pdf

    * color coding (esp. applies to clippings vs. notes)

http://unitproj.library.ucla.edu/col/bruinsuccess/03/12.cfm

also highly relevant are graphic organizers, but that's a different topic.... However, I think the note-taking skills show the need for indentation, outline, charts, and insertion of diagrams. As I have said many times, I have no problem with copy & paste for the more graphic of these. But perhaps if we can insure that Logos and their customers have the same understanding of what a note is, we can make everyone happy.

 

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 128
Nathan | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jun 5 2010 8:52 PM

My .02...

 

Gimme PBB on steroids, and printing...before more notes cooliciousness. (ummm now that I have passage lists that I can link to my notes).

PBB=Notes on steroids.  I can create, link, publish anything I want, in a simple, easy to use highly adaptable GUI.

Gimme the ability to assign user rights (or something clever) to who can download, use, or maybe even collaborate on my content.

Posts 453
Mike S. | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jun 5 2010 10:17 PM

Nathan Barnes:
Gimme PBB on steroids

I actually think PBB on 'roids might be the best solution... PBBs that allow you to include links to references in resources.

Instead of trying to create a word processor, what about integrating fantastically with the most popular one out there: create deep integration with the Office 2010 Word to author PBBs and import them. (I say this as a Mac user primarily using iWork Pages... willing to switch to Word though). Make it so that I'd rather write my notes using Word (not one note... no Mac version Smile ). 

 

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Fred Chapman | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jun 5 2010 11:14 PM

MJ. Smith:
This is a case where they (notes) are a big problem because of the way I used them in L3.

MJ, I appreciate and understand your position (and many others that share it) on this issue. I recognize that many people use notes much differently than I do. I would like to see table capabilities as well. 

I guess the thing we all can agree on is that we all have our favorite features and our own list of priorities we would like to see implemented.

MJ. Smith:
I'll start my new harassment campaign

I look forward to following your next campaignWink

Posts 533
Jonathan Burke | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jun 6 2010 1:10 AM

MJ. Smith:
Consider how students now learn to take notes and consider whether your vision matches.

I use the mapping method when writing notes to study academically (as for exams). But I don't use the mapping method for anything else. For me, notes are organized and formatted snippets which I collate on a subject I'm studying, for the purpose of writing a journal article or book. I don't need or use mapping for that, nor do I need anything special in the way of graphics or tables. I write tables as I need them in the working document (and I am big on tables, I use them frequently). I avoid formatting heavily in notes, saving my formatting for the working document.

I don't need Logos 4 to provide me with a note taking system suitable for lectures, because I don't use Logos to take notes while listening to lectures. I use it to research publications for my own work.

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Jim VanSchoonhoven | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jun 6 2010 3:33 AM

The note system in Logos 4, simply does not meet my needs and at this point I am having doubt that they will ever get to the kind of level that MJ has mentioned, which would more than meet my needs.

As of right now I have a work around where I am keeping my notes in a free bible study software that actually can be used to write books.(note taking on steriods)  I am currently taking several advanced degrees and place all my notes in the other system.  This allows me to search my notes and more.  I end up putting my notes that would go in Logos in this other program too!  It is easier and faster and I can do more with them. 

I was hoping that Logos would be my all around tool for bible study, but after over 7 months I am starting to give up hope, but I am still thankful for what Logos can do, I just expected more by now.  I am also very thankful for the free bible program which also contains over 1000 free public domain modules which actually is nearly 1400 books.  It sure fills the gaps that Logos has, at least for me.

Notes are a key feature that helps to organize research in more usable ways and prevents me from doing the same research again and again.  A good note system is an important part of a good learning system. It is just as important as a good search feature.

I am still buying more and more Logos resources, and plan on spending over 400.00 this month, I love the product, but I still feel it needs work.

In Christ,

Jim

Posts 533
Jonathan Burke | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jun 6 2010 4:41 AM

JimVanSchoonhoven:
Notes are a key feature that helps to organize research in more usable ways and prevents me from doing the same research again and again.  A good note system is an important part of a good learning system. It is just as important as a good search feature.

I'm concerned that feature creep leads to bloatware, added complexity and likelihood of software failure, increased burden for technical support, and increased price for users. I don't want Logos 4 to be a replacement for Microsoft Office, I want it to stay focused on its core competency, a knowledge management system for Bible research products.

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Robert Pavich | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jun 6 2010 4:47 AM

Jonathan Burke:
I'm concerned that feature creep leads to bloatware, added complexity and likelihood of software failure, increased burden for technical support, and increased price for users. I don't want Logos 4 to be a replacement for Microsoft Office, I want it to stay focused on its core competency, a knowledge management system for Bible research products.

Jonathan,

this is essentially the stance of Logos/Bob P.

They envisioned the notes to be like "what you scribble in the margin of your paper bible" and didn't want to try and compete with other products that do it better. Why try and have a half-crappy version of MS Word?

 

That's my paraphrase of what Logos said, anyway. Big Smile

Robert Pavich

For help go to the Wiki: http://wiki.logos.com/Table_of_Contents__

Posts 579
Jim VanSchoonhoven | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jun 6 2010 5:25 AM

Jonathan Burke, I am not talking about a replacement for microscoft Office, I am talking about have a system at least as good as their competition, or even at least as good as a free bible software could provide.

What I am saying is I can understand you don't want and don't need such a feature, but I hope you understand that as long as Logos doesn't have such a feature, they are lagging behind other programs in this area and for those that do a lot of research and want a place to store it, they miss such a feature.

I do not know how hard this is to do, but I have to assume that if one guy donating his time to writing a bible study program can come up with a better system than Logos currently has, how hard can it be?

If Students are one of of their main markets they need to help them with a note system that will be easy to use, and provide a place to store their notes from the research they do, class notes, their own notes and even information from books in the system can be stored and arranged to make it useful, other wise they are missing out on doing students a huge service that I am sure at this time most people do not understand.

I will give you some general information about a recent contact I had with the head of a large Seminary.  We got to talking about this subject and he was saying the same thing you are saying.  Until I took the time to show him exactly how much a person could do with the proper understanding and the proper note taking features.  Afterwards, he simply said, if we could teach our students to do that, it would change how we educate them forever.  It would make studying so much easier for them and they could have everything they ever got from our school with them for the rest of their lives, and in the most useful form possible.

He is talking to the staff about how this could be done at their school.

So yes, I understand it is not for everyone, but it sure would help some, and I am one of those that will not do without such a program, if it is not Logos, it will be some one else that provides it, even if it is a free program.

In Christ,

Jim

Posts 533
Jonathan Burke | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jun 6 2010 5:27 AM

Rob, I have considerable sympathy for Bob's position. It makes sense to me. Having worked in a technology company myself, even only as a technical writer, I'm well aware of just how great an impact a few small changes on a product can have.

Our engineers typically explained the issue a little more... forcefully than Bob.

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Robert Pavich | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jun 6 2010 6:33 AM

JamesHudson:

In a recent post concerning cloud computing Bob said:

"Will we do them, and suffer the hassle and inconvenience, if they are the top priority of a huge number of users?

Yes."

 

...that is, unless it is effective notetaking within Logos!

 

It's so sad to see multitudes of users have to post work arounds -

 

I'm NOT trying to pick a fight...but I am wondering about the presumption that MULTITUDES of users are clamoring for this.

The statement above assumes that what's represented on the forums is a "huge" percentage of Logos users...

 

That may or may not be true...I guess only Logos has those numbers.

 

Again...not picking a fight...not calling anyone names....just asking the question about the presumed fact.

 

Robert Pavich

For help go to the Wiki: http://wiki.logos.com/Table_of_Contents__

Posts 533
Jonathan Burke | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jun 6 2010 6:34 AM

Jim, I understand what you're saying, really. My point is that some people want Logos 4 to be Word, some want it to be Excel, some want it to be OneNote, and you can imagine where this ends up if Bob gives everyone what they want.

I can appreciate that there are competing products which offer a note service which Logos 4 does not. However, I question to what extent they are actually competing, in realistic terms. To my mind they're not competing unless they can offer the same extent of resources, the same price:performance ratio, the same range of features, and the same convenience. Honestly, I don't believe any other product out there does.

I haven't seen anything which I could use to replace my Portfolio collection. I haven't seen anything which can search my 13GB library of works. I haven't seen anything which offers the passage guides, the exegetical guides, the fully customizable tabs, the prioritization, the cross-platform support, the download convenience, the workspaces, and a host of other features, all in one package, supported by the most extensive collection of texts on the market. In view of this, the notes aren't a deal breaker for me, and I don't see that the lack of development of this single feature means Logos 4 is lagging behind other products.

JimVanSchoonhoven:
I do not know how hard this is to do, but I have to assume that if one guy donating his time to writing a bible study program can come up with a better system than Logos currently has, how hard can it be?

I'd suggest that the Bible study program written by one guy in his spare time is significantly less complex than a program like Logos.

JimVanSchoonhoven:
If Students are one of of their main markets they need to help them with a note system that will be easy to use, and provide a place to store their notes from the research they do, class notes, their own notes and even information from books in the system can be stored and arranged to make it useful, other wise they are missing out on doing students a huge service that I am sure at this time most people do not understand.

To be practical, I think Bob would have to get the numbers on how many students are currently using Logos, how many aren't using it at all but would purchase it the moment it's redesigned to include a note system specific to the needs of university students.

JimVanSchoonhoven:
I will give you some general information about a recent contact I had with the head of a large Seminary.

I understand that it would be wonderful to turn Logos into a revolutionary new learning system for students. But from my point of view this would be changing the entire aim of the program completely. I am sure we could think of many ways that Logos could be turned into a brilliant email program, collaborative project management program, or any other kind of program, but it's supposed to be a Bible software program.

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Jim VanSchoonhoven | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jun 6 2010 6:58 AM

Jonathan Burke, concerning Logos and their goal for Logos, have you ever listened to the talk given on this page? http://www.logos.com/academic it is by Dale Pritchett, I think my view may not be as far off as you think.  Look for it on the right hand side about half way down, it is about 14 minutes long.  All I am saying is since they want to be the best for researchers and students they need to pick up the pace in this area of notes and how they can be used.

By the way in my opinion I love Logos 4 as far as it goes, but right now I find L3 is still better for overall research. If you notice on the academic page they are still using L3 videos and information.

I hope you at least enjoy the talk.

In Christ,

Jim

Posts 199
James Hudson | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jun 6 2010 8:31 AM

Robert,

You are correct - it is my impression, but based on at least 3 sources of evidence:

1.  Since the outset Notes and PBB ("Notes on steroids" as has been referred to in this thread) have consistently been in the top 3 places on Uservoice with many votes. I ask Why is that?

 

2.  Every thread mentioning notes in Logos 4 has always had many replies (they always seem - again my impression -  to attract the largest numbers of responses) much more than posts about most other subjects. I ask Why is that?

 

[Aside: they usually follow the same pattern - Lots (again my impression!) of people bemoaning the fact that although notes is seen by many to be a key "core" aspect of Bible study software, Logos notes are unusable. Then a few people say they use other software such as OneNote and that's fine for them and then it usually ends with someone reminding us that Bob has said he doesn't want to create a wordprocessor because it's too difficult - among other reasons. At which point the thread dies out because people realise that they can't change Bob's mind....all until a brand new customer who hasn't read the forums comes online and bemoans the note system once again!]

3. There used to be a Wiki page (can't seem to find it now) where people suggested alternative note-taking software - things that could get the job done better. Strange to find that on a Bible software wiki UNLESS it was something that lots (my impression again) of people were wanting -  thinking "Well if Logos doesn't provide it, we still need it so we'll have to look elsewhere). People such as LaRosa even create videos to show how to use alternatives and make them seem to fit into Logos window. I ask Why is that?

 

If it is a such a hot topic causing seemingly lots (my word) of people either complaining or giving up and trying alternatives, then that is something I think an MD of a company would be listening too. Bob's quote that I put in the opening post seems to say that he is listening to users (and I have to admit here, he does have such a fantastic record of doing so in every case except notes) - but I still don't think he has grasped the concept of notes (his mind now automatically says "I don't want to make a word-processor" so that's the end of it)  Users have been forced to try alternatives. My contention is that even the best alternatives (e.g. One Note) are not integrated enough with Logos. Little things (like I mentioned in the OP) such as I'd like to have a reference pop-up with the text from  within my notes, I'd like to do a Library lookup and search, etc etc.

 

So, YES - you are right. It IS my impression that many people are unhappy with notes and that may be changing (with Beta and PBB on the way etc) or even wrong. I think many people may have given up now and are getting used to doing things another way and aren't so bothered. But I like to think about what things CAN be rather than what they could have been.

Thank-you for the tone of your query - I too am not trying to pick a fight. But I do like to keep it high in the collective consciousness of users (and Logos employees) so we can make Logos better and better (not a 'what might have been'). I've invested far too much money and time in Logos software (right from the early days - thousands and thousands of dollars) to leave it now so I'm looking forward to what it can be - and I don't want to be embarassed when I show it to my pastor etc and they make the comment about notes being better in their free software.

 

Here's to healthy debate. Hopefully one day Logos will be the only Bible software people will have heard of and use.

 

Yours in Him,

 

James

Posts 199
James Hudson | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jun 6 2010 9:05 AM

Jonathan Burke:

I'm concerned that feature creep leads to bloatware, added complexity and likelihood of software failure, increased burden for technical support, and increased price for users. I don't want Logos 4 to be a replacement for Microsoft Office, I want it to stay focused on its core competency, a knowledge management system for Bible research products.

To take your points,

Jonathan Burke:
I'm concerned that feature creep leads to bloatware, added complexity and likelihood of software failure

Bob has a "smart team" - he wants to add more features to Logos 4. In the software industry, things improve by adding more. I trust the "team" well enough to not give us a product that has a higher chance of "software failure". Take MS word - i remember the very first edition on lots of floppies - compared with Office 2010 it has far, far less features but Office 2010 (RC) is fast, efficient and not any more prone to failure than that first version. I trust Bob's development team to be as competent and even better than MS big committee of programmers.

Bloatware is an old term which is becomming more redundant and not used much anymore - computers today can have hige memory, hard drive capacities and speed, multi-core and threaded processors. Broadband is getting faster.

I agree in principle it adds complexity, but most people's use of computers involve some sort of typing (facebook, word, one-note, even participating in forums) - people are accustomed to what a little "B" means in a toolbar etc, so a note feature won't add complexity.

Also see my module suggestion below in answer to your pricing comment.

 

Jonathan Burke:

Increased burden for technical support

Any new feature will probably impact this. It's something that every software company needs to factor in.

 

Jonathan Burke:

 increased price for users

It's an amazing fact that the Logos engine is free. This is often forgotten by users. Yet I, for one, would be willing to pay for an engine that had decent note features. Perhaps Bob and co could consider making a free 'Lite' version and then a "pay for modules" professional version. A bit like the PBB approach of old. Users could choose which features they wanted and download those only (for a cost) like you used to download the Power Tools in Libronix. This would also answer those concerns about so-called "bloat"

 

Jonathan Burke:

 I don't want Logos 4 to be a replacement for Microsoft Office

Nor does Bob!  But it will no more be a replacement for microsoft office than this simple forum post-composing software is. This forum software doesn't need to have bold, italic, underline, strikethrough, attachments, bullets, smilies, fonts, hyperlinks, quotes, - but it does and it's what we expect, use and find useful. You could argue - why not use word to write an email to me? In a similar way Integrated notes in Logos are not going to replace wordprocessing software, but rather enhance what you can do with notes (which you can do in Word) because it is integrated with all the features and power of Logos.

 

Jonathan Burke:

I want it to stay focused on its core competency, a knowledge management system for Bible research products.

Absolutely agreed! 100%. No argument from me! You're perfectly correct. However for many people one of the core features of Bible software is to research from nay resources and take notes. Unless you have fantastic memory, you will SOMEWHERE and SOMEHOW make notes on what you are reading on the screen - otherwise what's the point -even if it's just reading a book or devotional. That's why there is also a clamour for printing.

It could be argued (and has been on this thread - see Jim's quote

JimVanSchoonhoven:
A good note system is an important part of a good learning system. It is just as important as a good search feature.
) that note-taking IS a core part of Bible study using Logos. It's more important that some of the other "features" Logos - such as drawing mode, homepage etc etc.

 

Thanks for taking the time to read and consider these points.

 

Yours in Him,

 

James

 

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