Notes Files Suggestion/PLEA

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Posts 664
Jim | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jul 6 2009 8:37 AM

Sorry to take so long to reply. The weekend was packed with events.

It's good to hear you will improve the notes functionality.

I use the notes to do research. I cut and paste stuff from various resources into the notes along with links back to the original source or I put a link in to a resource that I'd like to investigate further when I have more time. I add my own notes, but my notes are a small portion of what I put in the note files. At some point I print out a notes summary and have it handy when I'm thinking through a sermon, essay or just meditating on the text.

I'm very visual. Fonts and their characteristics are important for visual emphasis and organization. The font features you have are fine with me if they actually worked. They don't.  For example when you paste info into the notes it seems to copy the font of the source. Fine, I can change it to some common font I want, but at times the notes file refuses! to change some of the text - I've tried over and over and over. Sometimes it refuses! to allow link fonts and sizes to change. Sometimes I've had to delete a note and start over because I inserted a link and for the life of me couldn't enter any text after the link that didn't become part of the link. If you indent a paragraph you may never be able to get subsequent paragraphs unindented. That's one reason I said it was amateurish.

I have note files for most books of the Bible. So say I start with a note file on a book and it grows as I study the book, perhaps over years. First it may reach a point where I want to split some portion of the book out into a separate file. (e.g. Suppose I start with Matthew and then want a file for The Sermon On The Mount", or perhaps a chapter) I'm not aware that I can do this from within Logos.

Now take my example. I've got a note file on Matthew with notes attached to verses all over the book organized by section or chapter and sub-organized by topic (cultural background, textual issues, application ideas) and verse. So I go to add a note to Matt 2:1. New notes are placed at the end of the notes list! I have to move it up through EVERY SINGLE note in the file to get it near the top. If I hope that if I could collapse notes, I  could move the note where I want it far faster. Furthermore suppose I have notes that are topics, like "introduction", "manuscript notes" , "word studies", "application" etc. that have several notes indented below. If I could collapse these things and if you implemented the feature, then I could move them as a group to a the position I want in the note file so when I print or export or use the file, the order would make sense. Furthermore I would like to select the top of an indented list and export it to a new note file, or print just that section out (perhaps the note file summary feature could take advantage of these collapsible nodes in selecting what was to be printed).

I want the notes file to be my repository for my basic research with links to the sources because Logos is where all the resources are located. I also want to be able to organize that research and share it with other Logos users with a little more capability than you currently have.

Have a great day,
jmac

Posts 1706
LogosEmployee
Bob Pritchett | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 7 2009 11:05 AM

Would you share your note files with us for testing?

We need sample note files to test the import feature for 4.0, and also tobetter  understand how people use notes. If you're willing to share your notes with us, just email the notes file (found in My Documents\Libronix DLS\Annotations) to handouts@logos.com.

Any size attachment should be fine.

Thanks!

Posts 2964
tom | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 7 2009 12:02 PM

Bob Pritchett:

Would you share your note files with us for testing?

We need sample note files to test the import feature for 4.0, and also tobetter  understand how people use notes. If you're willing to share your notes with us, just email the notes file (found in My Documents\Libronix DLS\Annotations) to handouts@logos.com.

Any size attachment should be fine.

Thanks!

I tried to send you a note file, but the email bounced.  Here is the error message:

Error Message:
Technical details of permanent failure:

Google tried to deliver your message, but it was rejected by the recipient domain. We recommend contacting the other email provider for further information about the cause of this error. The error that the other server returned was: 553 553 mailbox handouts@logos.com is restricted (Mode: normal) (state 14).

Posts 664
Jim | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 7 2009 1:06 PM

How to I send you the file(s)?

Have a great day,
jmac

Posts 246
Hans van den Herik | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 7 2009 2:11 PM

Personally I would like to have some more possibilties for formatting text in notes.

But I also long for the opportunity to work on a Word document  from within Logos. Something like Mindjet Manager has.

I work on my sermons and papers with Libronix and I get very tired from switching the screens: word -> Logos -> word -> Logos and so on.

Posts 2964
tom | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 7 2009 8:27 PM

A.J. van den Herik:

Personally I would like to have some more possibilties for formatting text in notes.

But I also long for the opportunity to work on a Word document  from within Logos. Something like Mindjet Manager has.

I work on my sermons and papers with Libronix and I get very tired from switching the screens: word -> Logos -> word -> Logos and so on.

I would also like this, but everyone does not have MS Word.  If I create a note in MS Word, and then send it to someone, then that person must also have MS Word.

Posts 9947
George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 7 2009 8:52 PM

tom collinge:
I would also like this, but everyone does not have MS Word.  If I create a note in MS Word, and then send it to someone, then that person must also have MS Word.

Not necessarily.  OO will import Word documents as will the Works WP.  I can even open many Word documents with WordPad.

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

Posts 2744
Bohuslav Wojnar | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 8 2009 2:24 AM

I use MS One Note for keeping all my notes and information. It is very flexible, able to add all medias etc. I would be very happy if Logos notes would just be linked to One Note and some other similar programs. You could then make simple notes directly in Logos and add any other more organized system to it in One Note or your preferred program. I would strongly discourage Logos to create some kind of Word processor type note editor. Just make linking with existing most popular word processors more advanced and easy to use. But linking with the One Note and other similar programs would be even bigger priority for me.

Bohuslav

Posts 150
Jim Dean | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 8 2009 5:02 AM

IE can open MS Word docs. Also, there is a free, skinny Word Viewer available from MS for download (see later post for URL)

 I do like the idea of slaving an instance of Word within Libronix, BUT with MS's characteristic "bloat" factor, it might slow down Libronix considerably. Maybe Office.org (free) would be a viable alternative?

Actually, if Notes in L could simply and reliably just do what WordPad does, plus automated inclusions of hyperlinks to just about anything else in L (incl other Notes), I think they'd be sitting pretty. If anyone else is fond of this KISS suggestion, then maybe we could create a (short) list of neceesary "extensions" to WordPad so that the L team can picture what we're talking about.

I think I know one thing that would make MJ happy - a button that toggles the view from normal to XML. Of course, adding any XML stuff would call for either a conversion-export to printer or plainjane wordpad - or would require the user to have an XML editor of their own to handle final copies.

What do y'all think about this "base-it-on-WordPad" approach?

=============
Redeeming the time (Eph.5:16+Col.4:5) ...
Jim Dean

Posts 150
Jim Dean | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 8 2009 5:33 AM

JimDean:
Actually, if Notes in L could simply and reliably just do what WordPad does, plus automated inclusions of hyperlinks to just about anything else in L (incl other Notes), I think they'd be sitting pretty. If anyone else is fond of this KISS suggestion, then maybe we could create a (short) list of neceesary "extensions" to WordPad so that the L team can picture what we're talking about.

Another important note about this -

Most MS app's, such as Word and Excel, carry a HIGH exposure to being infected by viruses or worms, due to their inherent macro capabilities.  WordPad (pure .rtf files) does NOT suffer from this danger.  WordPad has been around since DOS days, as I recall.  The source code is public domain in several books out there - or at least code to duplicate it is.  I use it for most everything I can, due to it's "skinny" footprint and it's virus-immunity.  It's much, MUCH better than NotePad for a variety of reasons.

For those of you who are unaware of WordPad ... go to Accessories folder in the Start menu and create a shortcut to WordPad on your desktop.  Eazy-peazy.

Big Smile

=============
Redeeming the time (Eph.5:16+Col.4:5) ...
Jim Dean

Posts 150
Jim Dean | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 8 2009 5:42 AM

Re the free MS viewers I mentioned earlier ... I had included an outdated URL.  Here are the URL's for fully uptodate FREE viewers for Word, Excel and PowerPoint.  You can't create or edit within these, but you can view and save and rename and print.

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=3657ce88-7cfa-457a-9aec-f4f827f20cac&displaylang=en

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=1CD6ACF9-CE06-4E1C-8DCF-F33F669DBC3A&displaylang=en

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=048DC840-14E1-467D-8DCA-19D2A8FD7485&displaylang=en

=============
Redeeming the time (Eph.5:16+Col.4:5) ...
Jim Dean

Posts 150
Jim Dean | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 8 2009 5:48 AM

One last comment re these Viewers ... altho they are skinny, and view/print/save-only, they ALSO are somewhat subject to viruses and worms as other MS (and prob OO) engines are ... so be sure to tie in to MS automatic updates to keep yourself protected.  No big deal ... just wanted to provide the caution.  These viewers are on all five of my computers.

=============
Redeeming the time (Eph.5:16+Col.4:5) ...
Jim Dean

Posts 2964
tom | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 8 2009 7:09 AM

George Somsel:

tom collinge:
I would also like this, but everyone does not have MS Word.  If I create a note in MS Word, and then send it to someone, then that person must also have MS Word.

Not necessarily.  OO will import Word documents as will the Works WP.  I can even open many Word documents with WordPad.

Very true, but if we (I know that I do) would like our notes to be searchable, then all of our notes need to be stored in the same format so the module that does the searching and indexing knows how to read the file.

Therefore, the UI and the program that is needed to read and write our note files needs to be the same for ALL Logos users.  A simple reader will not suffice.

Microsoft does not do anything for free.  So the odds of them allowing Logos to bundle MS Word with Libronix is somewhere between zero and not a chance.

All Window uses have Wordpad, but this program saves its documents in RTF, and RTF is a Microsoft proprietor format.  This could leave our brothers and sisters who use a Mac out in the cold.

Issues like these limits what Bob and his crew can do.  As I see it, they can create their own word processor software, or they can embed someone else’s software.  Each option has their own pros and cons associated with them.

We also have to be honest in what we are asking, and that we are basically asking for a word processor.  We have asked for items like multi-font, multi-color, bullets, outline, embed sounds and videos, linking, and if no one has asked as of yet – it will be soon – a spell checker.

As technology changes, the way we study (and take notes) change.  Who would have thought 10-15 years ago that we would want to keep video with our notes?  I know that I didn’t, but I do now.

In an earlier post, I said that I do not blame Bob for not wanting to create a word processor.  I just read an article that a 12 year old boy created a word processor in Visual Basic.  Not to take anything away for this young man, but if a 12 year old can do it; why can’t the Bob and his crew do it?

If there is a way for Bob and his crew to embed our own word processor and get past the items I stated above, totally cool.

Posts 9947
George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 8 2009 7:49 AM

JimDean:
Re the free MS viewers I mentioned earlier ... I

But we don't want just a viewer, do we?  Don't we need to write as well in order to create notes?

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

Posts 611
Graham Owen | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 8 2009 8:37 AM

tom collinge:
All Window uses have Wordpad, but this program saves its documents in RTF, and RTF is a Microsoft proprietor format.  This could leave our brothers and sisters who use a Mac out in the cold.

I'm pretty sure that RTF is not a Microsoft format as it has existed for a long time and has been used for exchanging documents between different word processors. I think that the issue with RTF is that it is limited when compared to proprietary formats but I am sure that there are enough features within the format for a notes system.

A bigger challenge would probably be file management, a single RTF file would probably be hard to manage so Logos would probably have to create a super file that contained multiple RTFs or have an index system.

What would be cool about RTF would be the option for Logos to transfer the RTF to our preferred word process or to acces more options we could then save the file back to Logos as an RTF or use the save as feature to save the file outside of Logos in a proprietary format.

tom collinge:
In an earlier post, I said that I do not blame Bob for not wanting to create a word processor.  I just read an article that a 12 year old boy created a word processor in Visual Basic.  Not to take anything away for this young man, but if a 12 year old can do it; why can’t the Bob and his crew do it?

I don't believe that it is a question of progarmming ability but comes down to best use of time. If WordPad could be reused for WIndows then I am sure there is something included with the Mac that could also be used.

God Bless

Graham

Pastor - NTCOG Basingstoke

Posts 150
Jim Dean | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 8 2009 8:57 AM

links to viewers were provided re the comment that some folks don't have MS office.  sorry about the confusion ... just trying to help.

=============
Redeeming the time (Eph.5:16+Col.4:5) ...
Jim Dean

Posts 150
Jim Dean | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 8 2009 8:58 AM

afaik RTF is not proprietary ... nor is TXT Big Smile

You can open an RTF in a hex editor and figure it out pretty quick.

Lots and lots of software supports it.

 

=============
Redeeming the time (Eph.5:16+Col.4:5) ...
Jim Dean

Posts 10744
Forum MVP
Jack Caviness | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 8 2009 9:01 AM

tom collinge:

All Window uses have Wordpad, but this program saves its documents in RTF, and RTF is a Microsoft proprietor format.  This could leave our brothers and sisters who use a Mac out in the cold.

Tom

RTF is not a Microsoft proprietor format. In fact, Pages, Mellel, and several other word processors that run on the Mac save their files in RTF.

Jack

Posts 664
Jim | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 8 2009 10:14 AM

A lot of you have now added thoughts/suggestions on specific technology, but I've only seen a few on HOW you use notes, you know, the role notes files have in your use of Logos an/or study/preparation process, which is what Bob Prichett said he was interesting in understanding. I realize that this may have been addressed in the past, but Bob was asking for it and I think we should help him as best we can.

I have to admit this does seem a bit like surveying a group of people with a broken leg about how they walk. In other words the way we use Logos notes is a function of its capabilities, or lack thereof besides our personal styles.

The one thing that Logos does for me is to link a huge library to what I'm interested in at the moment either directly or indirectly (through searches) which is a big advantage over having physical books. The one thing it doesn't do with the same quality and usefulness as the rest of the program is to link my research findings on a topic or verse and make that research useful to me (printing, exporting, reorganizing, linking, searching).

I mentioned in another post that I use notes for a repository of research and personal observations. I then copy useful stuff to an external program when I'm actually going to present anything since the final form can be some combination of file, published document, slide show, or speech so no one set of presentation tools will ever be adequate. I would like the ability to select nodes in my notes tree and transfer all the material in that node and any indented nodes in one operation.

I seem to remember Mo (Morris Proctor) saying that he developed his sermon outlines in Notes, (I could be wrong about that) but I haven't found that practical for me.

A few thoughts brought up here would certainly enhance my use beyond what I was originally thinking about:

  • Embed Links to outside web resources and local files - this would allow me to collect more research into one place, I like that a lot.
  • Links to multiple verses - tricky but very useful. Perhaps a note could have a "Reference" attribute where you could list the verses it applies to and by the was allow you to change the verse(s) it is linked with.
  • Searchability (How about adding notes files to collections that can then be searched like any other resource? That would really give us flexibility)
  • Finer resolution on links to resources (I can live with paragraph level, thought I would much prefer sentence level since some resources have very long paragraphs)

Question:  What about the ability to have links inside notes work from outside Logos? Say I copy a note with a link to a commentary embedded in it to a Word document. Can I click on that link in Word and have Logos open to that resource and be positioned at the desired place?

I'm curious to understand the role of notes in other people's study process, perhaps I could learn some new techniques while we give Bob the input he needs.

Have a great day,
jmac

Posts 611
Graham Owen | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 8 2009 10:50 AM

JimMcDaniel:
A lot of you have now added thoughts/suggestions on specific technology, but I've only seen a few on HOW you use notes, you know, the role notes files have in your use of Logos an/or study/preparation process, which is what Bob Prichett said he was interesting in understanding. I realize that this may have been addressed in the past, but Bob was asking for it and I think we should help him as best we can.

Personally I have a number of note files the two main ones are called Commentary and Quotes the others are related to specific subjects that I am looking at. The two main ones are always open and the others are open whilst I am working on them and are often not used again after I have finished the specific study. Having collected the information in a Logos notes file I export it to Word to produce a final output.

My most important note file is the commentary one here I collect my own personal observations on specific verses along with information copied and pasted from other sources either as I study a text or as I read a specific book. I tend to copy and paste any interesting observations about the texts and save them with the verse as input to future study.

The way that I use quotes is probably a bit strange because I effeciively use it as a way to highlight interesting parts of a book in much the same way as I underline in a hardcopy book. I actually cut and paste the text into the note file linking the note to the selected text. WIth the note file open this ensures that the text is highlighted the next time I view the book but it also means that I can browse the note file to remind myself of some of the interesting points made by a book. One feature that I would really like to see is the ability to collapse notes by actual book as this would significantly improve navigation of note files that span multiple books.

I appreciate that there is probably a better way to manage the highlighting/quotes within Logos but this system works well for me and gives me what I feel that I need.

When managing my commentary file, the main challenge I have is tidying up the notes. I tend to ad any new observations or text from other sources at the bottom of the file and make no real attempt to tidy the notes up. The main feature that I would like to see for this use is the simple export of multiple notes to a single word file by verse range i.e. Matthew 5-7 for the Sermon on the Mount.

Another great feature for me would be the ability to send the selected text to a designated notefile for the active Bible verse, this would really simplify the capturing of interesting observations in commentaries.

God Bless

Graham

Pastor - NTCOG Basingstoke

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