Notes Strategy - Taking and Organizing Notes

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Fred Littlefield | Forum Activity | Posted: Tue, Mar 6 2018 11:53 PM

Notes may seem straightforward but when I started about 5 years ago I experimented with a few different ways of keeping notes.

I have the book Bible Readings for the Home. In it, all the Subjects are covered by topic so that most of the Bible verses are grouped together by Topic. This is the most convenient way to gather information and find it later.

I first tried to use one big note file in the Documents menu under  "Notes". I think I named it KJV Notes or something like that. I found that is the way most people do it, but It was too hard to keep things straight so that I could find things later. I was underlining and highlighting and adding Icons to subjects etc... I soon found out that it was better to have many different note files.

Subject (Right-Click, and Open in another Tab)

How do you do that? First I got advice to do it by Bible Verse or passage. That is OK if you are making commentaries on each verse as you go while studying, but that didn't help much when trying to recall by Topics such as faith or Grace. "Where did I put that comment?"

The best method I found was to name every Note document by first the type, then Subject. Example:

Notes Link (Right-Click, and Open in another Tab)

As you can see in the screenshot above there are two "Types" (Symbol and Topic) of notes. At the top they start with Symbol type, then after that, the notes are Topic type That way all theTypes are first sorted alphabetically then topics notes are alphabetically sorted according to the subject. The first note that I have in the Topic type is Topic - 3 Angels messages, The. I store all my Bible verses and book quotes on the subject in that note file.

So far I have just a few Types which I can use to sort the notes Below is listed the Types that I use and their use:

  • Bible - ??? This is for Bible Subjects like People in the Bible and who they are, or places in the Bible and where or what they are. Also for specific notes about the Bible or that version of the Bible, or notes that span the whole bible. Examples are Bible - Pople, or Bible - Places, and Bible - ESV, etc... I have abandoned this for new Types called People - ??? and Places - ???
  • Book - ??? This type is for making notes on non-Bible and other books in the library. When reading books you can highlight and mark and take notes on these books. That way all your notes on that book will be in one place and make bookmarks for you and notes. You can also make the subject the author so that all notes by a specific author will be in one file. The books will be sorted in the file alphabetically Example: Book - Josephus, Works of. I have kept quotations and notes on the things that Josephus said concerning Jesus and the Bible in this file.
  • Definitions - ??? This type is for defining words in the Bible or other interesting facts. Example: Definitions - Bible KJV, and Definitions - ESV
  • Outline - ??? This type is for taking notes on Bible passages and verses in the Bible. A commentary type of note. That way you can look for notes about Jeremiah in the Note file; Outline - Jeremiah, then look for the chapter and verse inside that file for notes about that verse specifically. Example: Outline - JeremiahOutline - RevelationOutline - DanielOutline - Genesis etc... Inside I make a new note for each chapter and then in the notes area I can write the verse and then the comment. That makes it easy to find any comment that you have made on that verse. You can link any other note or book location to it also with the  link Icon at the top on the notebook menu.
  • Parable - ??? This file is for notes on the different parables. Example: Parable - 10 Virgins 
  • Person - ??? This file is for collecting information on certain people of the Bible. It is duplicate of the file in the type Bible - People. I recently don't use the file Bible - People anymore I have separated each person to a unique file. Example: Person - RahabPerson - EsauPerson - Elijah or Elias, etc ...
  • Sermon - ??? This type is for collecting information for sermons. Example: Sermon - How shall we Worship God?Sermon - 3 Angels Messages, etc ...
  • Symbol - ??? This type is for defining symbolic words in the Bible and the verses that are used to define them. Example: Symbol - Bread, Symbol - Marriage, Symbol - Woman, etc ...
  • Topic - ??? This is the largest type that I have because this is my favorite way to store information. Topically. Kind of like Nave's Topical index. or Bible Readings for the Home.

Here is a screenshot on how the Outline type is done:

Outline (Right-Click, and Open in another Tab)

You can see that Outline - Jeremiah is opened to Jeremiah 2, and Jeremiah 2 is linked and opened from the link in the note file by clicking on the text on the note line. Also if the note is displayed in the Compact form it will open to see the notes that are in that chapter.  When I put a Bible verse in the note it automatically makes a link to the Bible verse so you can jump to it. You can add cross-references here or other notes. You can see that hovering over any of the Bible references will open a popup window to display that verse (Jeremiah 2:4).

You may want to use another name for this type. I started out using this type to store outlines of each book from the Bible Commentary so that I could have an overview of each Book of the Bible, but then I expanded it to make commentaries on the book of the Bible. The point is to organize everything so that it is accessible and easy to find for you.

As for the quantity of notes. You can store as many notes as you want. It is stored in the Logos cloud server and locally on your computer. It is all text files so the data size is small. They do not have a limit on the quantity or size of notes you store. Most people don't store many at all so make up for what they don't store.

I hope this helps? If anyone else has a different strategy for notes please share it with us to help with better ideas.

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JohnB | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 7 2018 12:42 AM

Thanks Fred. Any possibility of putting your screen shots up??

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Reuben Helmuth | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 7 2018 2:29 AM

Just a note:

A major reason for totally rethinking notes and building a new tool from scratch (currently in a private beta) was to reduce/eliminate the overhead of organizing/finding note documents. The new Notes Tool just might make our life a LOT easier! 

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Bruce Dunning | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 7 2018 5:12 AM

Fred Littlefield:
Here is a screenshot on how the Outline type is done:

Thanks for sharing your system with us. It seems that your attempt at putting up a screen shot didn't work. Did you use the little paper clip on the icon bar to post it?

Using adventure and community to challenge young people to continually say "yes" to God

Posts 123
Fred Littlefield | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 9 2018 3:09 AM

I put links to the screenshots. I will edit the post to use the paperclip icon to put them up. For now, you can Right click and select open image in a new tab.

Posts 123
Fred Littlefield | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 9 2018 3:22 AM

Here are the Screenshots. I tried the Insert/Edit Image Icon which didn't work so I inserted a link to the images  Looks like that didn't work either so I used the paperclip option as Bruce mentioned.I could not edit the original post to include them. Click on the Image to see the full image.

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Bruce Dunning | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 9 2018 6:49 AM

Fred Littlefield:
I used the paperclip option as Bruce mentioned.

That is the best way to insert an image on the forums.

Thanks for letting us see what you were describing in words Fred. Seeing other people's systems is quite helpful.

Using adventure and community to challenge young people to continually say "yes" to God

Posts 123
Fred Littlefield | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 9 2018 9:05 AM

Bruce Dunning:
Seeing other people's systems is quite helpful.

I agree. I tried to insert the images but it had been so long since I did it that I forgot your tip about using the Paperclip option. Hope this helps to describe what words fail to convey.

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David Carter | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 9 2018 9:59 AM

Fred Littlefield:

Bruce Dunning:
Seeing other people's systems is quite helpful.

I agree. I tried to insert the images but it had been so long since I did it that I forgot your tip about using the Paperclip option. Hope this helps to describe what words fail to convey.

I can confirm that the images helped a lot! Thanks for taking the time to post your system and the images, it has certainly given me something to think about Yes

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J. Erik | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 9 2018 10:11 AM

Thanks for sharing!

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JohnB | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 9 2018 10:26 AM

ditto

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Fred Littlefield | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 9 2018 11:50 PM

If anybody is interested? In the first screenshot, I have listed a Type called Symbols. That is because that is one of the many things enjoy studying. This is one of my favorite topics. So much so that I have a website called "Bible Symbols" Please visit my website and learn how to study the Bible with an eye for symbols in the Bible. It can bring a whole new layer of understanding to the Bible. Especially for Parables which are also included on my website.

www.BibleSymbol.com 

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Bruce Dunning | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 10 2018 6:10 AM

Fred Littlefield:

If anybody is interested? In the first screenshot, I have listed a Type called Symbols. That is because that is one of the many things enjoy studying. This is one of my favorite topics. So much so that I have a website called "Bible Symbols" Please visit my website and learn how to study the Bible with an eye for symbols in the Bible. It can bring a whole new layer of understanding to the Bible. Especially for Parables which are also included on my website.

www.BibleSymbol.com 

Great work Fred and thanks for sharing more of what is behind your note system. I spent quite a bit of time poking around your website and found it quite interesting. I've also booked-marked your site for future reference. Thanks again!

Using adventure and community to challenge young people to continually say "yes" to God

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Brad | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 10 2018 7:10 AM

This is a great thread.  The one thing I seem to have consistent issues with is the notes within Logos.  I want to be more organized and take better notes, but can't seem to come up with a nice system to get me going.  This is something I might try.  Thanks for sharing Fred!

Logos 8 - Reformed Baptist Pastor - Student at MBTS - theologynights.com

Posts 1239
Mike Tourangeau | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 10 2018 7:56 AM

Reuben Helmuth:

Just a note:

A major reason for totally rethinking notes and building a new tool from scratch (currently in a private beta) was to reduce/eliminate the overhead of organizing/finding note documents. The new Notes Tool just might make our life a LOT easier! 

Can anyone say what exactly is "new" about the new notes. I presently use notes to mark up my bible with links and quotes to relevant commentarie. However I get the sense that I could use them more efficientl. 

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Reuben Helmuth | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 10 2018 9:22 AM

Mike Tourangeau:
Can anyone say what exactly is "new" about the new notes.

This is still being developed so if you have a great idea, I'd encourage you to join the private beta and join in the discussion and testing!

The most noticeable difference (currently) is faceted browsing. There's a ton of metadata that gets automatically created with a note. This means that even IF you CHOOSE not to use "Notebooks" and do your own organization of notes, you should still be able to find the note you're interested in. 

Posts 100
Brad | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 10 2018 9:26 AM

Hi Fred,

Would you mind posting a screenshot of what one of your open note files look like?  For example, can you post a screenshot after opening the note file "topic-baptism" so I can see how your layout is?  Thank you.

Also, did you create these note files first?  Or do you create them as you are studying?

Logos 8 - Reformed Baptist Pastor - Student at MBTS - theologynights.com

Posts 1239
Mike Tourangeau | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 10 2018 9:53 AM

Reuben Helmuth:

Mike Tourangeau:
Can anyone say what exactly is "new" about the new notes.

This is still being developed so if you have a great idea, I'd encourage you to join the private beta and join in the discussion and testing!

The most noticeable difference (currently) is faceted browsing. There's a ton of metadata that gets automatically created with a note. This means that even IF you CHOOSE not to use "Notebooks" and do your own organization of notes, you should still be able to find the note you're interested in. 

I am tempted to join but I can't afford any technical difficulties. I went to the web app and saw the tool, it looks very promising. You mention "ton of metadata" this is very interesting to me.

I have often imagined an algorithm that could pull data from my library/notes and display it in an information pane. I.e. As I open up a passage to Ex 13 the algorithm pulls some of my highlights from a commentary on that passage or even better from the communities and displays them to me.

A dynamic study environment of sorts.........metadata could be used in this manner.

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Reuben Helmuth | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 10 2018 10:24 AM

Mike Tourangeau:
I am tempted to join but I can't afford any technical difficulties.

Just so you know, the current Note Documents will continue to function throughout the beta of the Notes Tool. Also, we've had the promise that the "automatic" migration of our notes "in the not too distant future" will be "non-destructive," and will leave our current notes in place.

Mike Tourangeau:
As I open up a passage to Ex 13 the algorithm pulls some of my highlights from a commentary on that passage

This would absolutely be possible, seeing that the reference range is already one of the pieces of metadata that get captured!

Posts 123
Fred Littlefield | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 10 2018 11:46 PM

Brad:
Would you mind posting a screenshot of what one of your open note files look like?  For example, can you post a screenshot after opening the note file "topic-baptism" so I can see how your layout is?  Thank you.

Brad here is the screenshot of Baptism. This file has just a few entries in it. I studied it a bit on one occasion, but like most topics, I am not finished. It is a work of time. As time goes on it will get new information as I go back to that topic in my studies. For now, that is what I have collected on the topic.

Brad:
Also, did you create these note files first?  Or do you create them as you are studying?

I created them as the occasion came up. Usually, I will be studying something else and I run across some information that I have been looking for on another topic or run across information that I need to keep that I didn't expect to find. If I create a note on it I can go back to it later instead of wondering where I saw that information and try to find it later. Many times I am unsuccessful in finding it later so it is lost if I don't make a note when I find new information.

Here is a better example of a note that had more study in it.

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