Taking Notes Outside of Logos 4 Mac

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Posts 128
Levi D. | Forum Activity | Posted: Wed, Sep 29 2010 10:44 AM

I prefer to take my study notes outside of Logos 4. I have been looking for a system that allows me to:

1. Keep the notes and Logos 4 on the screen at the same time without having to switch via Command-Tab.

2. Sync the notes to my home computer.

3. Have some sort of linking from Logos 4 (So that I know that I have written a note on a particular verse).

4. Not be tied to any special file format that could go obsolete or prevent me from moving to a different computer system someday.

I came across this idea from LaRosa Johnson using Microsoft Onenote, but not having Onenote on the Mac, I developed a similar system to achieve my goals using a Mac app called TextWrangler.

If you are interested, you can have a look at the video that I made (the first few seconds are blank video).

Let me know what you think. I'm also interested if you've developed any other systems for taking notes outside Logos 4.

I spent most of my time in thinking of divine things, year after year; often walking alone in the woods and solitary places for meditation, soliloquy and prayer - Jonathan Edwards

Posts 491
R. Mansfield | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Sep 29 2010 4:03 PM

Levi, I watched your video and found your method interesting. 

Question--and I mean this purely out of curiosity--why do you prefer a system outside of Logos? Like a lot of folks, I recognize that the notes system could stand some improvement (my biggest complaint is the fact that notes don't stay in sync with a biblical text like a commentary would).

But I'm not seeing the initial advantage to your system since you are still having to create a note in Logos to remind you that you have a note in Text Wrangler. And I would think that once you have an extensive set of notes, you will have a bit of a navigation nightmare--although admittedly, that's not much different than the state of notes in Logos 4 as they do not stay in sync as I've already mentioned. 

I would think though, that Logos' internal notes system would be better than TextWrangler simply because it allows for formatting (bold, italics, etc.).

Again, don't take me as critical; I guess I just don't see any initial advantage in TextWrangler, but I look forward to further thoughts.

I think that if I had a good reason for using an outside system, I'd want to use something like Evernote since it allows for formatting and can be synced across multiple computers and platforms and is even accessible from the web.

RMansfield@mac.com
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Posts 128
Levi D. | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Sep 30 2010 5:48 AM

Rick,

Evernote was something I considered, but I wanted a low screen footprint so that it would fit alongside Logos 4 and be visible all the time. 

By using Dropbox, I can have access to my notes on any platform as well — and any text editor can edit them easily. Plain Text formatting is almost impossible to mess up — because there isn’t any! 

Why not Logos notes? In a phrase, “Long-term Data Security.” I don’t like putting my information into formats that are hard to switch from later on. Print/Export on Logos 4 might be the answer for me, I’ve have to see how it works when it comes to Logos 4 Mac. 

I am also concerned about how easy it is to delete note files in Logos. I have tried restoring from the Time Machine backups, using Command-Z to undo, etc., but it seems that if you accidentally hit that little red “x”, your note file has had it. That doesn’t make me feel secure.

I liked how Accordance have their notes system. Each note file is a separate file on the hard drive. If you deleted a note file (and it isn’t easy to accidentally do), you could go to your backup hard drive, copy it back to the Accordance folder and reopen it.

Logos 4, for me, is a better Bible software than any that I’ve ever used. The one main area I wish to see improvement on is the notes system, particularly in making me feel secure with my data.

Grace be to you.

I spent most of my time in thinking of divine things, year after year; often walking alone in the woods and solitary places for meditation, soliloquy and prayer - Jonathan Edwards

Posts 1
John-Mark Oliver | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 1 2010 3:30 AM

I would like a feature allowing me to print my notes. As I can see, there is no way to do this. Am I missing something?

Posts 1246
David Mitchell | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 1 2010 6:49 AM

John-Mark Oliver:
I would like a feature allowing me to print my notes. As I can see, there is no way to do this. Am I missing something?

It's a feature that was added in 4.1, which hasn't even been officially released for Windows, yet, let alone Mac.

It's coming.

 

David Mitchell
Development Lead
Faithlife

Posts 255
Pat Flanakin | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 1 2010 7:24 AM

To address this (I take most my notes in Word, so outside Logos), I purchased another monitor.  With them being so cheap now, I found it much more useful than spending time on my laptop screen seeking to see both Logos and the notes.  Frankly, I could use two more monitors for Logos and keep them full of floating windows easily.

Posts 491
R. Mansfield | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 1 2010 7:45 AM

Levi D.:

Why not Logos notes? In a phrase, “Long-term Data Security.” I don’t like putting my information into formats that are hard to switch from later on. Print/Export on Logos 4 might be the answer for me, I’ve have to see how it works when it comes to Logos 4 Mac. 

I certainly understand that concern, and I don't knock you for coming up with a system for insuring your work against it. I have a handful of older files from abandoned programs that, while I can access, it takes much effort. Microsoft Office on the Mac will no longer open any Word or PowerPoint file older than the 1997 formats. But the Windows version of Office still will. So, I'm gradually trying to update older files that I still want to have access to, but as you might guess, this means having duplicate copies of Office. 

However, for my purposes, I have chosen to ignore concern over the possibility of abandoned file formats/platforms and simply use today what serves me best today. Is there a possibility that I might not be able to access some of my work 20 years from now? Yes, but there is also the possibility that I will. I like to think that once a customer base is large enough for a platform, there will be momentum enough behind it that it will continue--at least for my lifetime. 

In regard to notes, I have created a strategy that was not designed as insurance against the possibility of long-term data security, but as a side-benefit it does address it. 

It took me a long time to embrace the idea of keeping notes electronically period. In the past, I was a fan of wide margin Bibles (technically, I still am) and kept notes that way. But obviously that has limitations, including the amount of space one has for those notes. I don't know how many others are like me, but for better or worse, I do not use one Bible software platform alone. Therefore, a few months back, I began adding the same notes to all three of the platforms I use: Accordance, Logos, and BibleReader. I primarily did this so that I'd have my notes handy regardless of what application I was using, but the fringe benefit is that my notes are in more than one place and format. It wasn't really my intent in doing this to "cast my bread upon the surface of many waters," but that is certainly an added result. 

Because I have multiple Bibles with notes in the margins, transferring these to an electronic format is a long-term project. But that's fine; plus, as I add new notes, they automatically get added to all three platforms. 

You'd think that streamlining notes to BibleReader would be the most difficult to do, but its dependence upon Evernote for its note system makes it very easy to add them simply by launching Evernote on my Mac. I know that many Logos users have expressed frustration over the notes system in Logos 4, so I don't believe I come across as being overly critical or even negative to say that the Logos system for notes is easily the most difficult to work with of the three. Nevertheless, I'm using it anyway. 

I suppose for me, while your system is very workable for you, I would miss the ability for format styling too much. I use my bolds, italics, underlinings, and even colors in my notes. 

Levi D.:

I am also concerned about how easy it is to delete note files in Logos. I have tried restoring from the Time Machine backups, using Command-Z to undo, etc., but it seems that if you accidentally hit that little red “x”, your note file has had it. That doesn’t make me feel secure.

I liked how Accordance have their notes system. Each note file is a separate file on the hard drive. If you deleted a note file (and it isn’t easy to accidentally do), you could go to your backup hard drive, copy it back to the Accordance folder and reopen it.

I agree that that this is indeed a problem. I ran into a similar issue when Logos 4/Mac was still in the beta stage. After the dev team announced that the note system in the Mac version was stable, I began adding my notes to it with the other two platforms I use. At the time, it was still easier to enter them in the Windows version, so I was using that to enter my notes. At some point as the two platforms synced, a number of my notes completely scrambled in Logos 4, and I had to recreate them. Fortunately, I was able to do this because I had the same notes in BibleReader and Accordance. 

I also was unsuccessful trying to pull a backup of my Logos notes from Time Machine. Somehow, there ought to be a way for one to restore notes from a previous session. Or there ought to be some kind of safeguard like in MobileMe which offers a warning if your calendar or contacts is about to change more than 5%. Simply having that warning, being able to reject the changes, and resetting the data based on what was on my computer (as opposed to Apple's servers) has saved me much grief more than once. 

RMansfield@mac.com
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Posts 45
Jesse Frame | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 1 2010 9:52 AM

why wouldnt you just use a standard text program like pages or word or even the free open office? you could keep everything the same and upgrade your word processing capabilities with all the formatting.

my notes process is this - i use Pages to do all my note taking, copy/pasting, outlining, sermon planning/writing, etc. i have a folder system like a filing cabinet - BIBLE>NT>Acts>"current sermon/research project." once i have finished working that sermon or finished my research on those verses i save the pages file, then copy/paste the whole document into a logos note file attached to the appropriate reference. this gives me all the security of my own word processor files in a usable (and printable) format, and all my work is accessible and searchable in logos.

an unfortunate side note is that i have pages 06, for which logos does not support footnotes (arg!) but i know the new version does, as does the new word for mac.

Jesse FrameNew Mission Systems International, Australia

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