What Software do you use for sermon prep and tracking?

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This post has 44 Replies | 7 Followers

Posts 2755
mab | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Apr 21 2011 3:03 PM

I just came across a free note taking program like OneNote, but it's for the Mac. It's called Growly Notes.

Installed it today. Haven't had a chance to do much with it yet, but it's promising. 

The mind of man is the mill of God, not to grind chaff, but wheat. Thomas Manton | Study hard, for the well is deep, and our brains are shallow. Richard Baxter

Posts 1416
Wes Saad | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Apr 21 2011 3:50 PM

Michael Ballai:

I just came across a free note taking program like OneNote, but it's for the Mac. It's called Growly Notes.

Installed it today. Haven't had a chance to do much with it yet, but it's promising. 

Another Mac app with some similarities to OneNote is Scrivener (they are also working on a Windows version). Scrivener, however, is not free, though it is an excellent program.

Posts 117
Kenny Larsen | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Apr 21 2011 3:55 PM

I use Bento for tracking and planning studies (just link to the pdf's of the study itself), It's essentially a 'pretty' database system, useful for it's sorting and searching etc. Again it's not free, but I found slightly more flexible than Scrivener, which I found excellent as a notepad.

Posts 135
Gene Britton | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Apr 23 2011 4:18 AM

Thanks Floyd,

Those are things that I can try.

Posts 255
Pastor James | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Apr 23 2011 5:57 PM

I have been playing with Bento and really like it. My question before I spend $50 to purchase Bento is Does anyone know what the Sermon Addin for LOGOS will do?????

Posts 5573
Forum MVP
Rich DeRuiter | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Apr 23 2011 6:10 PM

James Alexander:

I have been playing with Bento and really like it. My question before I spend $50 to purchase Bento is Does anyone know what the Sermon Addin for LOGOS will do?????

The sermon file add-in (as it's implemented in Libronix) allows us to read, store, and search our sermon text, as well as look up by title, date, topic (we add), passage and tag (we tag). For example, I tagged my Easter messages with the tag "Easter" and now, if I want to look at how I've preached on Easter in the past, I can just open the resource index, scroll down to tags, click that and scroll to my desired tag.

It's really quite helpful.

But it doesn't (as implemented for Libronix), have a designed way to store or track other service elements (song of application, who led worship that day, e.g.). If you want to track those things, a spread sheet or database program may be your best bet, and may even supplement the Sermon File addin, if you choose to get it.

 Help links: WIKI;  Logos 6 FAQ. (Phil. 2:14, NIV)

Posts 263
Steve Clevenger | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Apr 23 2011 6:36 PM

I use MS Word to write my sermons, MS Excel to track my sermons, and store my sermons in Dropbox. Dropbox allows me to access my sermons from my desktop, laptop, ipad, and android phone. Under master file "Sermons", I organize them by biblical books in subfolders.

Posts 2745
Bohuslav Wojnar | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Apr 24 2011 9:06 PM

Steve Clevenger:
and store my sermons in Dropbox.

I also use Dropbox to store my sermon Word document and Powerpoint presentation, The reason is to have it available in case of HDD breakdown on my Notebook (what happened to me already).

Bohuslav

Posts 3845
Floyd Johnson | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Apr 24 2011 10:22 PM

Bohuslav Wojnar:

Steve Clevenger:
and store my sermons in Dropbox.

I also use Dropbox to store my sermon Word document and Powerpoint presentation, The reason is to have it available in case of HDD breakdown on my Notebook (what happened to me already).

I do the same - but for a different reason.  It lets me move between my desktop, my notebook, and my netbook - I don't have to worry about having the right computer with me as I develop the outline.

 

Blessings,
Floyd

Pastor-Patrick.blogspot.com

Posts 255
Pastor James | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jun 11 2011 3:54 PM

After trying several demo versions of software, I purchased and am using Notebook by Circus Ponies.

Thanks for all the help.

Posts 449
Bill Cook | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 27 2011 7:49 PM

Well, I could probably build an Access database, but OneNote impresses. It is indexed and fast. I have used it since version 1 where I work. And, it continues to improve.

It is in effect, a database. Once you learn its paradigm, it is easy to utilize.

I write in MS Word, send to iPad via Dropbox, then open in Pages.

On the PC, I am testing various tools for storage and database functions.

OneNote maintains MS Word formatting (has its own tools, too,)

You can customize tags, perhaps not in the way many would like, but it is pretty flexible.

I have looked at Sermon Library and Sermon Base. Sermon Base is overkill for what I want. Sermon Library is pretty good. SID errors out. Kerux is in beta for Access 2010.

But, OneNote may be a format that hopefully won't go away soon.

Posts 1216
Matt Hamrick | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 27 2011 8:03 PM

James Alexander:

What software do you use to:

(1) Prepare sermons (after LOGOS of course Wink

(2) Plan future messages

(3) Organize message series

(4) Track what you've preached, when and where

(5) etc

I used the sermon file addin when I was using L3, but since upgrading to L4 I don't use it. I am old school and carry around a paper planner. Franklin Covey to be exact. Inside my planner I have a page for the 5 w's of what, where, when, why, and who. I keep track of all the places I preach. I alway keep track of school assignments.. everything I need I track in it. Now in the new digital age I do use the PlanPlus for Outlook to make a digital master copy of my 5 w's. Once the sermon file addin is released for L4 I will simply use my logos books to keep track. I have some note pages in my planner that is for any ideas I might catch. I use my planner and Logos 4 side by side sometimes to research some stuff. There again, it's my system and works for me. I am a PC and use Word to keep track of some things as well. All in all, my ideas on who and what to preach on come from my bible study using L4.

Posts 3747
BillS | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 28 2011 8:25 AM

James Alexander:

What software do you use to:

(1) Prepare sermons (after LOGOS of course Wink

(2) Plan future messages

(3) Organize message series

(4) Track what you've preached, when and where

(5) etc

Hi James,

A picture may help more than words...

By organizing files this way, I can use Windows search to find by date (if desired), I have both sermon & research notes organized & filed by Scripture passage--which as an expository preach I find to be much more helpful...

And when I preach from more than one passage (as you can see in examples below), I'll make a shortcut to the single copy of the file, rename it so the other passage is listed first, & then place the shortcut in the folder for the other book of the Bible that references this Scripture.

When I do preach topically or preach a series, I'll just add a folder whose name relfects the topic or series topic (which sort underneath the books of the Bible, which I'm looking for more often). And I'll put a shortcut to each message in the series / topic folder.

EDIT:  If I wanted to keep track of where I'd preached it, Microsoft Word offers a tag in the document info that I'd use. Here's another picture:

 

Hope someone finds this useful...

Grace & Peace,
Bill


MSI GF63 8RD, I-7 8850H, 32GB RAM, 1TB SSD, 2TB HDD, NVIDIA GTX 1050Max
iPhone 12 Pro Max 512Gb
Fire 10HD 64GB 7th Gen

Posts 8660
TCBlack | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 28 2011 8:29 AM

Bill, 

I've used much the same convention in naming and organizing my files as you.  

Coffee Great minds think alike.  Coffee

Hmm Sarcasm is my love language. Obviously I love you. 

Posts 3747
BillS | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 28 2011 8:31 AM

Hi Tom,

Cheers! Coffee Yes

I'd often thought about posting & even started one.... but I had the 1,000 words, no picture, & even I didn't want to read it. LOL. This a.m., I went the other route...

Grace & Peace,
Bill


MSI GF63 8RD, I-7 8850H, 32GB RAM, 1TB SSD, 2TB HDD, NVIDIA GTX 1050Max
iPhone 12 Pro Max 512Gb
Fire 10HD 64GB 7th Gen

Posts 449
Bill Cook | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 28 2011 10:20 AM

Excellent, Bill (and Thomas).

Posts 93
Robert C. Beckman Jr. | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 5 2011 3:30 PM

I am a OneNote user, here is my basic structure
I do my sermon calendar for the next year in October (year running from Dec to Nov)

1. Yearly notebooks

2. In each Notebook I have subnotebooks for Ministry areas

   Preaching

   Planning/Leading

    Professional

    Pastoral

    Programming

Under the preaching notebook I lay out a sub-sub notebook for each series during the year, funeral preaching, Evening (Cowboy Church) and other

In each series notebook I have a tab

                                                                 for research areas

                                                                 for sermons with my own numbering system (series #, week in year, Sermon in Series) each sermon gets a note

                                                                 Under each sermon there are sub-tabs for research personal notes, PDFs, articles, web materials etc.

I have used this organizing method since 1992, Incorporated OneNote since 2008. At this time I am Bi-vocational so I need a lot of up-front organizing to keep on track. The strength to planning a year in advance: I never wake up Monday morning and ask myself "what will I preach this Sunday?"

ymmv, but that's how I do it. Hope it helps

Bob

Posts 14
Kenton Church EPC | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 30 2011 8:12 AM

Well I'm late to this party but find it good because I'm looking for something to help me continue on my task to becoming more organized. After 26 years of preaching weekly you'd think I'd have this down. LOL

I use word to write and to keep notes. My naming convention is by date, [today's is 20111031_sermon] likewise I'd put _bulletin for the bulletin. It keeps it together on my computer. I also try to email a copy of it to a separate gmail account so I've got a back up as well as keep HDD back ups at home and work.

For planning I've found Google Docs works well for plugging things in. I use a spreadsheet and have typical place for date, seasson, text, working title etc. But I've found I can share it with others and have an up to date list of greeters, fellowship hosts and anthems/special Music.

In addition I've got a cells for my Call to Worship, Hymns and even the Prayer of Confession. The only downside google docs is that it dosn't maintain format within the cells. I've been thinking of trying the "forms" feature to see if that would work. 

Our church is also moving it's website and will be using Duplo (I think that's what it is called) which has a "Wordpress" plug in as part of it. I plan to use it for sharing sermon and perhaps another way of indexing.

The biggest problem I have is going back over some 12 years of 'hard copies' and tryting to figure out if any of them are really worth keeping.

 

Peace

Alan 

Portland, OR

Posts 1
Kristian Lane | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 8 2013 1:41 PM

Bill,

I would like to know how you organize your sermon folders on your computer.  My husband is a preacher, and I would like to get his sermons organized in a way that he will less likely "misplace" them.  

Is there a way you could show me more screen shots of your personal filing system?

I would appreciate it GREATLY.  I have researching the best "skeleton" for filing sermons on the computer.  My husband preaches mostly expository messages.  He would probably have 3 main folders:  Books of the Bible, Topical, Illustrations.

Kristian

Posts 28
Wayne M. Pask | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 8 2013 2:25 PM

Hi Bill,

I saw that you were using OneNote.  Are you aware that there is a OneNote version for the iPhone/iPad?  I've tried it and it syncs with Microsoft's SkyDrive and then is available to your MS OneNote on your regular computer.  I lucked out with MS earlier this year- my 5GB free account was increased to 25 GB!

Yours in the Risen Christ,

Wayne

Rev. Wayne M. Pask, Emeritus

Richmond,VA

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