What is your annotation/highlighting strategy?

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Joseph Turner | Forum Activity | Posted: Wed, Jan 15 2014 4:49 AM

I was reading something in another thread and something came up that I am curious about.  What is your strategy for using annotations/notes/mark-ups/highlighting when reading a book in Logos or other digital platforms?  I can't utilize these tools effectively because I don't have a standard system, so I am curious to know what others do.

I guess my basic question would be, "What do you mark?  Why?  and How?"

Disclaimer:  I hate using messaging, texting, and email for real communication.  If anything that I type to you seems like anything other than humble and respectful, then I have not done a good job typing my thoughts.

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Bruce Dunning | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jan 15 2014 7:49 AM

Thanks for starting this thread Joseph. I too don't have a great system although there are some good things I do on a regular basis.

As has been mentioned on a number of occasions in the past, every time I read a new book I assign it a new file and keep all  my notes in that file for the book. You have to make sure that your setting are set to the most recent resource which is done on each device you use. The great thing about this is that you can review all your notes easily but it can be a bit frustrating if you are making notes in multiple books at the same time.

Next I tend to use one color for most of my general highlights (yellow) and underline other things that I want to note. I also add my own comments making sure that it is still assigned to the right resource.

I have made extensive use of inductive study tools for Bibles when going deeper in a text but I don't tend to use this on a regular basis. In my paper Bibles in the past I have done this and to me it can get very cluttered at times.

I look forward to hearing what others may say so I can continue to learn.

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

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Levi Durfey | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jan 15 2014 8:09 AM

One aspect of my highlighting is that I outline various parts of a book with highlighters. I have three highlighters set to do first, second, and third levels of  outlining like this:

A sample from a book I am currently reading:

I find that doing this helps me immensely both in comprehending what I read and quickly picking up the argument in a book when I come back to it later.

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Bruce Dunning | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jan 15 2014 8:27 AM

Integ:

One aspect of my highlighting is that I outline various parts of a book with highlighters. I have three highlighters set to do first, second, and third levels of  outlining like this:

Do you have specific definitions/rules that you use for each of these categories?

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

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Geo Philips | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jan 15 2014 8:28 AM

I used to do resource-specific highlighting but found it too unwieldy to maintain after some time. Now I just stick to palette-specific notes and use the search functions to find resource-specific annotations.

In terms of strategy, I think that is subjective to you. Some like different colors, others use the emphasis palette more. I try to keep it simple and stick to two or three primary colors, and a double-underline.

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Everett Headley | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jan 15 2014 8:29 AM

For what its worth:

In general books, I tend to just highlight/annotate with orange.  If I want to look something up, you can do that easily enough with Logos' search features.  If there is a better way, I would love to know it.

For strictly Bible notes: I attach it to the reference and have created my very own Everett's Study Bible.  This was a big deal for me switching from hardcopies to digital Bibles.  The version doesn't matter, all my notes on each verse show up.   What's better is with the hyperlinks and citations, I always know where what came from which is super cool.   I used to have a journaling  Bible that I did the same thing with, but after a full year of transferring I have all my notes from college and seminary.

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John Goodman | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jan 15 2014 8:44 AM

I use a file for each assignment or sermon. For highlighting I employ a colour scheme which works like this.

Yellow = Interesting

Blue = Critical to Mention

Green = Critical to their argument ie. a premise, discovery or piece of argument.

Red = I disagree with this

The one thing I find annoying is that if I make highlights on the mac app then the notes do not contain the full text of the highlight. On the ipad they do which I much prefer.

I have notes files which are related to regular topics that I will revisit often. My own areas of interest or common sermon material etc. I often open those notes to add to them when reading for other things.

גַּם־חֹשֶׁךְ֮ לֹֽא־יַחְשִׁ֪יךְ מִ֫מֶּ֥ךָ וְ֭לַיְלָה כַּיּ֣וֹם יָאִ֑יר כַּ֝חֲשֵׁיכָ֗ה כָּאוֹרָֽה

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Joseph Turner | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jan 15 2014 11:34 AM

 This is all good information.  I would love to see what others do as well!

 

Bruce Dunning:

Integ:

One aspect of my highlighting is that I outline various parts of a book with highlighters. I have three highlighters set to do first, second, and third levels of  outlining like this:

Do you have specific definitions/rules that you use for each of these categories?

 

 I would also like to know the definitions of the levels.

 

Disclaimer:  I hate using messaging, texting, and email for real communication.  If anything that I type to you seems like anything other than humble and respectful, then I have not done a good job typing my thoughts.

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Brother Mark | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jan 15 2014 11:53 AM

Joseph Turner:

 do you mark?  Why?  and How?"

My strategy is deliberately simple and spartan:

1.  I highlight anything that strikes my fancy, impresses me deeply, or addresses some facet of my life that needs work.  I'm an equal opportunity highlighter in both Bibles and commentaries as well as non-versified monographs, etc.  I don't discriminate against any color in the available palette.... one might interpret that as not assigning any particular color to any particular theme.

2.  I do notes somewhat differently in that I use the note icon that looks like a sticky note, but colored purple with an exclamation point in it for sermon outlines from my pastor.  All of these are in a separate note file, and each preacher that I collect a sermon from gets their own note file, but all share the purple sticky note with the "!" icon which tells me at a glance that a sermon lives here.

3.  All books have their own note file, and all share the same default appearance of Logos note files.

"I read dead people..."

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Bruce Dunning | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jan 15 2014 11:55 AM

Geo Philips:
I used to do resource-specific highlighting but found it too unwieldy to maintain after some time. Now I just stick to palette-specific notes and use the search functions to find resource-specific annotations.

I find that it is totally the opposite for me. It is unwieldy to have palette-specific notes as they become totally mixed up for future reference. But to each their own.

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

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Bruce Dunning | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jan 15 2014 11:57 AM

John Goodman:

Yellow = Interesting

Blue = Critical to Mention

Green = Critical to their argument ie. a premise, discovery or piece of argument.

Red = I disagree with this

I like that. Thanks for sharing.

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

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BillS | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jan 15 2014 12:14 PM

John Goodman:

I use a file for each assignment or sermon.

Interesting idea! Today I create a Word file with copy/paste of all the research for each sermon, which I then highlight in Word. This may have possibilities to work for me, too. Thanks for sharing!

Grace & Peace,
Bill


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Levi Durfey | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jan 15 2014 1:45 PM

Bruce Dunning:

Do you have specific definitions/rules that you use for each of these categories?

It all depends on the book and the size of the section that I am highlighting. When I see a main or important point I highlight that in green. Then I highlight the sub points of that main point in orange. If there are sub-sub points, they get yellow. Here's a couple more examples:

—————————————————

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Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jan 15 2014 2:07 PM

Just adding another dimension, I try to maintain highlight schemes across my platforms.  And so, much is relative to the 'lowest common denominator' ... which is Kindle on my PaperWhite with a single easy color and 4 possibles in the iOS verson.  Then I designed the Libronix relative to 256/color in the VirtualBox and traced that into Logos5 for import if I want.

I do similar to the above posters; increment the color relative to the criticality of the statement.  I reserve one highlight for terrible logic flow (I think like MJ).


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George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jan 15 2014 3:02 PM

Joseph Turner:

I was reading something in another thread and something came up that I am curious about.  What is your strategy for using annotations/notes/mark-ups/highlighting when reading a book in Logos or other digital platforms?  I can't utilize these tools effectively because I don't have a standard system, so I am curious to know what others do.

I guess my basic question would be, "What do you mark?  Why?  and How?"

Regarding highlighting, I only highlight something for a temporary reason such as something I want to check after I've finished what I'm then doing.  Otherwise, I have one rule:  Just don't do it.  I do take notes which I generally organize on the basis of passages—e.g., Re 1 (entire chapter with separate entries for each verse or phrase).  Sometimes I will create a note file on a subject which is then linked to a note file (something on the order of an excursus).

george
gfsomsel

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

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Doc B | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 17 2014 10:07 AM

Joseph Turner:
What is your strategy for using annotations/notes/mark-ups/highlighting when reading a book in Logos or other digital platforms?

Joseph Turner:
I guess my basic question would be, "What do you mark?  Why?  and How?"

Joseph, that's a good question, and maybe more importantly, a useful question. This is an example of one of the things these forums ought to really be beneficial for, instead of asking for free books, etc. (another soap box I won't get on, now).

First, I would say that there probably isn't a 'best' way for more than a few folks at a time. Each of us will have preferences that won't make sense to most others. But even so, seeing original ideas on how to do these things always sparks the mind and helps give insight on better ways to do what we do with the software.

I don't have a formal system for what I DO highlight or mark. Perhaps more importantly, what I DON'T highlight might be more meaningful to this discussion. If I find material that I will probably want to access later, for a variety of reasons, I don't highlight it. Instead, I use the Clippings tool. It is a much better tool for saving bits of useful information, quotes, etc.

In my Bible(s), I have a simplified highlighting system, but it is designed to point out emphases rather than to be a way to retain information.

In my non-Bible resources, I will occasionally highlight interesting passages and tidbits, but with the searchability inherent in Logos, I find I don't need to highlight as much as I would without that feature. I can find things again by simple searches. One example where I did a bunch of highlighting was in reading Josephus. Any passage that seemed to be speaking directly about something in Revelation got highlighted for later comparison. I wanted these passages of Josephus' writings in the context of the book they are in rather than pulled out as clippings. I then added some notes to these passages about what I found when comparing them to Revelation.

Often, instead of simply highlighting something valuable, I'll pull it (or a link) out and put it in a note in one of my Bibles. Again, because of the interactive nature of Logos software, there are often better alternatives than highlighting (which is a process invented for people who had books on paper).

I know this wasn't a direct answer to your question, but hopefully gives some different thoughts to the whole process of using Logos as a study tool.

My thanks to the various MVPs. Without them Logos would have died early. They were the only real help available.

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David A Egolf | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 17 2014 10:30 AM

I had a business professor at ASU, Dr. Claude Olney, who developed  and marketed study systems for students. He contended that students were wrong with highlighting.  Everyone tends to highlight the points that they thought were important.  Instead, he said that you should highlight the things that caught you by surprise or that you didn't know.

I think maybe a separate palate for "surprises" might be in order.  The "important" stuff is good for a quick review, but the "surprises" are things you will want to locate later, as well.

For our type of reading things we "didn't know" many times fall into the category of things we need to hold in abeyance and check for later.  This also seems to be for a different palate which can be searched.

____________

So that my notes files are readable, I (1) copy the entire context of interesting material onto the clipboard, (2) highlight, as a note, the succinct blurb which will also become the title in the notes file, (3) paste the entire context into the note, and (4) add my own comments to the note.  This strategy also works well on mobile tablets.

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Bruce Dunning | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 17 2014 10:35 AM

David A Egolf:
I think maybe a separate palate for "surprises" might be in order. 

I like that idea. Thanks for sharing.

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

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Ward Walker | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 17 2014 7:53 PM

I am  a very intensive high-lighter.  my system isn't formal, but it is fairly consistent--although it has evolved over time, so I am constantly "updating" style.  It reaches it's zenith in Bible texts.

PENS:

Blue is North, or Greek.

Brown is Gentile

Gray is South or Israel

Green is happy/good

Orange is reference or disciples or church

Pink is caution

purple is God, also "the plan"

red is bad/evil/satan

yellow is general interest or key thought

EMPH

blue underline is used to tie together like things, but also is used for empire reference

bold is attention

single line box is words I didn't know and had to look up

doubleline is to tie together like points or indicate a progressive series

green underline is good

large text is verse reference or big point...or BEHOLD

newline is to make commentaries easier to read (lists)

fire is judgement

orange outline is apostles

orange wavy is to tie together key points

outline is to tie together key points

pencil is to show words in a theme

red underline is badness

shadow is to tie together key points

triple underline is to tie together key points or show a progression

yellow glow is numbered lists, key thought, or tie together

3blue is to tie together key thoughts and indicate empire

3jags is to tie together key points

biblical basis is to flag commentaries that seem to go loopy in places

blue outline ties together points

blue wavy ties together points or empires

brown jag is nearly always roman empire, but can also tie together points

brownoutline is Pail

brown wavy is tie together points or empire

clipped meant I had more self-generated notes

gray out is Saul (aka Paul)

green wavy is Lamb of God, or tie together points

Holy Act is something about God (attribute, act, etc)

line brown ties together

line light blue tie together

line light orange ties together

N Blue Dash is northern empire

Organce wavy ties together

pink under is false prophet

purplse is real prophet

purple out is Christ, or tie together

red glow is part of Ant. Ephipanes

red rippled is part of empire

S dash Gray is Southern Empire

single underline is Command or to indiacate beginning of progression

strikeblue traces Israel tribe by mom

strike brown traces Israel tibe by mom

strike light blue traces Israel tribe by mom/consort

strike light orange traces Israel tribe by mom/consort

time is time

typo is type that I have replorted

wavyblack is empire or tie together

wavy brown is family from mom

wavy dark blue is family from mom

wavy light blue is family from mom/consort

wavy light organge is family from mom/consort

wordstudy is an indicator to dig deeper into original lang

yellowish is Angel

kings bad, by North or South, or general King

Sick is a person who had issues and a miracle happened

---------------

I could go on, but you get the point...  hope it helps

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Ward Walker | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 17 2014 7:59 PM

here are examples of higlighting not in a bible:

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