How To Take E-Notes

We’ve been highlighting features for digitally studying Bibles and in this post I wanted to touch on note-taking. Admittedly, everyone has their own method of taking notes. I personally love outlines. Others need to record jottings of whatever stood out to them. Yet others need to record entire messages as mp3’s and use those as their go-to-guide. I’ve been highlighting tools that can be used for bible study and I wanted to list a few for taking notes during the entire process.

Basically all you’re doing is storing the information you’re discovering in a format that is easy to come back to at a later date. You’ll want that information to be accessible wherever you need it and that means preferably using some form of cloud storage. And yet, you want to be able to take robust notes without sacrificing quality just so that you can save online.

  • Online: A rough and dirty tool is your email program. If you’re using something like Gmail you can just open up an email and send it to yourself. But if you’re already using Gmail, just launch Google Docs which is pretty fantastic. It has the ability to do word processing, spreadsheets, and even presentations all for free. I don’t like how it is super easy to get disorganized so you have to make sure you’re using the folders feature, but even then, it’s just a laundry list of folders. I guess it doesn’t matter since it’s all backed with the power of Google’s search engine to find your file. Microsoft also has their SkyDrive, which is also free. Microsoft has freely downloadable tools that you can put on your computer for saving to the SkyDrive; with Google you’ll have to change a setting that lets you access Docs offline.
  • Freeish: There’s actually some great outright free tools that you can use for note taking and cloud storage so that you can access the things all the time. OpenOffice is a fantastic suite of office applications that can be used on multiple platforms AND it can read Microsoft files. Did I mention it’s free? You can also download something like or Dropbox so that you can back up your notes to the web for accessing wherever you may be at a later point.
  • Not-Free: Apple has their iLife suite which is pretty nice and Windows 7 usually ships with the Windows Live software which integrates with that Live Documents thing I mentioned above but both of these are outshined by the sheer power that is Microsoft Office. It is frankly unsurprising that this is the go-to tool for word processing, spreadsheets and presentations. If you’re going to pay for any type of word processor, this should be it.

Cross-posted at Digital Sojourner

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