Notes are an essential part of Bible study. Typing out your thoughts will help you remember what you learn β€” and if you don’t remember, you can go back and look. Since note taking is incredibly important, we’ve given it priority in the Olive Tree Bible App. There are many ways to access your notes and create new ones. Plus, you can customize and organize them the way you like. We’ll cover all this and more in this post.

Taking Notes

First, let’s cover the types of notes you can take.

Verse-based Notes

Tapping a verse reference number will allow you to create a note in the Bible text. When you do so, a new icon will appear after the reference number. This way, whenever you are reading this same passage of Scripture, you are reminded of the note.

verse-based note in the olive tree bible app

When you create a note in this way, you are able to see the icon across all your Bible translations. The Resource Guide will also show you these notes when you are open to the related passage.

Why would the Resource Guide show me notes when the icon is in the text? Because, if you want, you can hide the note icons!
Keep reading this post to find out how.

Word-based Notes

You can also create a note by selecting text β€” Bible text or an ebook of any kind. However, when you create a note this way, the icon will not appear across Bible translations.

word-based note in the olive tree bible app

Category-based Notes

First, you can categorize the other two types of notes described above. We’ll get into how to add and edit categories later. But for now, just know that you can create notes about any topic you want, unrelated to the text you’re reading. No icon needed.

To do so, open up all your notes. You can either open the Study Center and select the Notes tab, or open the main menu and tap on Notes.

note tab of the study center

Using the Study Center to take notes is super useful while reading. Doing so lets you read and jot down your ideas simultaneously.

Note Settings

Now you’re ready to learn about making notes work for you. The simplest settings can be changed by tapping the menu in the top-right corner of an open note.

Here, you’ll find five actions you can take.

  1. Delete Note
  2. Change Category
  3. Change Icon
  4. Full Screen
  5. Share
note settings

There are also a few more advanced settings located in the obviously named “advanced settings” section of the app. You can get there by tapping the gear icon at the top of the app, and then selecting “advanced settings.”

From here, you can change the font settings for your notes. Or, tap on “Display” to hide your note icons.

Organizing Notes with Categories

Whether you open your notes through the Study Center or main menu, you should see a button labeled “Add Category”. Doing so will create a folder that you can name any way you’d like. Also, you can create parent categories to stay even more organized.

organizing notes in the olive tree bible app

We think a video example explains this feature best. Watch the short video below to see how we use the app for prayer journaling.

If videos aren’t your thing, here’s the skinny. You can use note categories for all kinds of fun things: sermon series, prayer journaling, month-by-month. Creating an organized system at the beginning will take you far.

However, there is a secondary organizational system you can use: tags. So, in the video, we organized our prayers by month. But then we used tags to say organize by prayer type: petition, thanksgiving, answered, unanswered, etc.

tags

Hopefully, this example inspires you to come up with a system of your own!

One Final Tip

Before we send you on your way to becoming a note-taking fiend, here is one last bit of info. When you are writing a note, trying writing a verse reference… like John 1:1. Finish the note and reopen it. You will see the text turn into a hyperlink. Try tapping on it!

verse references hyperlinking in notes in the olive tree bible app

This feature is super useful if you are going to give a sermon or presentation.

Start Making Notes in the Olive Tree Bible App!

Alright, alright! Now that you are equipped with everything you need to know, we hope you start taking notes every time you think of it. Future you will be glad you did. If you haven’t already, download the Olive Tree Bible App and start note-taking today.

27 Comments

  1. Onesimoes

    I can create subcategories on my Windows laptop, but can’t change an excisting category into a subcategory.

    • Cierra Klatt

      My suggestion would be to create a subcategory and then move your notes from the category to subcategory – and re-name the category. πŸ™‚

  2. Please add an in app way to name your icons. I use the icons to distinguish what kind of note but forget sometimes which color means what. Kinda like the highlighting which I love to quickly see a grammatical, language, or historical issue I need to remember when studying.

  3. How do I organize my notes on Windows PC to start from the latest?

  4. Is there a way that my personal verse notes can scroll contextualized with the text I am reading; similar to how a Resource scrolls with the text?

  5. How do i add an icon to the txt of the Bible to indicate I added a note?

    I knew how to do that on my Palm PDA

    • Cierra Loux

      If you make the note within the Bible text, there will always be an icon! Tap the verse reference to tag the note across all of your translations, or select the text by hand to make it translation-specific. In both situations, you can tap “note.” Then, if you want to change the icon, tap the menu button up the top-right corner of the note. Select “change icon.”

  6. Carolyn Stonehouse

    My guess is I’m just missing it but is there a way to move notes from one folder to another? My organization system is growing (thanks to articles like this one!) but I can’t seem to figure out how to do it (on the desktop version.) Thanks!

    • Cierra Loux

      Hey, Carolyn! I’m not sure if you’re talking about the new Windows app or the Mac app, so, I’ll give both. On Mac, when you have a note open, there is a drop-down menu at the bottom of the note window that says “uncategorized” or whichever category is selected. You can change the category there. In the Windows app, you can open a note and tap the “…” button to see a menu. One of the options is “change category.” You can also open the main window in the app (top left) and select notes. Then tap “edit” in the top right hand corner. You can select individual notes and then move them to a new category by selecting “move.” I hope this helps! If you have more questions, please email support@olivetree.com.

  7. Olive Tree notes is so simplistic it’s almost laughable. I would be great if the developers would incorporate basic functions such as the ability to change fonts and font styles (bold, italic, underline) and font colors … functions that are incorporated in even the most basic of text editors. It would also be great if the developers would merge the creation of notes and highlighting together … so that I could highlight a passage and take a note on it in one window … instead of having to create a separate highlight and note. Just some suggestions.

  8. I love using notes, but often find that I am switching between Bible translations and, unfortunately, my notes aren’t showing up across translations. This means that I never know what I might be missing when I am reading. Is there a way to make a verse note in one translation and then have that note icon show up across all translations? It seems to me that if I am adding the note directly to the verse number, the note should show up in whatever translation I open up.

    • Cierra Loux

      Hi, Kara! Yes, you can make notes appear across translations by attaching them to a verse number when you recreate. Tap on a verse number (do not select text) in your Bible text and then tap Note. If you follow these steps, but for some reason still find yourself in the same situation, please email support@olivetree.com. Let them know which Bible translations you are looking at with this issue.

  9. I am organizing my notes, is there a way to move several notes from category to another without doing one at a time? I have about 70 notes in the root that need to go into folders.

    • Cierra Loux

      Frank – There isn’t, sorry! But if you are using an iPhone, you can long-press on a note and drag it into a folder. I hope this is helpful!

  10. Bob Measures

    Is there a way to backup my notes on my computer? I guess I’m just old-fashioned.

    • Cierra Loux

      Hey, Bob! We don’t have a way for you to store notes on your computer locally. However, if you have an Olive Tree account, we take really good care to make sure your notes are backed up on our servers for safe-keeping. Hope this helps! You can always email support@olivetree.com if you have more in-depth questions.

  11. Daniel I

    Is there a way to link a categorized note to one or more verses and vice versa? That is, make a category note show up as one or more verse notes and verse notes be placed in a specific category folder? I currently use the app on an Android device but I have used it on various devices, including PalmOS back in 2000!

  12. Cierra Loux

    Hey, Daniel! When you tap on a verse reference and make a note, select the menu icon in the top-right corner. Then select change category. You can also make changes to all your notes by selecting the main menu in the top-left corner. Then once you get to a note you’d like to adjust, select the menu icon again in the top-right corner of the note.

    Notes that are not tied to a verse reference initially can not be later tied to a verse. Also, notes cannot be tied to multiple verses. Hope this helps!

  13. akila alles

    i have been using my i pad – many notes – and today its not showing on the verses or places i put them – all notes have gone … urgently need help…

    they are how ever visible on the notes in the tool bar…
    akilalles@gmail.com
    +94773104181

    • Monty Galloway

      Hello,

      I am sorry that you are experiencing this problem. Please email our support team at support@olivetree.com and one of our support team members will be able to help with this.

  14. Can I print my notes that I have taken within the Bible study app?

    • Monty Galloway

      Hi Sherilyn,

      We do not have a direct print feature. However, you can copy and past your notes into your preferred word processor and print from there. If you have any questions about this, please email us at support@olivetree.com.

  15. Can I download all my notes? That is, can I download all the notes I have made in the app? Thanks. Peter. Scotland.

  16. Hi,
    I have two questions.
    1. I add notes to many scriptures and I like to keep the scriptures in the left hand window and my notes in the right hand window, But the notes do not synch with the scripture window. Is there a way to do this?

    My wife would like a way to have her notes along with the scriptures. Like a journaling/note taking Bible where each page of scripture has a blank page for notes. Is there a way to do that?

    • Michael Potter

      Hi Terry. I don’t think I fully understand your question, but I do know that if it’s possible, our support team will know how it’s done. Go ahead and reach out to them at support@olivetree.com. God bless!