Want to organize your notes? It can be a big task, especially if you’ve been note-taking for years without much of a structure. Below is a video and some instructions on how I like to structure my notes. As an example, I’m showing you how to organize notes you take during sermons—but the steps can be applied in other ways.

GO TO NOTES TO ORGANIZE YOUR NOTES

First step of organizing your notes is… opening up your notes. Big surprise there!

ADD SERMON CATEGORY

Categories are my best friend. Again, calling it “sermons” is just my example. You could call it “My Notes on Matthew,” “SOAP Studies,” “Unanswered Prayers,” or “Grocery Lists.” Although, we don’t recommend keeping your grocery lists in the app. There’s probably a better app for those types of notes.

ADD SERMON SERIES CATEGORY

If categories are my BF then subcategories are my BFFL (best friend for life… if you don’t get 2000’s text lingo).

One way to stay organized is to make folders than take you from very broad topics to narrow topics. In the example, I use subcategories to delineate different sermon series that I have heard.

ADD NOTE (title it content)

Inside the sermon series subcategory, I add notes. Make sure to title them something obvious-sounding. You want to be able to read the title and know exactly what is inside the note later.

ADD A TAG

Tags are unsung heroes. You can create and add tags to notes—but why? So that later you can search for information about a certain topic and we can show you resources AND notes that discuss what you’re looking for.

FUN FACT: OPEN YOUR BIBLE THROUGH YOUR NOTES

My favorite feature of our notes: hyperlinked verses. Just type a verse reference and.. WHAM! You can tap the hyperlinked verse just like you do in resources all the time. So much power.

One creative way I have used this is when I’m going to read several passages of Scripture aloud. I don’t necessarily save this note for later use, but in the moment, it’s super helpful to have all the passages you need to access right there.

USE CUSTOM ICONS

There are two ways to make notes in our app: in the notes section and in a resource.

So, if you’re taking notes in your Bible, and it’s on a Sunday morning, you can add a pulpit icon to your note. Later, when you’re reading on your own, use a heart icon to mark a note you make about God’s love. There are tons of icons (and different colors!) and you can apply them as you see fit.

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.”

15 Comments

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

    • Cierra Klatt Reply

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

  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 Reply

      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 Reply

    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 Reply

      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 Reply

      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 Reply

      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!

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