Have you ever heard of the app Evernote? Evernote is an app for capturing notes and ideas in print, voice and pictures, while keeping them organized and searchable. Evernote is an app that can supercharge your Bible study time!
I’ve used Evernote for several years–ever since purchasing my own laptop in my college days. Back then I mostly saved things in the app as an archive, but not anymore. Now, I use Evernote for Bible study and journaling most of all. Though I prefer writing by hand, the pros outweigh the cons in going digital!
Seven reasons to go digital with your Bible study time:
- Organize your notes by book of the Bible and topic–at the same time–using tags.
- Easily find and reference your notes via search or by viewing tags relevant to the Bible book, topic, event or date.
- Print and share your notes with others. Great for group study or when a friend asks a Bible question!
- Have all your notes with you without the bulk, no matter where you are–using your phone, tablet or computer. If needed, you can even login from someone else’s computer via the web version of Evernote.
- Utilize templates to save time and give you a starting point for staying focused.
- Create rich notes with bold, underlined and italicized text, as well as tables, checklists and numbered or bulleted lists.
- Save images with text that can be found via search, record audio notes, save clips of web pages, and attach files to your notes.
Interested in using Evernote for Bible study? Keep reading to find out how.
Getting Started with Evernote
Evernote is completely free, but does offer paid plans with extra features such as note version history and offline mobile access (note: the desktop app still includes offline access in the free plan). I use the free plan and find it to be enough for most everyone. Nonetheless, you can read details for each plan Evernote offers.
Before using Evernote, first download the app and create an account on the device of your choice. Using a computer to get started is faster, but Evernote also works with mobile phones and tablets. (Note: The free plan allows installation on up to two devices per account.)
Next you want to create some Notebooks.
Mac/Windows/Android: Choose the Notebooks tab in the menu on the left side and choose “+ New Notebook” (for Android, this menu slides out from the left).
iPhone/iPad: Choose the “Notes” tab and tap the “+” beside the Notebooks heading.
Notebook ideas for Bible study:
- Bible Study
- Reading Notes
- Saved Articles
- Sermon Notes
You can even organize notebooks into “stacks” to group a few together. This is a good choice for Christian Podcasts or Bible Classes you’re taking notes on, or perhaps categorizing saved articles and bookmarks if you have lots of them.
Organizing with Tags
Tags help categorize notes and find them more easily. In a sense, tags help create a hierarchy for notes like an index at the end of a book. With tags you can quickly search or filter tags to find all notes on a certain book, chapter, topic or event.
How to create tags:
- Create a new note.
- Add a bunch of tags you want to start with (see the suggestions below).
- When you’re done, you can delete the note you made; the tags will not be deleted.
Depending on your device, add tags by creating a new note and then:
Mac: Click the text that says “Click to add tags” at the top of the note.
Windows: Click the text that says “Add tag…” at the top of the note.
iPhone/iPad: Tap the info bubble (circle with the letter “i”) at the top right.
Android: Tap the tag button at the top of the note.
For Bible study, create tags such as:
- Bible book name (e.g. Genesis, Colossians)
- Bible book plus the chapter (e.g. Ephesians 4, 1 Corinthians 13)
- Topic, Bible character, parable name, etc. (e.g. Fruit of the Spirit, Parable of the Ten Virgins, Moses, Marriage, Prayer, God’s Sovereignty)
- Event Name, Class Name, Preacher/Ministry, or Group Name (e.g. Jones’ Bible Study Group, 2020 Marriage Seminar, New Testament Survey Class, Charles Stanley, In Touch Ministries, Verity Podcast)
Don’t forget to tag your notes as you create them. It will be more time-consuming to add tags later when you have tons of notes! Try to use 2-5 tags per note.
Templates are an excellent way to save time in Bible study by giving you a sort of outline to start with. You can use a specific format for your notes, depending on the plan or method of study.
Using your template note for Bible study:
On a mobile device: First tap the template note and then the three dots “. . .” and choose “Duplicate Note.” Be sure to select the Notebook you want the note to be saved in.
On a computer: Right click your template note (from within the Notes List) and choose “Copy Note to…”). Then save the note to the Notebook you want.
Next, start using your template as you study God’s Word!
Want to save even more time? Get free access to four ready-made templates for Evernote I created. Sign up for the IPFJ blog email list to get these Bible study freebies and more. (Signing up is free!)
1. If you haven’t already, setup Evernote to your liking using the tips above.
2. Create a new note for your current study time using a template or a blank note.
2. Tag your note with at least two tags: the book name (e.g. Ephesians) and the book name plus the chapter (e.g. Ephesians 4). If you have a topic, add that tag as well.
3. Select the notebook where you want to save the note (a default notebook will be auto-selected unless you change it.) Be sure to tap “Done” in the top right in the mobile app (sometimes my notes haven’t saved when I didn’t do this before jumping to another study app!)
4. Add the current date and Scripture address(es).
5. As you study God’s Word, start taking notes and journaling in Evernote!
I hope you enjoyed this article on using Evernote to supercharge your Bible study time. Feel free to ask questions, comment or contact me. Also, remember to signup for the email list to get four ready-made Evernote templates for Bible study.
Check out other posts in the Bible Study Tips Series.