This post is part of my Digital Scripture Study series.

One of my major stumbling blocks to scripture study (because I am OCD) is setting up my system.  What tabs go in my study journal?  Should I study by topic, by question, by or book of scripture?  What if a study session has more than one topic?  Or what if I study a topic as a question in a book of scripture?  Maybe you can relate.  Maybe you just think I’m crazy.

If you can relate, this post is going to be mind-boggling for you.  If you think I’m crazy, just go look at pictures of my cute children, which I posted a few minutes ago.

This is a feature that is only on the desktop and iPad version of Gospel Library, and not the Android phone.  (I don’t know about the iPhone or Android tablet. Feel free to enlighten me in the comments.)

When I tag, highlight, link, or make notes on content in the gospel library, I can put it in a notebook.  I can even put it in more than one notebook.  These are my notebooks:

  • Sunday School (I love to study the lesson before class.  Someday, instead of wrangling Peter, I’ll be able to pull out my notes and have more insightful things to say.)
  • Relief Society (Same here.)
  • General Conference (Journal entries created during sessions)
  • Chronological (Studying previous sessions of General Conference, reading books of scripture from beginning to end, and reading the Ensign every month.)
  • Journal (They say not to migrate your journal over to LDS.org because it doesn’t have full journal functionality yet.  I hope it will someday be like LDSjournal.  So someday this notebook will be more important.  Until then, it is a place to collect thoughts and feelings that are not connected to a certain verse or paragraph.  I currently use Evernote.com for my journal.)
  • Personal Progress (This isn’t the Young Women program.  It could be, and someday it will be.  Until Heidi is in Young Women’s, or I get a calling there, it is where I store annotations related to areas I am trying to improve in.  This is my thickest notebook.  So to speak.)
  • Questions (I have one entry for each of my questions.  The question is in the title field and I write my notes and conclusion in the body of the note.
  • To Do (Similar to questions. In here, I have, Watch Women’s Conference, Watch Education Week, Watch BYU Devotionals.  I just found the devotionals from BYU-Idaho and BYU-Hawaii, too. I’ll put things here like, “Search the standard works for mentions of light,” or “Study all the Women in the Scriptures.”  Please comment with other interesting scripture study activities.)

On the iPad: Two ways to do this. Highlight text. Tap the arrow coming out of the box. Then tap Notebook. This copies the text and pastes it into a new note in your notebook. It does not carry any reference or format information; it is just text.

The other way is to make a real annotation, which preserves the reference and format, then organize it when you get on your desktop computer.  This is a bit clunky.  If you regularly clean up your notebooks with the desktop version of Gospel Library, it won’t get out of hand.  This periodic organization is the price I pay for organization that makes sense for me.

On the desktop: Go to LDS.org, At the top right, click Sign In/Tools, then click Notes and Journal. Sign in, and see your cute notebook setup that some guy in a cubicle worked so hard to design for you. Add your notebooks, then categorize your Unassigned items.  Strive to keep 0 unassigned items in your notebooks.

I’ve seriously struggled for years on how to organize my study journal, and so the study notebooks feature of the Gospel Library app is beautiful to me.