Whether you’re interested in scripture journaling, recording your personal history, or archiving motivational quotes and ideas, Gospel Library and lds.org Notes can do it! In fact, they can easily do all three at the same time! And you can instantly access both from either your computer or your hand-held devices! Here is how it works in each program, followed by some ideas.

How to Add a New Journal Entry

Both the app and LDS.org allow you to add journal entries, and there are multiple places this can be done.You can start a new journal entry on LDS.org or within Gospel Library by going to the Notes section. The Notes section can be found on the Gospel Library app if you click on “Notes” from the app home screen (see the left-hand screenshot above). It will take you to a list of all the Notebooks you’ve created (see the middle screenshot above). A Notebook is a collection of highlights/notes grouped together. From this screen you can create a new notebook and give it a name by tapping on the plus sign in the lower right-hand corner. You could then create a note within that notebook (or any of your existing notebooks) by tapping on the notebook you wish to add to. You will then see a list of all the notes inside that notebook (see the right-hand screenshot above), and the plus sign at the bottom of this screen will allow you to create a new note.

If you’ve made a note before and you’re not sure what notebook it could be in, navigate to the list of notebooks (see the middle screenshot above) and select the “all” tab instead of the “notebook” tab. For more information about how to search your notes, check out our blog on Searching Saved Notes

On LDS.org, Notebooks and entries are also easy to access. Click on “My Account and Ward” in the top right-hand corner. Click on “Notes” under the heading “My Account.” It will ask you to log in, if you haven’t already, and then you will see all the Notebooks you’ve made, all the journal entries, notes, highlights, and links you’ve saved, and all your tags. You will see 4 icons on the left side of the screen. The first looks like two sheets of paper, and if you select it you will see all your notes. The next looks like a tag and selecting it will show you all your tags and how many times you’ve used them. The third is the notebook icon and selecting it will show you a list of all your notebooks. The final icon allows you to search your notes. If you select the notebook icon, and then select one of the notebooks appearing in a list below, then you will see a list of all the notes saved into that notebook. You will also see a new icon appear to the right of the notebook title (see the image below). This icon looks like a pencil to paper and if you click here you may create a new note within that notebook.

When studying scriptures, talks, or manuals online a new journal entry can be started by highlighting a section of text you wish to comment on, and clicking on Add Note/Tag in the black bubble that appears after you highlight. This option only appears if you are logged in. If you are not signed in the black bar menu will have a link to sign in. Don’t forget to select a notebook for your note, or it will be considered an “unassigned item” and will only be visible under the “all notes” icon.

Organization Ideas

The Gospel Library and lds.org are designed to function a lot like the various systems in place before the digital age. For instance, I organize my notebooks like this:

  1. Personal Study: This notebook holds almost all of my notes. I use tags to organize my notes by topic, mostly because a note can have many tags, but it can only be associated with one notebook.
  2. Other Sources: This notebook holds all quotes from sources outside of Gospel Library. Sometimes I find spiritual truths in fiction and non-fiction that isn’t affiliated with the Church. I like tag these quotes and save them, but I do so in a notebook designated for them.
  3. Journal: Here I write down and save accounts of spiritual experiences I’ve had. Once again, it is extremely useful for me to save them here because I can tag them. I tag all my mission memories with the tag “mission,” for instance. I also tag them for content. So say I record something about gratitude and give it the tag “gratitude,” then later on when I’m asked to give a talk on gratitude, I can just look up the tag gratitude and all the scriptures, stories, and quotes I’ve saved on the subject will come up.
  4. Patriarchal Blessing: That’s right. I broke my Patriarchal Blessing down into verses and then I digitized it. (I’ve never heard anybody say I couldn’t!) I wanted to be able to reference it more easily. I also wanted to cross-reference it using tags.
  5. Lesson References: One of the difficult things about using a phone instead of physical materials when you give a lesson is that it can take time jumping back and forth between scripture references and manuals. One way to address this is by organizing a notebook especially for your lesson plans. You can save exactly what you want to use, in the order you want to use it. Then, if you want, you can delete all the notes from that lesson after your lesson is over.

Got any other ideas for how to use notebooks? Leave us a comment! We’d love to hear them.

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