When I carried a physical bible to church and take notes on the sermon insert in the bulletin, those notes would get stuck in the bible each week. While I would review some in the coming weeks, many would fall out and be lost forever. I transitioned to taking digital notes and trying to categorize them by Scripture and Topic, but even that meant remembering what I was looking for. Then I discovered how to use YouVersion Notes for these and my studies changed. First, if you haven’t downloaded YouVersion, do it now!
YouVersion Notes in your bible study
As I go through my bible reading plan, when I see something highlighted or I am looking for insights on a particular scripture, I will highlight it and search related content. When I look for “Related” content it shows me two types of content, my notes (“Me”) and community (“Community”) content. The related content search will take me right to my notes and let me review now years of bible study and sermon notes.
So, how do you get started building the content that will bless you for years? Thankfully, since December Harvest has been making it easier to take digital notes through YouVersion Events. Let’s talk about how to use YouVersion Events…
Using YouVersion Events
YouVersion Events are a simple way for our church to provide the content that normally is displayed on slides in a digital format. We are able to put images, text, bible references, and more all in one set of notes. While they sometimes appear on the homepage of YouVersion when you launch them, the first thing is reliably finding these events. To find them every time click on More -> Events. Events will show you a map with pins where new events exist and your GPS location in the “Discover” tab. In the “Saved Events” tab, all of the event content you have saved will remain. Harvest sermons are kept live for 3 days, so these notes are accessible any time during those days. Tap on the Harvest Raleigh event and you will see our sermon notes.
At the upper right of the event is a Save button. Save it and the content will remain in your YouVersion account. The sermon notes are generally a mix of text and scripture references. The scripture references are embedded inline, so no need to look them up. If you want you can launch into the book and chapter from there and understand more of the context during the sermon.
While listening to the sermon, you can actively take notes. Each block of information in the YouVersion event has a “Add Notes” action where you can embed your personal notes. Once you add notes, you can edit the notes as well. These stay in the Saved Event details and can be referenced later as you wish.
Creating a Note from your Event
Hopefully one day the following steps will be unnecessary (yes I contacted YouVersion with my feature request) but right now there is no tie between the notes you took on an event and the scripture you are reading. So, here are the steps I go through at the end of each sermon to attach my sermon notes to scripture. (Some may be iPhone specific steps)
1. Export and copy the event content
First, I go into the saved event notes. At the bottom of that page, there is a Share button. Clicking the Share button exposes an option to “Export Event Contents.” That then gives me the option to “Copy”
2. Locate scripture and create a note
Next I go and locate the primary scripture we are going through that week. So, I go to Read on the main YouVersion menu and look up the scripture. After highlighting the scripture, I click Note. This creates a Note that I can paste in my exported event content. At the top of the note I can also choose to highlight that scripture and add other scriptures. If I pick a color, the rainbow palette turns into the color I selected in the upper left. Clicking the plus sign in the upper right will let me add more scriptures. You can also select to make notes Private, available for just your YouVersion friends, or publicly available so anyone will see them when searching “Community” related content. Then, finally, I can click “Save” (for Private Notes) or “Publish” (for Public Notes).
Once you have clicked Save or Publish, this content will be available to search via the Related tab as we discussed before.
I hope this helps other get further into studying scripture while reading the bible and reduces the amount of lost insights we have into scripture in our lives! Let us know if you have any questions.