Some Tool Comparisons

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This was originally prepared for Logos 4 by TC Black & Kevin Becker

John Fidel spent some time reviewing Mark Barnes video series on sermon preparation, and consequently put together a chart outlining what various tools (in Logos 4) are available to gather, save and retrieve information in Logos. The chart below outlines what each of these tools can and cannot do. Hopefully this chart will assist you in your selection and method for gathering information.

Here are the 5 tools available, not including Handouts followed by a chart that compares and contrasts them.
Note: current versions of Logos integrate Bookmarks with Favorites

Highlighting Bookmarks Clipping Notes Favorites
Highlight Yes No No Yes No
Retrievable No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Searchable Yes No Yes Yes No
Focus Resource Tool Tool Both Tool
Multi Resource No No No Yes No
Bibliographic Info No No Yes No No

Definition of terms:

  1. Highlight – can the tool highlight the resource?
  2. Retrievable – can you retrieve information using this tool?
  3. Searchable – do searches retrieve information from this tool?
  4. Focus – from where does this tool allow you to retrieve your information?
  5. Multi Resource – can this tool mark information in multiple resources such as various translations of the Bible?
  6. Bibliographic – is bibliographic information easily available?

From here a simple decision tree could be created asking the following questions:

  1. Do you want the information highlighted in the resource? If so, do you want to be able to search, retrieve of access this information? If yes, then notes, if no then highlighting.
  2. If you do not want to highlight the resource, then do you want to be able to search the information? If yes, then clipping or notes. Do you want to access the information from the tool or the resource? If resource, then notes, if tool then either. Do you want to have access to bibliographic information? If yes, then clipping.

Making a decision on which tool to use

In Summary:

  • Highlighting is for marking up biblical texts and accenting other resources that will draw attention the next time you are reading that text.
  • Bookmarks are for temporarily marking your place in a resource to come back to easily at a later date. This is not the best way to accumulate information on a subject or pericope.
  • Clippings are for retrieving subject specific information that provide a link back to the resource and bibliographic information. There will be no indication in the resources that there are clippings saved. I think clippings are better for gathering specific information directly from a resource as I usually do not want the text highlighted and do not need a reference from the text to the saved data.
  • Notes are very flexible and can be used for everything from highlighting to linking to information in resources. However, they are not always the best tool to use for such tasks depending on what is desired. As such I think notes are best used for organizing thoughts and taking short notes on the biblical text that you may want to be able to retrieve the next time you are reading that text. Any time you want to go from a resource to an idea or thought you had, notes is what you want to use.
  • Favorites are best used for organization of information as shown in Mark’s excellent video series on sermon preparation. It is where you can gather and organize your notes and clippings on a pericope or topic.

I do not have the sermon outline tool available from Logos. With that said, I still believe that the final product should be done in word processing software. It can be printed, retrieved and in most cases is in a format that can be transferred easily to other programs if required. Of course none of this is set in stone, and some of you may have other preferences. As long as you get deeper into God’s Word it really does not matter.

I hope this analysis, along with Mark’s videos provide you some good ideas for gathering, organizing and retrieving information collected in your study of God’s Word.

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