May 09

New Feature: Export Your Notes as a PDF

Recently, we've done some work on the Study Journal.  You now have the ability to export your notes as a PDF.  When you first log in, look for this icon in the upper-right corner of your notes list:

Export Notes as PDF

You will get a message saying that your request has been sent, and that it will be emailed to you once the system is done generating it.

The PDF is divided into three sections.

Section One

The first section lists out your notes in order of the note number.  This allows you to quickly look up a note number, see the title, and see the main scripture to which it is linked, along with the main keyword with which you have tagged it.  This section is formatted in much the same manner as the note list you see when you first log into your Study Journal.  For example:

Example of Section One

Section Two

This is where the notes actually appear.  The notes appear in order of the LDS Edition of the Standard Works: Old Testament, New Testament, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and then The Pearl of Great Price.  Each note may have one or more scripture references attached to it.  To save space, the note only appears in its entirety at the primary scripture reference.  At all subsequent references, you are directed to take a look at the primary scripture reference.

For example, I have a note called "The Effects of the Atonement on the State of Man."  Its primary scripture reference is 2 Nephi 2:1–30.  So the full note appears there.  However, I also have this note linked to Genesis 2:17.  In the PDF, when I look up Genesis 2:17, I see this:

Subsequent Scripture References

This way, we don't include the entire note in every reference to which it is linked.  Otherwise, the PDF may be several times bigger than it needs to be.  This can be a problem if you like to print it out.

Section Three

This is where notes are organized according to the keywords with which you have tagged them.  You can see notes that have similar keywords.  Let's say I wanted to study "revelation."  I could open my PDF, go to the third section, and take a look at the entry for "revelation."  It looks like this:

Revelation Keyword Example

This is helpful if you want to see all the notes you have tagged with a particular keyword.  It comes in handy if you want to study a particular topic, or if you need to write a talk on a specific subject.

Hopefully, this makes using your Study Journal a little easier.  Keep in mind that you can print the PDF if you like to have it in your hand like a book.  You can also put it into your smartphone or tablet for easy reference.

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Mar 04

New Version Released!

We are pleased to announce that a new version of the study journal has been released.  Most of the updates had to do with notes not saving properly.  The note editor has also been updated.  A few other minor things were fixed as they were found.  If you would like a free LDS Scripture Study journal, claim yours at http://www.ldsscripturestudy.com/ .  We always welcome feedback!  Please let us know about your experience on our Contact Page.

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Mar 04

Feedback Available

That our users’ experiences are excellent makes up a great deal of how we designed our new Gospel Study Journal.  We are very interested to know our users’ feedback, thoughts, comments, and even requests once they’ve had a chance to create their own.  Take a moment to create your Study Journal.  Create a note or two, click around, and get a feel for how it works.  Then please let us know about your experience.  We want to know what features or functionality you’d like to see.  If something was unclear, please tell us.  Any other thoughts or comments are also welcome.  Our new feedback page is located here: http://www.ldsscripturestudy.com/contact/

We will continue to post updates on the development and new functionality as it becomes available.

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Feb 26

Gospel Study Journal – Now In Beta

After way too long, we are proud to announce the availability of our new online Study Journals.  We are currently in the testing phase.  We are looking for a few brave souls who are interested in creating their own, private online study journal (they’re free).  Then, we’d like for you to poke around to see how things work.  In a few days, we’ll have a way for folks to provide feedback.  Write us about things you’d like to see, things that don’t appear to work the way you’d like, and any other questions of comments you have for us.  If you’d like to have all of your study notes in a single place, drop by and create your own study journal.  We’d love to see you!

What is the study journal? http://www.ldsscripturestudy.com/the-study-journal/ explains the purpose of this site and what it can do for you.

Sign up at http://www.ldsscripturestudy.com/

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Feb 12

The Gospel Study Journal is Coming!

We are so thrilled to make available our upcoming Gospel Study Journal!  You will be able to link your entries together, or link them to scripture references or passages.  Entries can be tagged with keywords.  You may even include citations to other works in your entries.  This allows for non-conventional ways of studying and comparing related entries that you have written.  Eventually, you will be able to share study journal entries with others.

You will be able to search by keyword, scripture reference, or look at all entries attached to the one you have open.  You will also be able to print entries.  It becomes your own, personal, searchable knowledge base.  You can use it to reference any entry that you have ever written on any topic.

We’re working as fast as we can so that you will be able to create your free, private Gospel Study Journal and start using it soon!

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Jan 15

The Work Continues

Just about seven major events such as holidays and birthdays have taken up a bunch of time in the past two months.  It’s incredible how much time important things take up these days!
This past week we were working on some design mock-ups of how the Gospel Study Journal will look.  Though it is taking longer than expected, the design looks nice.  We want to provide something that is very simple to use, is visually appealing, and yet is able to do everything it is meant to.
Expect regular posts from now on, as the Christmas Holiday rush is now behind us.

Podcasts

I can’t wait to share with you some of the wonderfully uplifting and educational podcasts that I’ve been listening to on my way to and from work. I’ll write a post on the two that have been the most thought-provoking, educational, and inspirational in the next couple of posts.  It would be impossible to relate all of the new and wonderful things I have learned by listening to them.

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Nov 05

Gospel Study Journal – News (11/05/2012)

We have an update on the progress of the Gospel Study Journal!  We’ve been working our tails off to get the last parts of the study journal designed and put into place.  We’re almost ready to make it available to folks who want to experience a brand new way to study the Gospel.  We are thrilled to make this available!

After the study journal is made available, we would like to put together a separate section.  Using this section, users can request that we add certain features or tools to the study journal.  Additionally, you’ll have the ability to vote for those features or tools that you really want added.  Then, each time we are ready to add new things to the study journal, we’ll take a look at what has the most votes.  That way, we’re adding the things that you want.

For more details on the journal we’re referring to, see “The Gospel Study Journal.”

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Oct 23

Exciting New Technology Coming Soon!

As Latter-day Saints, we diligently strive to gain a mastery of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There is no more important body of knowledge to apply to ourselves as human beings. Consider the following quotation of Elder Boyd K. Packer:

“True doctrine, understood, changes attitudes and behavior. The study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior…. That is why we stress so forcefully the study of the doctrines of the gospel” (Elder Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, Nov. 1986, p. 17).

We find that this proposition is based upon scripture:

“And now, as the preaching of the word had a great tendency to lead the people to do that which was just–yea, it had had more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword, or anything else, which had happened unto them–therefore Alma thought it was expedient that they should try the virtue of the word of God.” – Alma 31:5

My life is a testament to the soundness of this principle. As I spend time straining to understand the Gospel, studying and pondering the Scriptures, and writing down things that come to my mind, my very core behaviors change. If only slowly, my own perceptions of myself and the world around me become more positive.

The purpose of Gospel Study Journal is to enhance Gospel study and further Gospel scholarship through technology. This will be accomplished primarily with a specially-designed Gospel Study Journal. There is no cost to you should you decide to create one. Your entries are your own, and are kept private.

As you study the Gospel, you may have inspiration that you wish to write down. Even while doing completely unrelated things, impressions may come to you. You may have an experience that you may wish to record. This Study Journal will offer to you a central location to record all such notes, thoughts, and impressions.

In addition, the study journal will allow you to:

  • link together entries that are related.
  • tag entries with keywords describing the content.
  • link related scripture passages to your entries for easy reference in the future.
  • include relevant citations to other uplifting books that are not in the Standard Works.

As I have spent a great deal of time considering different scripture marking systems, some of them seem to have certain drawbacks, for example:

  • Scriptures wear out – Over time as you mark your scriptures, they begin to look tattered and become difficult to read. There is no longer room for new notes.
  • Lost scriptures mean lost notes – Should you lose your set of scriptures, all of your notes are lost, too.
  • Storage and Retrieval of Thoughts – How many times do you say, “Now, where did I mark that thought or idea?” Many systems fail to provide a good way to retrieve thoughts.
  • Difficult to share with others – Sharing thoughts and notes isn’t as easy as handing them a copy.
  • Forgetfulness – To save space, we sometimes use symbols to mark our scriptures. This means we have to remember what the symbols mean. We run the risk of forgetting what we wrote down.
  • Skew of Meaning – Let’s say you write a thought out to the side of a verse that touched your heart one day. The next time you read through that passage, you may see that note and mistakenly tell yourself, “I already know the meaning of that verse.” This is more common than you might think, and you may not even realize it’s happening. The idea is to have a clean slate where you are able to receive continued revelation, even on verses you may have read many times.
  • Either too much or not enough structure – With many systems, you are either told exactly how to use the system, and it is in a rigid format (such as a book). The huge drawback with books are that they are linear. You read them front to back, and cannot access many pages or pieces of pages at once. You are tied into the structure of the book and cannot move things around as you want.

The Study Journal offered on this site will overcome all of these problems. You will be able to link journal entries to each other, tag them with keywords, link them to scripture passages, or even add citations from other books into your notes, among other things. The benefit of an immersive, intensive study of the Gospel is a tendency towards self-improvement. These are all things that have contributed to the creation of this site.

A preliminary version of the Gospel Study Journal will be available on http://www.ldsscripturestudy.com/ very soon. We will keep you posted on the progress!

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Oct 15

Study Journal Progress

Studying the Gospel has been important to me for a long time.  The system hosted here has also been available for a number of years.  I’m re-writing it so that it is usable for everyone, and not just myself.  We’re making progress.

The Gospel Study Journal has all of the mechanics for doing what it needs to, but it isn’t quite polished.  That’s what the new version is all about.  So far, it displays about 25 entries per page.  The entries alternate colors so that it’s easy to view.  I have paging buttons to move through your collection of entries. I have a rudimentary search available.

My focus is making it as easy to use as possible.  This enables just about anyone to study the gospel in a simple and easy way.  In future releases, I would love to have localization set up so that we can translate it for folks who may not speak English.

Although the progress is slow, it’s coming along nicely.  It is worlds better than what is available now.  Subscribe to the RSS feed to keep appraised of progress on the new version of the Gospel Study Journal.

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