How I Use Evernote for Preaching

If there’s one program I can’t see myself without, it’s Evernote. I’ve been using it for a couple of years now and I love it. So now you’re wondering what in the world is it.

Think of it like a digital filing cabinet. The drawers are called “Notebooks” and the individual folders are called “Notes”. This is where Evernote takes it a step further. You can also add “Tags” to your notes to help you categorize your notes and find them faster.

I recently changed my file management system similar to what Michael Hyatt recommends. He also has many blog posts about how to maximize Evernote that you can search for here.

So what about preaching? I file my preaching this way. I go to Tags, the click .what —> .ministry —> .speaking. I used a period in front of them to help with searching the tags more easily. I don’t actually use these tags, they’re just to help with organizing.

Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 9.28.22 AM

Under .speaking I have three more tags: bible books, illustration, and message.

  • “Bible books” is actually another category, and under that tag I literally have 66 other tags, one for each book of the bible.
  • “Illustrations” is if there’s ever an article I read, story I hear of, joke I’m told, picture I find, etc. I save it to an Evernote note and then tag it with “illustration.”
  • “Message” is for one of my sermons I’m creating. I only use it for mine, and I’ll use a different tag if I’m taking notes from another preacher.

When I’m creating a message I open a new note and then tag it with “message” and also from which book of the bible I’m preaching. This does a couple of things because if I ever want to look at messages I’ve done, I go to Tags, find “message”, double-click, and all the notes tagged with that tag appear. I can search through all my sermons instantly and quickly. But say I want to use a devotion I did from Romans? I just find the tag “romans” under “bible books” and Ta-Da! All my sermons from the book of Romans.

Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 9.29.34 AM

When crafting a sermon, I use a single note. I don’t have a refined process I use for preaching, but I go through phases. I’ll study the context of a passage, take notes from my own reading, take notes from different commentaries, etc. Each phase I work through get’s its own section in that note.

When I’ve made my outline in a separate word processor, I’ll save a PDF of that sermon in the note in Evernote. That way, I have all my research, notes, prep, and actual sermon in one place.

How do you use Evernote for prepping a message? Do you use a different program? Tell me about it, because I’d love to hear what you’re using. 

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