Without fail, every effective preacher that I have met has a certain method of organizing their research. There are many means available today, and there are many methods that preachers employ in their study life; but one thing that has greatly helped me is the ability to search the research!
Let me explain by using this recent experience. Pumpkins are everywhere during the harvest time of year. About one year ago, I was invited to speak at a youth event. During the course of this event, there was an activity where the students had to dig through a hollowed out pumpkin. Inside of this hollowed out pumpkin, the workers had added chicken noodle soup, pumpkin seeds and various other forms of slop. The teens had to dig through the slop and find coins that had been dropped into the pumpkin. Needless to say, it was difficult; and it was a mess. After much digging through slop, one team did manage to win by finding all of the money in their pumpkin.
Many leaders do a lot of research, but then they have to go through all of the research again so that they can organize the lesson or sermon to preach. Evernote has helped me to be able to do a lot of research, organize the research immediately, and be able to easily and effectively search the research later. For example, in preparation for a lesson, I may look into ten different resources. As I am going through the study, I can highlight text, take snapshots and immediately drop the shot into Evernote.
Once this is completely done, I can come back to that research note, perform a search [by word, date, tag, phrase], and easily find words, phrases, or whole notes that contain data pertinent to the lesson I am creating. Yes, photos and PDF’s become searchable documents within Evernote [Premium Users]. Oh, one of the best parts is that even my handwritten notes become searchable! More on that in a later post.
1. Inability to easily recall stored information makes the information useless.
2. Easily recalling information allows one to quickly create a compilation of notes with a common theme.
3. Search-ability allows you to have a one-stop shop for a lot of past study [many resources in one].
Either learn to use the technology or get rid of it. Today’s technology can help you to become more efficient, or it can simply become some kind of a time-waster. Keeping organized, searchable notes from all various sources can be a great help in your study life.