How can I journal with Verbum Notes?

Many people find keeping a written journal a really helpful way of thinking about what is going on, recording and reflecting on what has happened, remembering answers to prayer, and much more. This article explores how you can use Verbum Notes to do this and outlines some of the features that can enhance the process.

Before reading through this article, it would be useful to have a general familiarity with the Notes Tool. If you are not already familiar with it, please visit the Notes article before continuing.


Basic Process

At its simplest, to set up the journal you need to create a Verbum Notebook and then create a new Note for each journal entry.

  1. Open the Notes Tool from the Notes menu.

    Notes Tool
  2. Create a new Notebook and title it My Journal.

    To do this, switch to the Notebooks tab, click the Plus icon icon, and enter the title.

    Add Notebook

  3. Scroll down to your new notebook and select it.
    My Journal

    Note that this now shows as the live Notebook at the top of the Tool as well as renaming the Notes Tool tab itself to show that there is an active Notebook.
    Active Notebook
  4. Create your first journal entry.

    To do this, click the filters icon Filter Icon
(Logos) icon to switch back to the Filters view, and click New note to create a blank note, ready for your first journal entry.
    New Note
    If you wish, change the Note icon and Highlight Style settings:
    Highlight Style

    As these notes are not (currently) linked to any resource, it makes sense to set both of these parameters to None. Enter the content for this entry - as shown in the example below:
    First Entry

    Note that I’ve used bold text for the entry header but you can format the text as you wish.
  5. Add additional journal entries for each day.
    Recent Entry

    You can sort the entries in a number of ways and, for this type of application, sorting by creation date is ideal.
    Sort Entries

    Selecting this causes the most recent journal entry to appear at the top of the Notebook.
    Recent at top

    Then, whenever you want to refer back to a journal entry you can scroll through the list of notes.

Enhancing the Process

Having established the basic approach, there are a number of things you can do to make the journaling process richer. These include:


Anchoring each note to a specific date

The process outlined above included manually adding the journal date to each entry. An alternative is to anchor the note to a date. This can be done by using a resource with an inbuilt calendar such as a daily devotional.

To find such a resource, open your Library and filter by Calendar Devotional. Then click one to open it.

Calendar Devotional


Note that the resource is tagged with the current date.

Now, go back to the Notes Tool and click New note.

New Note


The note is automatically created with an anchor specifying the date. This is a much simpler way of specifying the date for the entry.


Using a Journal Template

If you want each journal entry to have a consistent format, or at least to start in that way, it is worth setting up a template that you can replicate for each entry.

To do this, open another instance of the Notes Tool, create a new Notebook called Templates and select it. Then, create a note in that Notebook and enter the general layout you want to use in your journal entries.

Journal Template 1


Now, copy that text and paste it into a note back in your journal notebook.

Journal Template 2


Repeat this process for each day to provide that standard format.


Including Text from Resources in Your Journal Entries

You might want to keep your journal entries entirely for your own ideas, but you might also find it useful to copy in small portions of your Verbum resources.

To do this, copy a portion of text and then paste it into the journal entry:

Text from Resource


In addition to pasting the actual text, Verbum also places a link in the Note so that you can easily get back to the resource.


Linking to Documents

Alternatively, instead of copying information from a resource, you might find it helpful to create a link to Docs you have created previously in Verbum. For example, you might have created a Passage List and want to link out to it in one of your journal entries.

With your Passage List open, click Kebab
Vertical icon to open the Panel Menu, and then select Copy location as URL.

Copy Location As


Then add that link to a section of text in your journal entry:



Click Save to complete the link:

Save Link


Now that text in your journal entry is linked to the Passage List, you can click it to open your passage list directly:

Open Passage List


Link to a diagram in the Canvas tool

You might want to include your thoughts on a Bible passage in a journal entry, and choose to do that as some form of diagram. You can create such a diagram using the Canvas Tool and then save your work as an image.

Canvas 1


You can then add that image into your journal entry either by clicking the Insert media icon Insert Image
icon or just dragging the picture from your computer into the note.

Insert Media


The image is now displayed in your journal entry:

Canvas 2


Link to topics using tags

If you want to quickly and easily find journal entries that refer to common themes, then it is a good idea to use tags in the Notes Tool. You can add tags to any note at the bottom of the Note as shown below:

Tags 1


This causes a Tags filter to appear in the Notebook:

Tags 2


Adding relevant tags to journal entries results in a corresponding list of tag entries displaying in the filter sidebar:

Tags 3


Now, to review entries that refer to Discipleship, click that tag:

Tags 4


To restore all entries, click the x to remove the tag filter from the top:

Tags 5


Create a layout for quick access to your journal

The techniques outlined above involved having two instances of the Notes Tool open as well as a Calendar Devotional. To make it easy to open your journal whenever you want to, create a Layout with those elements open.

create layout for journaling


Then, give it a name such as My Journal.

Layouts 2


Whenever you want to update your journal, you can open the Layout and carry on where you left off.

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