Monday, November 13, 2017

Using Tags in the Gospel Library App

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about using the highlight feature in the gospel library app to differentiate between gospel topics.

Why do we highlight in the first place?  The answer is simple.  It comes from the day when most people used paper scriptures.  They used colors and highlights to help you find scriptures.  Most of us do not have the time or the capacity to memorize the references for hundreds of scriptures so we relied on the our memory to get us close.  For example, the scripture about the natural man being an enemy to God, in my mind is not in Mosiah 3:19, but it is located in the first few chapters of Mosiah on the right hand page in the right column toward the top.  So, to find it I would simply flip through the first few chapters of the Book of Mosiah until I locate the highlights that I made on Mosiah 3:19.   This system served me well until we all started using electronic scriptures.  Now there are no pages or columns.  It is just one long column separated into chapters.  My whole scripture locating system is now defunct.

So, I had to ask myself, does at perfectly thought-out 10-color scripture highlighting system really serve any purpose in the electronic scriptures?  Perhaps, but now there is a much better way.  It is time to switch over to using tags.

Why tags?  Here are a few of the best reasons:
- You are not limited to 10 colors
- You can tag the same scripture with multiple key words
- It is much easier to find a tagged scripture than a green highlighted scripture buried somewhere in the book of Alma

Now what do you do about the highlights?  Simple.  Use them the same way you eat meat - sparingly.  Highlight words, phrases, and important points.  Then add some tags to the highlights so you can find them again.

Here are a few tagging tips:
- Don't get too hung up on what tags to use at first.  Just tag it with the first word that comes to mind.  You can go into the "Notes" section and edit your tags after you have done it for a while.
- Begin where you are.  Don't wait until you get to the end of the book to start tagging.  Begin now.
- Make it a daily habit. Try to find something to tag every time you read.  As you practice you get faster and better at tagging and it is less of an interruption to your reading, it simply becomes a part of it.
- Go back into the notes section and review your tags once and a while.  Keep your tag list free of typos and duplicates of similar words.
- Try not to make tags using long phrases because it will be difficult to remember the phrase.  On the other hand, a two or three word tag that speaks to you is a great idea.

Happy Tagging!