Apr 24, 2012

Tips for Getting the Most Out of Olive Tree's Bible Reader for iPhone and iPad

Earlier this month, I wrote The Best Bible App for iPhone and iPad...by Far, explaining that I had found in Olive Tree's BibleReader, a really powerful Bible study tool. I've been using it consistently for about three weeks so far and have some tips to share.
  1. Tagging verses or passages is a very powerful way to organize, and later look at, all the verses around a given topic. There are a very large number of built in tags but you can create your own, if you need to. I tagged several verses with an "ELDER" tag this past Sunday.  Whenever I choose the tag "ELDER", I can see the list of verses I've tagged as "ELDER" in one place.
  2. You can use multiple tags on any verse or passage. This is helpful as a given passage of Scripture may make cover multiple topics.
  3. To tag a verse or passage, you'll need to annotate it by either bookmark it, write a note for it, or highlight it first. If you don't want it highlighted, use a bookmark. If you have something to write about the passage, use a note.
  4. Ribbons are great for temporarily keeping your place if you have to constantly switch back and forth between several passages when studying or while listening to a sermon. If you want to keep a favorite passage handy long term, use a bookmark.
  5. Use the history feature (the clock icon) to quickly switch back to a verse you were looking at prior. If you are only switching between two passages, this is quicker than ribbons.
  6. Selecting part of a verse or multiple verses is very handy and something I didn't find in other Bible apps. However, if you use multiple Bible versions, you may want to annotate entire verses by tapping the verse number itself before choosing to highlight it, bookmark it, or add a note to it. Only annotations you've added to entire verses this way will be available in all versions you use. Partial verse annotations will only be available in the version that you annotated them in. (This makes sense when you consider that the wording is different from version to version.
  7. If you have an Evernote account, take advantage of the ability to sync your notes with it. It will add your notes to an Olive Tree notebook in Evernote.
  8. Use the Resource Guide in your split window to see everything related to the passage you are looking at. This includes dictionary entries, commentaries, maps, sermons, and your own annotations. This is a very powerful feature and I haven't yet fully tapped its potential.
  9. The Strong's version of your favorite translation allows you to tap on a word and see the word in Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek along with it's definition. The only problem with using a Strong's version is that it makes it much more difficult to select part of a verse to annotate. I end up accidentally pulling up the Strong's definition all the time. (The Strong's words don't get in the way if you are selecting whole verses by verse number.)
  10. Make sure you have an Olive Tree account so that your notes, highlights, etc. are backed up in case  something happens to your iPhone or iPad.
Olive Tree has a number of tutorial videos on its web site that are very helpful in understanding the app's features. I encourage watching them to understand how to do some of the things I've mentioned.

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