I am using more digital sources than ever in my study. It is interesting to me that the MORE I have paid for something… the higher the level of aggravation.
First of all, Biblegateway is free. It’s beauty is I can look up Scripture quick, it has a huge number of translations, and it could be utilized to store online study notes. I have already done study notes elsewhere, so I don’t use that resource, but it’s a nice tool if you haven’t connected with any way to keep your notes and thoughts.
Then there is Olive Tree. This is the one I use the most. It syncs across all platforms and is BEST on mobile apps. It’s terrible on the desktop. It’s not agreeing with Windows 8.1… but then again, what does? For mobile, it’s huge. I can store all my notes, utilize study tools that are very affordable, and, best of all for me, I can sync all my notes to Evernote, which is my catch all notetaking systems. Olive Tree has a ton of free stuff, so it costs very little to get into some decent study materials.
There is also Logos. It is a huge software package system meant for the desktop. It is GREAT with desktop computers. The sources are immense. While it is somewhat better in the mobile application, it is still lousy. Just one small frustration: If I put a note into a verse using NIV, it only saves that note in the NIV. If I switch to ESV, CEB, NET, ANY other translation… the note disappears. That is just dumb. Olive Tree keeps the note in the verse, regardless of the translation.
I paid a LOT of money for Logos, so, as I said, the desktop application is the best. Except for one thing: constant updates. I don’t open Logos EVERY day, so that may be my problem. (But it’s not MY problem. It’s the designer’s problem. I want to use Logos when I want to, not every time the designer says I should use it. If I get to it every other day, I should be able to without this issue.) The issue is this: IT IS ALWAYS UPDATING. It takes forever to load up, which is understandable to a point. Then, when I am ready to get into the study notes, it says, “OH! You have an update! We are now going to update it! And then we’re going to shut it down and restart!”
Which is why I leave the “Porsche” parked in the garage most of the time and utilize the Ford and the Dodge much more often.
Digital is just plain useful, and far more useful now since I can have huge libraries sitting on my cell phone instead of lugging around big books. But when one would normally think, “You get what you pay for” is a nice mantra… in this case it doesn’t compute.