The New Study Plan Feature

A few weeks ago I created a video on the new Study Plans feature in the Gospel Library. Currently, it is only offered for iOS, but a beta is currently out for the Android and should be released soon.

I am wondering if anyone has tried the feature and what your feelings are about it.

Do you find it helpful?

Do you have any suggestions for improvement?

I would really be interested in your comments.

Transferring Twitter and Instagram Posts to Day One

I have had several requests about how to automatically transfer Twitter and Instagram postings to the Day One journal.

It is straightforward. You need to join the free IFTTT (If This Then That) service. You can sign up either through their iOS or Android app or at their website.

You need the Day One journaling app. This is available for iOS and Andriod and Mac. There is a free version and a subscription version. If you are not familiar with Day One, then start with the free version to give it a try. I have talked about this app many times and say again, it is a tremendous app and I use it every day, sometimes more than once a day.

Once you are logged on IFTTT tap on, discover at the bottom of the screen, and then tap on the search icon at the top of the screen.

Search for Day One, then scroll down to find “Save your tweets to Day One.” Tap on “Turn on.” Then scroll down to “Which Journal” and choose which journal you want to save the tweet. If you have the free version, only one journal is available. I have the subscription service and have 11 journals. More on that in a later post. Now tap on “Save.”

Then search for “Instagram to DayOne” and go through the same process as above.

You are done! Your tweets and Instagram posts will start showing up in Day One.

Creating QR Codes

A QR Code is familiar to all of us although not everyone knows its purpose. A QR Code is used to store information such as URL’s, addresses, event information and etc. The code is read by a camera on a smartphone. In the past a special QR reader app was used to access the information in the code.

For iOS 11 and above the feature is built-in to the camera but it is has to be turned on in settings. Go to Settings/Camera/Scan QR Codes and make sure the feature is turned on.

Android phones also have the feature built-in to the camera. There are no individual settings that need to be switched on.

While the feature is baked into the newest devices, you may want to also download a reader because the app can also scan bar codes you find on all products in the stores. In addition, if you have an older apple device that is not compatible with iOS 11 then you also need to download a reader.

QR Codes can be created using the various free websites that are available, for example, qr-code-generator.com or using an app on your smartphone. The apps are easy to use. Type or paste in the information you want to have coded and a code will be generated, then copy and paste the code on your handouts or project it on a screen.

To create a code for my website ,I would enter the URL in the app and would end up with the following.

Now, that we have reviewed what a QR Code is and how to read and generate one, the question for us today is why you would want to create a code? As mentioned in my book you might consider using them in Sacrament programs or the classroom.

I used have used them in Sacrament programs for information of an upcoming event. Sacrament programs have limited space, so instead of using the valuable real estate to provide information about the event I insert a QR Code. QR Codes are saved as photos so it is very easy to insert the photo and reduce it to a size that the will work with the program. QR Codes can be read even when the are extremely small.

Another use for the Codes is in the classroom. Suppose you have a handout with information that fills an 8 1/2 x 11 inch paper and, perhaps also fills the back of the page.

Create a document with eight 1 inch rows. In each row copy the code along with a brief statement what the code is for. Cut the paper into 8 horizontal strips. Make enough strips for the entire class. This will not only save on paper but also ink. Another option, though more expensive, is to copy the code, along with a short statement on a business card stock and hand out the business cards. Office supply stores have a large selection of Avery type ready-cut sheets The cards are less likely to get lost or destroyed on the way home.

Even easier, you can bring up the code on your device and then connect your device to a projector or large flat screen. This would eliminate the use of any paper.

At this point you might be thinking why go through the process of generating a code? Instead upload the document to Dropbox, copy the link to the document and type the link onto strips of papers or project the link on a screen. The answer is simple.

Typing a link or URL address allows for errors. A QR Code is error free and quicker.

There is one problem with using QR Codes, and that is many may not know how to use them, so you will need to show them how. Using interactive technology in the classroom always requires some instruction, but I find people quickly adapt.

The other problem is not everyone may have a device that can read a QR code. For those that do not ,you will need to have a few hard copies of the document with you.

I would be interested in your feedback on this subject.

Have you tried using QR codes in the classroom or on Sacrament programs? If so, what was your experience?

More On Taking Notes

A friend just reached out to me, and it caused me to start thinking about taking notes and revelation again. My friend, Paul Porter, had a great influence on my life, although on be knowns to him.

I will never forget the time he told me that he has his small notebook and pen ready during Sacrament meeting so that he could write any revelation as it came. That statement weighed heavily on my mind for some time. I am a slower learner, so it took me a while to go to his way of thinking, but now, I am a convert; it has enriched my life.

Paul uses actual pen and paper, and I use an Apple Pencil and my iPad, but the results are the same. I have talked in a previous post about taking notes and the reason that I use the digital form. In that post, I mentioned that there are several good digital notebooks available and that the app of my choice was Notability.

I have now changed from Notability because its competitor, GoodNotes, just came out last week with a new version. I always preferred GoodNotes but used Notability because it had a universal search of handwritten notes, but now GoodNotes not only added extensive searching but a great stacked filing structure among many other significant changes.

As I study the scriptures, I have GoodNotes open and take notes and draw out ideas as they come to me. Then if needed the handwriting is converted to text and copied in a note attached to a verse.

Currently, Notability and GoodNotes are only for iOS, but there are some excellent alternatives for Android. If you have a Galaxy Note9, you already have a built-in note-taking app and a handy pen.

Regardless of the method you use, there are significant benefits to handwriting notes. Give it a try.

Sharing The LDS Pamphlets

LDS Pamphlets is an app for iOS and Android. It is an excellent resource for teaching gospel principles. It provides simple and clear information about various aspects of the gospel, and it is divided into categories. For example, “Gospel of Jesus Christ,” “Why Do I Need to Be Baptized” and “Faith in Jesus Christ.”

What many people do not know is that you can share a page with others using the share function. The problem is that the share function is hidden.

To see the share function tap on the screen. The screen share icon is different for iOS and Android (see screenshots below).

To share a page tap on the screen, tap on the share icon, then tap on either email or text message. Depending on the device you are using, and the services you subscribe to you will also have other options.

Now type a short message and tap on send.

Apps That I Use Daily

What apps one uses is a very personal thing. However, when others have shared their favorite apps it has provided me with food for thought and, at times, brings about a change in the apps that I use. I hope that my list of the apps I use daily will be of help to you.

Gospel Library – scripture study. iPhone and iPad.

Spark – email. iPhone, iPad, Mac, iWatch.

I have tried all of the third-party email apps, and I keep coming back to this one. There are so many features that draw me to this app, but the main one is how it separates my mail into different categories.

Drafts 5 – notes. iPhone, iPad and Mac, iWatch.

It is difficult to categorize this app because of its many features. The primary purpose of the app is to quickly write down your thoughts and then later decide where you are going to use them.

For example, if I am writing a text message that is more then a few lines I first compose the message in Drafts and then using one of the actions in Drafts send it to my text messaging app. The reason I do not write the message in the message app is that I have had the experience of composing a lengthily message only to lose it because I get interrupted by a phone call or a text message that requires an immediate answer. Producing the message in Drafts stays there until I have completed the message and ready to send it. I do not need to copy and paste the message, just a simple tap on the message action, add the recipient’s name, and the message is sent.

Nearly, all of my posts are composed in Drafts. This post was written using Drafts on my Mac.

Day One – journaling. iPhone, iPad, Mac, iWatch.

I have written extensively about this app. If you are serious about keeping a journal, there is no better app than Day One.

Things 3 – to do’s. iPhone, iPad, Mac, iWatch

I cannot live without a to-do list. I have tried nearly every to-do app available and found Things fits my lifestyle. If I were running a business, I would, perhaps, use a more powerful app like Omni Focus, but for me, at this point in my life, Things is my app of choice.

Evernote – document storage and retrieval. iPhone, iPad, Mac.

Evernote is a powerful app and can be used in a variety of ways. It can be used to take notes, keep a journal and a to-do list and more. But, as you can see from my above list, I prefer to use apps that are dedicated to one purpose such as creating a note, keeping a journal and having a to-do list, because they are far more potent as dedicated apps.

I use Evernote for storage of documents. All of my important papers are scanned into Evernote. Any website that has information that I might need in the future is placed in Evernote, and then, when I need something, a quick search finds what I am looking for.

1Password – password creating and storage. iPhone, iPad, Mac, iWatch.

Passwords have to be taken seriously. Using the name of your dog, cat or favorite grandchild, along with your date of birth is dangerous and, more importantly, easily breached.

1Password stores all of my passwords, currently 479, yes, 479! Also, all of my credit cards, car information (VIN, date purchased, etc.), social security numbers of myself and children and much more.

The app creates the passwords for me and when needed can, in most situations, enter my user name and password for me.

GoodNotes – hand-written notes. iPhone, iPad, Mac.

I like to use a pen and paper to draw out ideas, take notes at a lecture and as a scratch pad. Hand-written notes have an advantage over typing notes – better retention of the information. I prefer to use the digital form of pen and paper.

The main reason is I can retrieve the notes quickly through the search function (yes, it can search my handwriting) and when needed the app can convert my writing to print, which I then send to another app.

I have tried all of the apps on the market and fluctuated between GoodNotes and Notability.

I prefer the features in GoodNotes but have been using Notability. GoodNotes 5 newest version has the one thing I need – universal search capability. Until yesterday, Notability was the only app with that function. Also, the latest version of GoodNotes allows the use of a deep file structure, so I can now place folders inside folders.

I only use this app on my iPad using my Apple pencil. I have the app on my iPhone and Mac so I can locate a note should I not have my iPad with me.

AnyList – shopping list. iPhone, iPad, iWatch, Amazon Echo.

This app is fantastic. Whenever my wife or I need to add something to the shopping list all we have to do is speak, and the item is added to the list. The list is shared between the two of us. Whoever picks up the item crosses it off the list. The app will also download recipes from the internet and create a shopping list of ingredients you do not have. Go through the downloaded list and check the ones you need to add to the shopping list. The app also helps with planning meals.

Apple News, Flipboard, Google News, and SmartNews – news. iPhone, iPad

Creating Personal Collections

In the Gospel Library, you can create a personal Collection. Building a personal Collection will save you time as you study the scriptures.

For example, I create a Collection called “Scripture Study.” The Collection contains the Topical Guide, Bible Dictionary, Come, Follow Me for Individuals and Families, Bible Videos/Teachings, Maps, and Hymns.

Notice that most of the items are found in different Collections. By having a Scripture Study Collection, I have quick access to each of the materials I use frequently.

A Collection can only hold complete content. For example, I could have the entire October 2018 General Conference, but not one of the talks from that conference. Or, I could have the whole Come, Follow Me curriculum but not only January.

To create a Collection depends on if you have an Apple or Android device.

Apple

• While in the Library, tap on Edit in the upper right-hand corner.

• Tap on the plus sign in the lower right-hand corner.

• Type the name of the Collection.

• Tap on Save.

Android

• Tap on the options menu in the upper right-corner (the three vertical dots)

• Tap on Custom Collections.

• Tap on the plus sign.

• Type the name of the Collection

• Tap on Add.

To add content to your Collection is also device dependent. In the examples below I am going to add the Come, Follow Me curriculum to my Scripture Study Collection.

Apple

• Go to the Come, Follow Me Collection, and then tap on Individuals and Families.

• Touch and hold your finger on Come, Follow Me – For Individuals and Families

• Tap on Add to and a list of personal Collections will be listed. Notice that you can also create a Collection on the fly, so it is not necessary to create a Collection first.

• Tap on Scripture Study.

Android

• Go to the Come, Follow Me Collection, and then tap on Individuals and Families

• Tap on the options menu (the three vertical dots below the picture) on Come, Follow Me – For Individuals and Families

• Tap on Add to and a list of personal Collections will be listed. Notice that you can also create a Collection on the fly, so it is not necessary to create a Collection first.

• Tap on Scripture Study.

Hope you found this helpful.

Automating the Gospel Library

Would you like a reminder to study the Gospel Library at 8 pm each evening but only when you are home? Well, it is possible using the Launch Center Pro.

The Launch Center Pro is an app for iPhone and iPad running iOS 11 or higher. You will find it at the App Store. The app is free, but to lock all of the features, you have pay for a subscription or a one-time fee.

The app is a great way to get to your other apps and shortcuts with the primary purpose to save you time. I highly recommend it.

If you want to see what the app can do in addition to working with the Gospel Library take a look at this review.

While using the Gospel Library in Launch Center Pro is very limited, what you can do is set up an action that will become operative when you enter your home, or any other location you designate, and then sound the alarm at the set time. The Key here is the alarm will only sound after you enter your home. Here are the steps.

1. Open Launch Center Pro

2. Tap on the pencil icon in the upper right-hand corner to enter edit mode.

3. Tap on a square that has a plus sign

4. Tap on “Action”

5. At the URL field type “gospellibrary:” (without the quotes)

6. Tap on the “Schedule” field then tap on “Scheduled Alert”

7. Tap on the “Next Event” and then set the date and time at the bottom of the screen

8. Tap on “Repeat” then choose, at the bottom of the screen, how you want to set up the repeat

9. Tap on “Action” in the upper left-hand corner

10. Tap on “Location Triggers” and then decide on the various options available

11. Tap on “Done”

12. Tap on “Done”

Now the next you time you enter your home, a reminder will pop up and then open the Gospel Library. Cool!