By Olive Tree Employee: Ben Backstrom

There are several practical ways you can interact with Bible text in the Bible Study App to enhance your personal study, including highlights, notes, bookmarks, book ribbons, and tags. The feature I use most frequently is notes. I use the app for both personal study and preparation for small group study, and notes come in handy for both.

One of my favorite features of notes in the app is the ability to choose different icons. I use this feature to label notes based on the type of content. (screenshots from Android)



I use the default page icon for most of my notes. These can be my own thoughts or someone else’s commentary on the passage.

I use the question mark to denote passages I am not sure about. Maybe the wording doesn’t make sense, or a couple of commentaries conflict on what they think the passage means. Denoting them this way allows me to come back and put an answer into the note when I find a good explanation.

Some passages capture my attention, whether they are especially challenging, or give me a new perspective. I mark these with a star icon. I love being able to read back through a passage and find this icon. These are usually verses that I find inspiring again and again.

Another great feature of notes is the ability to find my notes in any translation I’m reading. Any time you create a note by selecting a Bible verse number (circled below), that note will show up in any of your other translations. You can create a note this way in the ASV, then find it again at the same verse in the NIV or ESV.



Note that this does not work if you create a note by selecting text. Those notes will not show up in other translations, since they are based on the specific translation’s text.

I use my Android phone for personal study and my Mac for group study prep. However, I like having the notes I create for both to be together in one place. The Olive Tree Sync feature makes this possible. Here are some tips I find helpful with sync:

  • Sync your notes at the beginning of your study. This will sync notes and changes to your device so that you know what notes you’ve already created.
  • At the end of your session, sync notes again.
  • If you want to sync both devices at the same time, sync one device, wait 15 seconds, then sync the other device. Order isn’t important, but pausing between them can give better results.

I would love to hear how you use notes in the app to enhance your Bible study. Feel free to share them in the comments below.