I don’t know about you, but I am constantly keeping my eyes and ears open for good sermon illustrations. This means every time I am reading something in a book or online, every time I hear a story or something or an illustration in a talk I am thinking I need to remember that.
The problem is that my memory isn’t as good as it used to be. I realized that I had to try and find a good solution to story these illustration.
Some people I admire have a paper file cabinet. They photocopy every illustration they think is good in it. Different people have different filing systems. Some by topics others by Bible passages. This never worked for me. I felt it was too cumbersome for me and way too much paper to manage.
So, I tried to create a Word Document full of sermon illustration. Every time I would find one. I would cut and paste it into Word. This worked okay, but it seemed kind of tedious and sometimes difficult to maneuver as the file got larger. I didn’t always have access to this file when I worked on sermons.
I finally found a tool I really like. I thought I would share it with you. It is called Evernote. It’s subtitle is remember everything. It really is great at helping you do just that. It is basically a cloud database. You download the free software on your computer (Mac or PC). It syncs your notes with an online cloud that you can access via their site. You can even access them on your smart phone or tablet if you download the app. This is great because you always have access to your illustrations.
You create different notebooks (electronic file folders) to store different individual notes in. I started a notebook for sermon topics / series ideas, great quotes and another for sermon illustrations. You can create up to 400 notes a month for free or pay a yearly fee for expanded services. You can search your notes later to find certain keywords.
I have been using it for a month and I really like it. The coolest feature is the Web Clipper button. As I am surfing the next, I can click the elephant button on my web browser and it will automatically create an evernote of the page or just the section I have highlighted. This makes it so quick to store things for later. You can even attach photos and documents.
If you are looking for free software to try and manage your sermon illustrations definitely give Evernote a try. You will be glad you did!