Wednesday, January 21, 2015

DIY How to Organize Sermon Notes

I have been so richly blessed to sit under the teachings of some incredible Godly preachers.  Personally I'm not one who can just soak up that wisdom, I have to take notes feverishly and then mull over them later.  So here's how the system usually goes…

The notes go into my Bible.  After while of this I can't turn the pages without notes falling out and I get so annoyed that I yank all of them out.
So after that I stuff them all into my bag that I keep all of my Bible study materials in.
Eventually I begin to leave a trail of papers wherever I go and I end up with clusters of random piles around our house.  Clutter, clutter, clutter.  

I cannot tell you how many times I have almost gotten so frustrated I've just thrown all of them away.

I started thinking there must be some kind of "system".  So I took to Pinterest like the next gal and searched my heart out.  Much to my surprise-I found nothing.  I even took to Google.  Even the 2nd and 3rd pages of Google (real research is anything past the 1st page, right?).  Still nothing.  So I knew I had to figure it out without the internet's help on this one.  I finally have a system that really works for us and I'm so excited to share it with you!  Make sure that you make it however works best for you and what makes the most sense for you and your family!  Here's what works of us...

Begin with 3 plastic shoebox size containers…
Then I labeled each container, breaking it down into 3 categories:
Old Testament
New Testament

Then I measured the inside width and height of the containers and cut a piece of cardboard to fit.  For the width I went exactly or even ever so slightly larger (for a snugger fit) and for the height I went about an inch higher so the tops showed above the container.  The first one was the hardest, after I had the perfect size I just traced and cut.  (Hello perfect remedy for all those leftover Amazon boxes from Christmas.)
Don't worry if it's ugly or has writing on it.  We're going to cover it.

Next I took a piece of card stock to fit the front of the cardboard piece.  Then I wrote the Book name on the top of the card and attached it to the cardboard.  I used double sided tape but feel free to use any kind of adhesive you have on hand.

Finally simply put the dividers in order.

I did the same thing with the "Topics" box.  A few of the topics I chose…

So now on to organizing the sermon notes.  I look to see what, if any there is a main scripture.  Then I simply fold the paper to fit the container, making sure to keep the title/date visible.

Sometimes I will come across a sermon note that I really want in both the scripture containers (Old Testament & New Testament) and the Topic container.  So here I've decided to simply  put them in the Bible reference and make a note  in the "topic" category with where it's found and the date to quickly look it up.  For example:  For the "note" above I would file it behind the Romans divider.  I would file the note below to coordinate it by putting it in the category-God's Attributes

I so hope this has helped you as much as it has helped us!  I love having this rich storage of wisdom that I can easily reference at any time.  If I'm struggling with an issue or diving in further with a scripture I can easily go to these boxes at any time to see if I've ever heard a sermon address it.  I keep these boxes on a shelf on our office bookshelf for easy access.  Happy organizing friend!


  1. What a great idea! My bible is often crammed full of sermon notes too. I've often wondered what to do with them. Thank you for sharing it at What We Accomplished Wednesdays. Have a great week!
    Blessings, Deborah

    1. Deborah, I'm right there with you-when I can't flip to a passage in church without notes flying everywhere I know it's time to clean it out!!!

  2. Such a great idea! Thanks for linking up with the Creative Spark Link Party!