Microsoft One Note is a fantastic tool. It is FREE for everyone (the free version requires that you use One Drive). You can download it here.
NOTE: I would be interested in what others do to prepare their sermons. What methods? Leave a comment below.
This post will walk you through my sermon preparation setup in One Note:
The first step in the setup is to create a notebook. Click, file > new and determine where you want to place the notebook and the notebook name. I have titled mine “NT Sermons” and OT Sermons.” If you are using the cloud, which I recommend, you will store the notebook in the location suggested by One Note. Once the notebook is created, it will automatically open.
The second step is to create a new “section group.” To do this, right-click in the area below the menu ribbon and select “new section group.” Name it for the book of the Bible you are currently preaching. I suggest you number the groups according to the arrangement in the OT or NT. Thus “Matthew” should be named “01 Matthew,” Mark should be named “02 Mark,” etc.
The third step is to create a new “section.” This section should be titled by the chapter of the book you are currently studying. Thus, chapter 1, chapter 2, etc.
The fourth step is to arrange your “page” for the pericope you are studying. You can do this anyway you want. My setup is shown to the left.
By clicking the “add page” button (to the right of the main page), you can add the pages you want for that notebook section. For instance, if you are preaching from Mark 11:1-11 you would add a page titled “*** Pericope Mark 11:1-11 ***” I add the asterisks to set each section apart. I also add a number corresponding to the numbered sermon preached thus far through the book. Keep adding the pages needed to work through that pericope. I have a page called “Translations” to compare the main translations for the text. The next page you will add is the “verse.” Thus, 11:1, 11:2, etc. until you have all the verses in a separate page for the passage.
I also add a “scratch pad” to keep track of notes and thoughts that pop up when studying. I do that because I don’t want to forget anything that occurs when doing the exegesis.
I add other pages as well. It is up to you how you want to arrange it. Notice the next pericope in the image to the left, complete with the number and the asterisks. That sets off the pages from one another. Again, you can do that however you want.
The fifth step covers the first page you created, “***Pericope Mark 1:1-11” In this page, I copy the Greek (or Hebrew) text as well as the English text for the translation of the Bible I will be using in the pulpit. I also do the structural analysis on this page, both Greek/Hebrew and English. I also make notes and observations — first impressions — as I work through it. You may notice the superscripts next to each Greek word. I use that feature to number the words in each verse, and that is used in the verse pages I created.
The sixth thing to setup is the individual verses, complete with a parsing chart for each word. The numbers correspond to the superscript numbering in the verses. This page holds my parsing, translation, lexical and grammatical cross-references for the verse, textual issues, genre items, as well as my own personal commentary on the verse and the commentaries of others. Everything for the verse being studied is contained on that page.
I have included the “Scratch Pad” to show how I use it throughout the study of the passage. I frequently bounce back and forth here when ideas, applications, illustrations, etc. show up in my study.
I highly recommend One Note. If you have questions as you try to set this up, please let me know. I will do what I can to help you.