Evernote for Ministry Research

I’m always on the lookout for anything that can assist me in cataloging and storing resources. When I first started this blog, I wanted to give appropriate references. What I needed was a reference manager, and I couldn’t find one. Now I have Zotero, but for a while there, all my research was lost. If that ever happens to you, I wrote an article on how to get it back. It takes like 21 steps.

I also have been looking for a way to save webpages. I’ve done it in Zotero, and I’ve saved to PDF. But often I’m in a hurry, and the endless “save to” “Save as” process of saving a web page to PDF was truly irritating.

And it left you with no real way to catalog what you saved. So to write an article sometimes took hours, if not days. The worst was when I saw an article on an official Seventh Day Adventist website where they credited the man who influenced Charles Taze Russell’s corrupt theology as being “A genuine Seventh Day Adventist.”

It created a hoo-rah of controversy when I published the post, and the SDA website pulled the quote from the article.

Enter Evernote. If I’d had Evernote, I could have saved it as an article, added keywords, and then clipped the address to Zotero. No kidding. Real quick to do.

If you’re involved in Christian ministry, Evernote is a tool you need. I think the best bet is to get the Plus membership, at $32 a year. I’ve gone a year with it at the free level, but some months I’m pretty much stopped cold by the 10th day because I’m almost at my free limit. I’m either going to get the Business level (which is on sale) or the plus level.

Get into the habit of clipping things. Have a default category, then plan out an admin day every month where you go through all your clippings and categorize them into the correct notebooks, and add appropriate tags, like “quote later” “Heretic”, etc.


How to Fix Zotero

Most of my long time readers know that I used to use Zotero for collecting web information, and keeping it clipped to use as citation references for my constantly delayed college degree.

Well, a few months ago, my Windows 8.1 got somehow corrupted, and the restoring process cost me all my bookmarks and passwords, all my work in Wordsearch, and wiped out every program I’d installed. I was able to recover almost everything, but Zotero was the last one I didn’t get fixed. I was coming to the point of considering it completely unrecoverable.

I’ve finally gotten Zotero fixed, about two months ago. Let me explain how I did it.

As you know, my Windows 8.1 got corrupted by a bad install of a Microsoft update. This compounded itself by making it impossible for Avast to install a virus and program update. After 2 and a half hours of trying to install the update, my Windows ground to a halt.

I’ve described already how I got everything working, but Zotero was my last holdout.

Here’s how I fixed it.

  1. Open your data directory.
  2. Find Zotero.sqlite
  3. Rename it to Zotero.sqlite.old
  4. Go to C:Windows.old
  5. Find your Zotero backup directory
  6. Find Zotero.sqlite
  7. Copy that.
  8. Go to your current data directory
  9. Paste Zotero.sqlite into it.
  10. Open Zotero.
  11. If you’ve clipped any web pages to it, close Zotero and go back to C:Windows.old
  12. Find your storage folder
  13. Copy that.
  14. Go back to your current data directory
  15. Paste it. Yes, overwrite.
  16. Open Zotero.
  17. If they’re not there close Zotero and go back to C:Windows.old
  18. Copy Entries
  19. Go to current data directory
  20. Paste Entries. Yes, overwrite.
  21. Open Zotero.
  22. Everything is there now.

22 steps later, everything’s there. I found everything there when I did step 16. The last 6 steps I did not need to do.

I would now take all your clipped web pages and open them one at a time, clipping them into Evernote so this never happens again.

Copy and paste your current data directory into Dropbox. This way you’ll never lose Zotero again.