Jan 14, 2009 David Lang

Organizing Your Library

A while back someone asked me to talk about how I organize my Accordance modules. I'm afraid I never did, because, frankly, I'm not that organized! When I posted an image of my Library window the other day, this user reminded me of his unanswered request, and now my guilt over not answering outweighs my reticence to show how imperfect my own system of organization is. Besides, you can learn from the flaws in my system just as readily as you can learn from its good points, so here it is, warts and all.

For those of you who may not know what I'm talking about, the Accordance Library window lets you organize your modules within each module category. Just as you might organize your bookmarks in Safari by grouping them in folders or alphabetizing them, you can group modules into folders, place divider lines between them, and/or alphabetize them. That way, you're not forced into some system of organization we might come up with; you simply create the system that's best for you.

It may sound obvious, but the best system of organization is the one that will enable you to find the resource you want as quickly and easily as possible. For some, that may just mean alphabetizing everything. If you have a lot of modules, scanning through the alphabet can get cumbersome, especially if you find yourself selecting ZPEB (Zondervan's Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible) over and over again.

Another thing to consider when organizing your modules is that the first module in any given category is the one that will be opened when you triple-click a word or verse reference. So even if you like to alphabetize everything, you'll probably want to put your favorite module at the top of the list and alphabetize all the rest.

For example, the commentary I usually start with is the 12-volume Expositor's Bible Commentary. For me, this commentary has a wonderful balance of brevity and depth. Where looking up a verse in Word or the NIGTC will have me reading for pages and pages, and consulting a one-volume commentary will usually leave me wanting for more, EBC and the accompanying EBC Notes will usually give me the answers to my questions without getting me bogged down in too many technical details. When I want to dig deeper, I'll turn elsewhere, but EBC is usually my first stop. So EBC is the commentary I have at the top of my list of Reference Tools. That way, I can triple-click any verse reference and immediately get EBC's comments on that verse.

Some people like to have all their modules neatly enclosed in folders, but it's important to remember that each folder becomes a submenu in the various module pop-up menus within Accordance. For the modules you access most often, it may be counter-productive to dig through a submenu every time you want to open it. That's why I have my Accordance Text modules arranged the way you see here. I like having my tagged Greek New Testament, Hebrew Bible, and Septuagint modules at the top of my text menus so that I can find them easily. But because I don't access these modules as much as I do my favorite English Bibles, I have all those original language texts tucked into folders. Then I have a dividing line between those texts and my English Bibles just to make it a little easier for my eye to scan down to the English Bibles I use most often. Because I do access these modules often, I just leave them at the top level of the menu so I don't have to bother with a submenu to open them. I have these English Bibles loosely arranged in descending order from most-used to least-used.

Below the English Bibles I use most often, I have folders for a variety of other modules I only access occasionally, like older translations, Septuagint translations like the NETS and Brenton, extrabiblical texts, etc. I've found this system works pretty well for me, providing the right balance between accessibility and neatness.

I'm afraid my organization of Tools is a little less refined than what I've done with my Texts, but I follow roughly the same principles. Stuff I use a lot I just leave floating in the menu, while stuff I use less often I tuck away in a folder. In my next post, I'll cover at least some of the Tool categories. For those of you trying to refine your own system, I hope this is helpful.

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Archived Comments


January 15, 2009 2:48 AM
I know this has been said many times before, but one of the great things about Accordance is how well they listen to their users. Whether it is for new features, new modules, or just a simple explanation on how to mange a library window! David, I like how to have your folders, but I am a neat freak and am taking yours a step further. My first set of folders are Greek, Hebrew, English, and Indonesian. Then I will follow the break down you have for the texts that I have. Thanks!!!


January 15, 2009 3:16 PM
question: if i have a folder as the first item in my library list when i triple click will it open up all the resources in that folder? i guess i could try this out but i didn't want to "mess up" my current library arrangement...

Rick Bennett

January 15, 2009 3:25 PM
No, it won't open up all the resources, nor mess anything up. If you want to amplify to a group of resources you would need to set that from the resource palette, either by 'define text set…'(icon with a group of scrolls) or 'define tool set…'(icon with a group of books).