Heads Up: Notebooks, Tags Unreliable; Use at Your Own Risk

Discussions about the Notes and Journal tool on LDS.org. This includes the Study Toolbar as well as the scriptures and other content on LDS.org that is integrated with Notes and Journal.
grjensen13
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Heads Up: Notebooks, Tags Unreliable; Use at Your Own Risk

Postby grjensen13 » Fri Apr 11, 2014 2:17 pm

I truly hope your experience with the online study notebooks and tags is much better than mine (but I see from many forum entries I am not alone). We appreciate the ability to look up and read scriptures both online and on portable devices. But the online study notebook tools are UNSTABLE: Scriptures saved in notebooks evaporate without warning. Tags assigned to scriptures don't always stick. And there is never a courteous warning of problems on the web site. ... We've wasted MANY hours. Be forewarned...

Our experience: After being called as senior missionaries, my wife and I decided to develop lesson plans along the lines of Preach My Gospel. We planned to store specific scriptures in specific sequence in the study notebooks. Separate notebooks would be created for the different lessons and sub-topics. This was our first use of these particular online tools (we're not computer novices). We spent many hours creating these notebooks, then synced them to our portable devices. Then we noticed the content of these notebooks would change: scriptures would disappear, and the column of entries in a notebook would show many duplicates. Similarly we've seen tagged scriptures dropped. One day we would have 10 scriptures tagged with "Faith," and the next day there would be three! ... We've now gone to lesson plans on Word documents with scriptures looked up individually the old way. None of the potential efficiency of notebooks or tags has been realized.

We've sent numerous messages via the Feedback link on the bottom of many pages. Usually we hear that the issue is being referred to someone who can deal with it. (I believe that person is now serving a mission in a location without electricity, and has been there for quite some time!) ... Does anyone know if developers or people with authority read these forum posts?

I wish either sufficient resources would be dedicated to these tools to develop and test them properly before releasing them on lds.org, OR there would be some banner indicating the tools are under development and with current problems. If I'm the only one with these problems, that's OK. But if not, this part of lds.org is a POOR reflection on the Church. I love the Church. I find most of lds.org to be very good. But this notebook tool needs to be MUCH more reliable before given to the public. (End of rant; this is mild compared to my frustration. Sorry for the length.)

lajackson
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Re: Heads Up: Notebooks, Tags Unreliable; Use at Your Own Ri

Postby lajackson » Fri Apr 11, 2014 8:50 pm

grjensen13 wrote:Does anyone know if developers or people with authority read these forum posts?

Occasionally a developer will wander by certain topics in the Forum, but they are not regular participants. I know that they do read the Feedback.

There are many in your situation. I have also found them not to be reliable and I do not ever depend on having them available.

stonzthro
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Re: Heads Up: Notebooks, Tags Unreliable; Use at Your Own Ri

Postby stonzthro » Sun Apr 13, 2014 10:02 pm

I've lost a few years worth of study and the response has been very disappointing - non-existent, really. The idea seems so great, yet it crashes or syncs improperly and you lose everything. I wish there was a better solution - I'd happily pay for a good option!

mevans
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Re: Heads Up: Notebooks, Tags Unreliable; Use at Your Own Ri

Postby mevans » Tue Apr 15, 2014 6:31 am

grjensen13: Can you give us a little more information on how you're using the tool? For example, do you do everything via a web browser and see these problems? Or are you using a combination of LDS Tools on a mobile device and a web browser? Or just LDS Tools?

I think most of us here wish the church was able to spend more on the online tools and further improve them more quickly. It's extremely expensive to do so and the church has had to make some cutbacks. From my second-hand understanding, it's a pretty small team building and maintaining all the tools we use. I'm sure your feedback is read and probably even logged. I imagine the developers would love to spend more time making the tools better, but the church has to use its limited resources in the best way possible.

In spite of the problems with online notes, I use the tool regularly, and I've seen blessings come from using it. In many ways, being a part of these forums, you are a technology pioneer for the church and your efforts will bless many church members. Just as the early church pioneers didn't have a straight, trouble-free path to Salt Lake City, our technical trek is full of many problems along the way.

PamelaBonta
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Re: Heads Up: Notebooks, Tags Unreliable; Use at Your Own Ri

Postby PamelaBonta » Fri May 02, 2014 12:04 pm

Stonzthro, please send a message via the feedback link on LDS.org and ask that it be forwarded to the study notebook delegate, that details the issue that you are having. I may be able to help, but this is not the place where I can do so!

I think it is also important to remember that there are few other churches - if any - that have such extensive tools available for general member use. I think sometimes we take it for granted, especially when so many volunteers and church service missionaries are the ones doing a lot of the work.

stonzthro
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Re: Heads Up: Notebooks, Tags Unreliable; Use at Your Own Ri

Postby stonzthro » Tue May 06, 2014 7:07 am

I have forwarded the information - it seems that an iPad sync deleted much of my information stored only on my iPad, and several notes in the 'unassigned' section of my notebook are unavailable. Online I can see there are 461 unassigned items, but when I click on that tab, nothing appears in the window - just a short, blank page. I suspect I have at least 2 problems going on here, but will wait to hear back.

I do understand this is a service the Church provides, but my words are meant to echo the warning of the OP that you indeed CAN lose information you have worked on - the OP did not have a singular experience.

Thanks for chiming in - maybe I can get this resolved in the near future. If there is an answer or work-around, I'll post it.

PamelaBonta
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Re: Heads Up: Notebooks, Tags Unreliable; Use at Your Own Ri

Postby PamelaBonta » Tue May 06, 2014 7:25 am

I will add the information you described above to the report I plan on submitting today. Thanks!

stonzthro
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Re: Heads Up: Notebooks, Tags Unreliable; Use at Your Own Ri

Postby stonzthro » Wed May 07, 2014 7:45 am

Well, I can export my unassigned notes to a word doc, they just no longer show up in my scriptures. There must be something wrong (or at one time there may have been) with keeping notes unassigned; at least I haven't lost those notes.

Here's another strange thing. Sometimes (like this morning) I will go to enter a note, and the note entry box will sit there, unresponsive (while the little gear is spinning). I trashed the note and then all my notes for that chapter disappear. I hope those come back but I suspect they won't - I've had this happen a few random times.

sylviachristensen
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Re: Heads Up: Notebooks, Tags Unreliable; Use at Your Own Ri

Postby sylviachristensen » Mon Jul 07, 2014 6:26 am

I had an extensive notebook from my Old Testament study. Yesterday, all be three entries of over 1000 had disappeared. This is the second time this has happened to me. I'm not a tech geek, but I am competent in using my computer, using it for pleasure and for work in teaching extensively (professional and church). This is something happening someplace other than my computer. Is there any way to recover all this valuable information?

jrich1
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Re: Heads Up: Notebooks, Tags Unreliable; Use at Your Own Ri

Postby jrich1 » Mon Jul 28, 2014 11:14 am

I just lost all my notebooks out of Gospel Library - for the second time. The first time they all disappeared, I sent a message and the respondent said she had never heard of that happening before and could find no solution. Now it has happened a second time - all 49 notebooks with about 700 entries all gone! Does anyone know of any way to backup and restore to notebooks? After the first loss, I spent hours and hours making new notebooks and moving the unassigned journals back to assigned notebooks just to have the same problem "the notebooks all disappearing" again. So frustrating!


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