How to Use the JW Library App Part 5: Notes and Backup
The update we have all been waiting for has now come to JW Library. So we countinue our video series about using the app to organize yourself theocratically in the digital age.
In Part 5 we’re taking a look at the long awaited Notes feature of JW Library for iPhone and iPad. In this video we’ll show you how to:
- Add notes to publications and scriptures
- Categorize notes with tags
- Access and edit your notes in the Personal Study tab
- Back up your notes, highlights, and favorites to the cloud
Thanks for watching the video. If you have questions, leave them in the comments section below. The JW Library app keeps getting better and better with each update and is definitely the first app you’ll want to download to your new device. Check out the other videos in this series now:
Other great apps by Jehovah’s Witnesses are JW Library Sign Language and JW Language.
You might also like our JW Language app series:
May 9, 2017 @ 9:05 am
Thanks for the video. It can also be used to take notes at the Regional Convention and Circuit Assemblies right in the programs. The notes seem to hold a lot of information in them.
You can also copy whole articles into notes.
May 9, 2017 @ 9:07 am
Really great suggestions Debbie. Nice idea! I may just have to make a video on using the JW Library app for taking Regional Convention notes. Regarding copying whole articles. Are you copying and pasting? Or is there another way?
May 9, 2017 @ 9:53 am
Hi, I am copying and pasting. You can paste links in there, but they are not working links.
Regarding the RC, you can make your note headings beforehand and tag them. Then go to your tags and tap on the one you created for the RC. Tap on your note and it will be in full screen. You can use it with Equipd Bible for copying and pasting scriptures quickly. You can toggle back and forth between your tags and the program under publications.
May 9, 2017 @ 10:42 am
Thank you so much. Excellent Job. We too look forward to creating Convention/Assembly Program Notes. Also additional ideas for Notse, TAGS” such as Digging for Gems; Meeting Comments (Kingdom Rule & Watchtower, etc.); WOL Research; Watchtower Library DVD Research; Research Guide References; Field Service Scriptures Xtra-Bookmarks; etc.; Return Visit Points to Use; Videos (Type in Titles that Demonstrate/Highlight/Show Application); etc.
May 9, 2017 @ 12:46 pm
Thank you very much for this very informative tutorial. I use a Nexus 7 android but was able to follow along very easily. For meetings, assemblies and conventions I download the Program as an .rtf and put that file into my WPS (word processor) app. I use a bluetooth keyboard and type my notes after each talk title. Question: In making notes in the new app, I found that I can type my notes using my bluetooth keyboard but is there a way to completely us my keyboard in navigating the app? Thank you again. Sister Toni Buzzard, Ellsworth, ME Congregation
May 9, 2017 @ 1:59 pm
Hi, I added a PDF over at MS showing how to take notes at the RC/CA. If you make a video (hint, hint), you may be able to use some of the points in it.
May 9, 2017 @ 2:11 pm
Alright fantastic. I will take a look. Thanks Debbie!
May 9, 2017 @ 2:15 pm
Thanks so much for the comment Toni. You might find this article helpful regarding using a Bluetooth keyboard with the iPad: https://9to5mac.com/2015/11/20/ipad-keyboard-shortcuts-cheat-sheet/
May 9, 2017 @ 2:43 pm
Thanks for the video. It was very informative, as are all of your videos. I’m sure you know but I’m just mentioning in case someone else may not know that with the backup/restore; it works across all 3 platforms (Apple, Android & Windows). So if a person uses different operating systems (I like to study with Windows but I take my iPad and/or Galaxy Note to the meeting and in the ministry) they will be able to keep the notes all the same, with a little work. Thanks again for taking the time to make this and all the other videos.
May 9, 2017 @ 2:45 pm
Great tip Ray! Thank you.
May 9, 2017 @ 5:50 pm
Thank you so much for this informative video. I too am an Android user but was able to follow your video with no problem. The one thing I have noticed with backup and restore is if you are backing up on one device and want to restore it on another device I will override and highlights or bookmarks you had previously. So it may be worth the effort to make sure you back up all devices before you restore on another device. Nevertheless this is a wonderful feature.
May 9, 2017 @ 9:34 pm
Thank you very much for the video.
By the way, I found out that JW LIBRARY for Windows has “search” feature so that I can search through the notes I made. However, I can’t find it in IOS version. Do you know anything about it?
May 10, 2017 @ 7:04 am
Thank you for videos. Very informative. I hope to show them to others so all can learn these tips.
May 10, 2017 @ 10:36 am
Question: Is there a way to include my Highlighting in the Back up and Restore function? Until now, I have been using Google Play Books and studying on my PC, then sync it to my Nexus 7 tablet to use at the meetings. I tried to Back up and Restore my studied Watchtower this morning but it did not include my highlights.
May 10, 2017 @ 10:44 am
According to the update description in the App Store, highlighting is included in the backup.
May 10, 2017 @ 11:48 am
Thank you. I have it working ery well. I just studied my Watchtower and I believe I used all of your instructions. Restored to both my tablet and my phone. I use Dropbox and have to scroll quite a bit to get to the file to restore. Other than that minor thing, this is wonderful.
May 10, 2017 @ 12:21 pm
Thank you for this video but I have a problem about backup on my ipad air. When pressing backup does not do anything. It not appears the cloud locations to seve my notes. On my android phone works perfectly. The ios version is 10.3.1.
May 11, 2017 @ 10:27 am
Ok I fixed the problem with reset all settings on my iPad. Now the cloud locations works perfectly.
May 11, 2017 @ 10:28 am
Hooray! Thanks for the update George!
May 13, 2017 @ 5:37 pm
I am trying to use the side pane to add to my comments . I have successfully added three comments and tagged them, all went well. But now I am further down the page and the on device keyboard on my iPad is in my way and I can’t read what is am typing or see to add the tag feature. Do I need to get a separate keyboard to use this application !
Probably as soon as I send this I will figure out what I am doing wrong. I appreciate AppChasers so much, they have helped me learn to use Jwlibrary! THANKYOU for the work you do.
May 13, 2017 @ 5:49 pm
Hi, Jackie. Turning your iPad to portrait mode (long ways) helps. If you use it in landscape mode (sideways), your keyboard gets in the way. I hope this helps.
May 16, 2017 @ 7:25 pm
Many thanks for your efforts and everyone’s helpful comments!!!
May 19, 2017 @ 12:50 am
Greetings AppChasers & Friends, Thank you for this resourceful website! I am so excited about our JW Library update. I learned from your website an app that allows writing on PDF documents or which app to use with interactive programs but I’m noticing this years convention program appears not to be an interactive download. I’m guessing maybe because we can now take notes within our JW Library app; so inquiring if you know of a feature or do you know off a tool I can use with the app that has pen writing markup annotations without a stylus?
May 23, 2017 @ 10:00 am
merci beaucoup for the videos & tips! One question: does the note/tag feature work when you open the online JW library? this is where I personally would like to make notes & tags. I will besharing your videos etc with the large number of us ” older sisters” in our french group.
May 26, 2017 @ 4:39 am
Hi just want to know if you have tried restoring notes onto different platforms?
Have tried from Apple to Windows and vice versa. Windows crashed and Apple got stuck in a loop.
Seems like notes backed up are unique to the OS it originated from.
Keen to hear-thank you.
May 26, 2017 @ 6:29 am
Hello, thank you for the comment. At this time the notes feature only works within the JW Library app itself.
May 26, 2017 @ 6:30 am
Hi Peter. Great question. I personally don’t have any devices but Apple. So I have not tried this. Anyone else?
May 26, 2017 @ 11:07 am
Peter, I had the same problem. I will paste from another forum I am on.
After extensive testing here is what I have come up with on the crashing of JW Library on my Windows 10 Pro PC.
JW Library works okay on the PC. I have done various things to check and make sure Windows is working okay on it. The problem happens when I try to restore a backup made on my iPad Air 2 on iOS 10.3.1 into the JW Library app on the PC. It will crash every time. It says it is successful, I use it for a minute or two, and then it crashes.
I can take that same backup and restore it onto my old iPad 2 and it works okay. I can create a backup from the old iPad 2, not using data from my iPad Air 2, and restore it onto the PC and it works okay. I can’t transfer from iPad Air 2 to iPad 2, and then to PC, it will crash.
Therefore, it looks like something in the iPad Air 2 is causing the problem. I erased it and restored an old .db file to see if there was an issue there. It did not correct the problem.
I am starting to think my database is corrupt even though it works on both of my iPads. So, I deleted the app on my iPad Air 2 and re-downloaded it which created a new database. It works now. I lost all my data, but at least I can restore on the Windows PC now.
Maybe you can do a backup and keep it safe. Delete the app and restore it which will create a new database. You will have to download all the publications again. Make some notes and highlights. Try to restore to Windows now. I did not like that I lost all my data, but I really wanted to be able to restore to Windows and do things there. It is really cool.
I hope this helps.
May 26, 2017 @ 9:19 pm
OK, not sure I’m prepared wipe the lot.
I have notified the brothers, I think it is more of a bug fix, thanks anyways.
May 28, 2017 @ 8:57 am
Hey Eric. Under backup notes, you have the share arrow. Tap on that. If you have a new iPad or phone you can send your notes to that
May 28, 2017 @ 1:15 pm
Hello again. I create and restore buckups between ipad air, pc with windows, mobile phone with android and tablet samsung with android successfully. Works fine in all platforms. I used only dropbox cloud location and works perfectly.
May 28, 2017 @ 4:37 pm
That’s a great tip. Thanks Steve!
May 30, 2017 @ 3:03 pm
How can I delete a tag?
June 1, 2017 @ 12:07 pm
Peter, there was an update for JW Library for Windows today. I think it may have cured the problem. If you get a chance, can you try it and let us know. I have already started over, but I kept an old backup. It does not crash like it used to.
June 1, 2017 @ 12:14 pm
I think I spoke too soon. It is still crashing. I was able to work in it for quite a while before it happened.
June 1, 2017 @ 7:15 pm
Yes, I think they still need to work on it, but apple device to apple devices seems OK.
June 4, 2017 @ 10:35 am
Thanks for the helpful information. Do you know how to write a script or task automatically backup my notes from my laptop once a week and save to my Google Drive? That would be nice in case I forget to sync my notes I could do so at any time.
June 11, 2017 @ 11:50 pm
Hi, do you know if an Android app is available to describe WT pics from embedded HTML code pls like yr Apple OS version? Many thx.
June 12, 2017 @ 3:49 am
Hello. On an Android device I believe you can simply tap and hold on a photo to have it display the description. Can someone confirm this?
July 3, 2017 @ 6:21 am
My android will not show the description by tap and holding down on it..
July 15, 2017 @ 3:46 am
When you click on a scripture in an article, a side reading pane opens. What is the icon for next to the personal study icon. I have clicked on it and it says click on a link. Link to what?
Love this App so. Ugh!
July 17, 2017 @ 4:56 pm
Question on JW Library APP. I have my Pioneer book in JW Library APP on my tablet. I want to put this on my JW Library APP on my Windows 10 PC, so on my tablet I create Backup and then on my PC Restore backup but the book will not go into the Windows 10 PC app. Any ideas? Interesting that it will not go into my JW Library APP on my phone either.
July 18, 2017 @ 5:23 pm
Referring to my Question Re: importing Pioneer Book on PC. I found a way and this is now resolved!
July 18, 2017 @ 8:01 pm
I love to study on my iPhone on the go and then AirDrop my JW Library backup to my iPad later.
It’s quick and easy and keeps them in sync without the internet. I also back up the iPhone or iPad to DropBox on occasion and use that to restore the backup on HP Windows laptop so everything is the same across all of my devices.
July 24, 2017 @ 11:14 am
My iPad mini app, which has worked perfectly for past year, suddenly crashed two days ago, would not reload. I deleted and reinstalled app (had to reinstall all publications, videos, etc.). Everything works except the scripture links. None work from any page, publication, download. Help.
July 24, 2017 @ 12:05 pm
Janet, have you tried this by any chance? Sometimes it helps with things.
Reset your iPad.
Press and hold down the sleep/wake button while you press and hold down the Home button at the same time. Ignore the Slide to Power Off slider when it appears; continue to hold down both buttons until your iPad restarts and you see the Apple logo in the middle of the screen.
I hope it helps.
July 24, 2017 @ 12:06 pm
Thanks for your comment Debbie! Here is a short video on how to do that: http://youtu.be/n2_KuxZHhAU
August 13, 2017 @ 7:01 pm
Hi I had a lot of notes etc. however I got a bug in jwlib in my iPad so had to remove jwlib and reload it. Sadly after reloading my notes had gone. A bit sad as had hi listed nearly whole Bible. Is there any way to get them back?
August 13, 2017 @ 8:38 pm
Hi. Oh no I’m sorry to hear that! Did you Backup before the crash?
August 13, 2017 @ 9:17 pm
Did you back up otherwise don’t think so,
August 14, 2017 @ 2:19 am
Hi Didnt know about backup so it looks a bit sad
August 30, 2017 @ 11:55 pm
I wonder if you would have a suggestion to help. I am trying to type in my “notes” in the jw library app. It works fine if I type using the keyboard on my iPad. If I use a bluetooth keyboard in automatically closes the note before I can type in it. I highlight, touch the note symbol, it pops up in the side bar but it is closed. I touch edit and it opens and closes right back. I have tried two different keyboards and both have the same problem. Any thoughts
August 31, 2017 @ 1:16 am
If yours is a iPad pro with apple keyboard it might work, maybe someone out there can tell you.
Personally, I think the note feature is linked to the jw app and will not work separately as apple note would.
August 31, 2017 @ 6:42 am
Hey Joe. Thanks for the question. That is an interesting problem. I’ve had some issues editing a note when it’s in the side bar. Please try editing the same note when in the full screen Personal Study tab and see if it gives you trouble.
August 31, 2017 @ 8:06 am
Good suggestion. I tried that and I can edit in full screen in the personal study page. The problem seems restricted to the side bar.
August 31, 2017 @ 8:08 am
That’s good. Yeah I’ve had problems editing a long note in the side bar NOT using a Bluetooth keyboard. Hopefully it will be fixed soon 😊
August 31, 2017 @ 8:17 am
Yeah bummer, I can’t edit anything at all. Not even two words. Is the best way to jump to the personal study page just using the icon at the bottom of the page? There isn’t a keyboard short cut to toggle between personal study and the current page that you know of?
By the way, thanks for all the help. It is so nice to have you as a resource.
September 2, 2017 @ 5:45 pm
thanks very much for all you do to help many of us who’s skills are “lagging”…..
wondering too, though—while i recently downloaded the windows 10 operating system from 8.1, will the JW.Library offer the newer category of learning “activities”?
September 15, 2017 @ 11:46 am
Thank you so much! We’ve been using all of these wonderful updates but could not figure out to backup our notes and things. So easy to follow and do. Thank you again.
October 5, 2017 @ 9:36 pm
I have inserted my notes in JW Library on my Windows 10 PC and would like to transfer those same notes to my IPad Mini. How do I do that? I have tried creating backup to my dropbox but that does not update my latest note (gems) to my ipad.
October 15, 2017 @ 8:21 pm
I successfully moved my notes from Android to my new iPad.. but i was hoping to MERGE the notes from each device. Sometimes I can only use my phone to study, but other times the iPad. Anyone have success merging personal notes and tags from both devices?
October 15, 2017 @ 8:41 pm
Hi Becky. Thanks for the question. Unfortunately at this time I don’t think that’s possible.
October 15, 2017 @ 9:09 pm
Actually figured out you can type in your notes (gems) in your laptop (Windows 10) by creating back-up saving in your Dropbox. Once saved go to your iPad in your JW Library restore backup in your Dropbox open folder where your Dropbox placed backup. This will then bring up your notes originally created on your PC or laptop.
October 15, 2017 @ 9:19 pm
When you finish any study on any device-you need to upload the backup then in you next device you need to download the back up and restore before you continue any more notes and study. That’s the way it’s currently designed (no syncing possible across all devices). But happily we can transfer but be mindful of the latest backup we make.
November 28, 2017 @ 12:49 pm
Is there a way to link other publications or videos to a note? All within JW Library App of course. For example, if I have a note in Matthew 24: 14 and want to link it to w13 4/15 “Make Sure if the More Important Things”. Or if i wanted to add a note to the first scripture in Matthew and link it to the “Introduction to Matthew” video.
Is this a feature that’s available and I’m just missing it? The main site used to have a feature suggestion and bug report email, but I don’t see it any more. Any way to suggest features?
December 2, 2017 @ 11:18 am
Hi. There is no way to do that at present.
January 1, 2018 @ 7:43 pm
I apologize if this has already been addressed… When I did the update I was not aware of the backup feature and my Pioneer school book and all of my many hours of notes were erased from my app and iPad….Is there anyway to retrieve that information? I was so heartbroken when I realize what had happened.
January 2, 2018 @ 12:06 am
You may be able to restore your iPad from a previous iCloud backup. That would probably be the only way to get anything back.
January 2, 2018 @ 3:32 am
If you haven’t got the pioneer text book-install it again and notes should reappear…
January 8, 2018 @ 6:26 pm
I am really struggling to understand backup/restore feature in jw library have iPad mini. Can see data backup folder on iCloud Drive but has previous date. After adding addition notes I have attempted using create backup as well as restore but my option seems to always go behind the word cancel not allowing to choose backup or restore. I have plenty storage. Can you help me reason on why this is happening
January 13, 2018 @ 4:33 pm
“The publication is not available at this time, please try again later”. A brother ask me to help him with that error beneath his meetings page on the Jw library app. Most publications, videos etc were not available. I tried downloading an older version (APK) online. I don’t know if it worked for him or not, lost contact because i moved. Few days later (early this year) when I opened my Jw library and went to meeting, I saw the same error. I updated it, downloaded older versions, cleared the data and chache but still doesn’t work. Please help, what do I do?
January 20, 2018 @ 4:03 am
I have the same problem with edmund here. Most publications are not available. Meetings, publications are incomplete. Help please.
February 20, 2018 @ 2:41 am
“The publication is not available at this time, please try again later”. My android phone and my father-in-laws tabs are showing this error too. It has totally rendered the app ineffective. Please who can help with this issue
Robert M Bhagwandin
June 9, 2018 @ 12:21 pm
This is for anyone trying to transfer JW Library Personal Study Notes between Phones. Here is the resolution for making transfers of my JW Library “Personal Study Notes” being transferred from an Old Samsung Phone to a New Samsung Phone. (Phones are: Samsung S7 with all the Notes being transferred to a new Samsung S9+).
The Procedures used: Make sure both Phones are Bluetooth Visible and on the same Wi-Fi Network. Open up JW Library on the Old Phone and go to Personal Study Tab, and open. Next, on the Old Phone, using the Cloud icon in the upper right, Create a Backup. Click on “Smart Things” icon, when the window shows, then Click on the (Available Devices). Go to the New Phone and Accept. Final Steps include: After the download and transfer, Drag down your notification window on the new phone and tap on the “Notification Transfer of files”. Click restore. Make sure that JW Library is loaded on the New Phone. If Notes were made on both the Study Bible and the New World translation, both Versions need to be on the New Phone. I hope this will help others having the same concerns.
July 23, 2018 @ 12:07 am
Hi is it possible to print my personal study notes? I’m preparing for my first pioneer school. It would be helpful for me to have a hard copy of my notes for each unit. Apologies if this has been discussed. i perused comments but didn’t see this question.
July 23, 2018 @ 6:46 am
Cannot print from the app, but you can copy and paste into ms word or other word processor then print from there. Could copy and paste into an email to yourself also.
July 23, 2018 @ 6:57 am
Cannot print from app but you can copy and paste into a word processor or an email to yourself then print from there.
July 23, 2018 @ 7:07 am
Toni is correct….
July 23, 2018 @ 4:56 pm
Having trouble! I cannot access JW.org from JW library app. I get to .org but page will not load entirely, then freezes. I deleted the library app and reinstalled. The problem still exists. Any help?
August 12, 2018 @ 2:26 pm
Hi Brother. Is there a way to print the personal study notes. I just attended the pioneer school and would like to print the bounteous notes taken w/ associated tags to create a pioneer notebook from which to reflect.
August 12, 2018 @ 2:58 pm
Duh just saw Toni’s replies. Is there a workflow out there to accomplish this task. I have lots of notes and not nearly the time. Thanks