Search Your Collections More Quickly

Creating collections is essential to getting the most use out of your digital library. They serve two main purposes: organizing My Library and enabling more targeted and faster searching.

I have dozens of collections and use them all the time, especially for searching.

Here are some of the ways I like to group and search my digital library:

  • Author collections
  • Bible dictionaries collection
  • Biblical theology collection
  • Biographical resources collection
  • Book reviews collection
  • Church fathers collection
  • Church history collection
  • Denominational collections
  • Grammar collections
  • Systematic theologies collection
  • Systematic theology collection
  • Theological journals collection

As your number of collections increases, it can start to take longer to find the collection you’re looking for, especially if you have several collections that start with the same few letters.

What I like to do is add a unique abbreviation at the end of some of my most frequently used collections to make pulling them up when I’m searching take just a few keystrokes.

  • Barth’s Church Dogmatics | CD
  • Bible Dictionaries | BD
  • Biblical Theologies | BTs
  • Biblical Theology Tools | BTT
  • Book Reviews | BR
  • Books on Books | BB
  • Church Fathers | CF
  • Systematic Theologies | STs
  • Systematic Theology Tools | STT
  • Theological Journal Library | TJL
  • Works of John Owen | WJO

As your library continues to grow, you may have to tweak your abbreviations some. But I’ve found this to shave off a second or two every time I do a search. If you search collections frequently, you may benefit from this as well.


  1. Brian Benscoter says

    Phil: Thank you always for your blogs. Your hint on the abbreviations is fantastic and will be a great help. I spent a considerable amount of time creating collections (over 120) so that my searching could be as specific and as helpful as possible. As a result I search through my collections constantly and this hint will become very helpful. Thank you again. – Brian

  2. You’re very welcome, Brian. I’m glad you enjoyed it and hope it is of some help to you.

  3. Is there any way to share those collections? That will be a great feature to have :)

  4. Ken Neighoff says

    Are any of these collections available as a download, like the theology collections you have on your web site? If they are not, could they be made available?

  5. Hi, Ken, are you referring to the free collection files or to the actual collection of books for purchase? We’re working on a page that will have collection files available for free download.

  6. I have a bunch of collection files to share. You can extract them with winrar and add them to your collections folder.