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Bible journaling and note-taking systems are a hot trend on Pinterest and local craft stores. If you read my previous post, you saw that there are a wide variety of Bibles to choose from whether you enjoy the archaeological history that’s been uncovered or want to highlight moments where you can relate to characters’ circumstances and emotions.
Perhaps you are more of an organizer than an artist, more logical than imaginative. Maybe you enjoy finding patterns in repeated words and phrases rather than analyzing genealogies. Or maybe a character study or researching a specific theme appeals to you.
I happen to be a mixture of all these things, never being fully satisfied to stay put in one area. But no matter what draws you in, the important thing is that you find what lights you up and gets you into the Word on a regular basis.
Here are some specifics on creating a note-taking system that works for you.
CHOOSING YOUR SUPPLIES FOR BIBLE NOTE-TAKING
I always like to be able to find an excuse to organize something into a better, more productive system, and my Bible is no different. Get motivated with these supplies:
- Highlighters – for color-coding different categories or zooming in on a passage that speaks to you
- Books of the Bible Tabs – for maneuvering your way quickly through the Bible, also another method for color-coding books of the Bible
- Pens that don’t bleed – a must!
- Colored pencils – for illustrating
- Small pads of paper – for extra insights to slip in between pages
- A printer – for any website information you research such as Bible maps
- Bible study resources: topical Bible resources, books and workbooks, Bible diagrams
DO YOU HAVE TO BE AN ARTIST TO USE A BIBLE JOURNAL?
No! While I can appreciate the trend to write out one verse on a page of your Bible in the margin and illustrate it with watercolors and specialized pens, I feel like that turns my Bible into more of a sketchbook and not quite what I’m going for in my Bible study.
My approach to note-taking varies, and doodling is only one type of way to help me study the text.
Just as each person is gifted with their own learning styles, we can apply what worked for us in our school days to how we can more effectively study the Bible.
This is your Bible. Make it personalized. Flip through each and every page and work your way through the thing.
“For the Word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints an marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” -Hebrews 4:12
WHAT KIND OF NOTE TAKER ARE YOU?
We all took notes in school, but over time we learned ways to do it in a way that actually helped us retain the information. Maybe you were a doodler, a paraphraser, a connection maker.
If you’re like me, you’re a mixture of a few, but see which one resonates with you the most and get started on that one.
1. THE HISTORIAN
You love learning about history and cultures. Maps and diagrams are your favorite tools.
2. THE SUMMARIZER
You like to simplify what you read in order to break it down into manageable parts. The no-bleed pen is your favorite tool.
3. THE LIST MAKER
You spend time organizing things and creating to-do lists. Books of the Bible tabs are your go-to tool.
4. THE ACTION TAKER
You want to know what to do and how to do it. You love topical resources.
5. THE ARTIST
You appreciate a good visual to help you make sense of text. Your favorite tools are colored pencils.
WHAT ARE YOU WAITIG FOR? START YOUR BIBLE NOTE-TAKING TODAY!
Like to circle? Find descriptions of who God is in Psalm 18:1-3.
Enjoy color coding? Make your way through the book of Luke and highlight each heading that covers a parable (a story Jesus told) or a miracle.
BEFORE YOU GO…
I also love to jot down important spiritual moments in my life in my Bible. You can read about a few here: How Lyme Disease Made Me Question My Faith.
Then catch up on all the posts in this series:
- Choosing a Bible That’s Right For You
- Understanding the Basic Timeline of the Old Testament
- Navigating the Events of the New Testament
- Five Ways Jesus Practiced Self-Care
- Creating a Bible Note-Taking System That Works For You
- How to Navigate the Bible as a “Self-Help” Resource
- Why Memorizing Scripture Doesn’t Have to be Hard and Why You Need To Do It
- Discovering Your Spiritual Gifts and How to Use Them
- Designing Your Spiritual Goals
You can also sign up to be notified when the new ones post (and you get some FREEBIES for signing up!)
See you next week!