Why You Should Stop Bible Journaling

I know what you’re thinking… Why is she telling me to stop Bible journaling? What’s wrong with it?

In my honest opinion, with the proper intent – nothing. I used to doodle, draw, highlight, underline, and take notes in my Bible before it became a popular trend. It was a way to help me remember important points or highlight Scriptures that I wanted to memorize or easily go back to.

A woman journaling in her bible.

My husband, on the other hand, would have something very different (and valid) to say about it. Bryan, among many others, sees the Bible just as sacred as the relationship with the One from which it came and believes that it should not be tampered with much more than a bookmark to hold a place.

I truly understand his point of view as well as most intents behind Bible journaling. But I must be honest and share something that plagues my mind about what it has become in these recent days.

Bible Journaling Today

Nowadays I’m noticing the extent to which Bible journaling has gone. I come across images of full-blown pictures written all over an entire page of a Bible, and it makes me wonder if the person is even reading the Word anymore. How are they able to when it is completely colored over?

Other layouts I’ve seen had so much tape, stickers, and extra things taped on the page, I wondered if the person even remembered what was there to begin with. Now before you start throwing stones at me, hear me out (and don’t forget that I too scribbled in my Bible for a period of time).

Why you should stop bible journaling and what you can do instead.

What to do instead.

If you write, doodle, color, draw pictures, tape tons of extra things in your Bible to the point of it being unreadable and/or just for looks, then I recommend that you stop Bible journaling. However, if you’re truly trying to grow spiritually and journaling is a means that helps you do that then I highly recommend considering various styles that can accomplish the same goal without turning your Bible into an art show.

Binder Journaling

I’d like to suggest a [not-so] new style of journaling that will allow you to maximize space and creativity – binder journaling! This style of journal keeping is also known as a journal binder (what I like to call it), a war binder, prayer binder, Scripture study binder, and so on. Simply put, instead of using your Bible to doodle, draw, note-take, and the like, use a binder!

There are many ways you can set up a journal binder, but I’d like to share the way I created and set up mine.

Gather Supplies

The most basic journal binder starts with a few basic supplies:

  • 1 binder (typically a 1.5″ or bigger)
  • Dividers
  • Paper
  • Doodle pens, markers, coloring pencils, etc.
  • Extra accessories (Washi tape, stickers, bookmarks, Scripture cards, etc.)

Once you’ve gathered your supplies, choose what sections will be in your journal binder. I’ll talk about the suggested sections next, but in the meantime let your creative juices flow. You can either hand doodle art on your tabs or create images using something like Canva and print them on your tabs.

Suggested Sections

There are five main sections that I put in my journal binder:

  • Affirmations
  • Encouragement
  • Praise
  • Prayer
  • Studies


Affirmations is the go-to section for reminders using Scripture in the first-person and present tense. It brings an entirely new connection with the Word for me because I am able to put myself on the direct receiving end of the affirmation. 2 Corinthians 5:17 – “Therefore, if anyone is in Messiah, he is a renewed creature…” becomes “I am a new creation in Messiah!”


Encouragement is the section used much like affirmations except it comprises of Scripture and journaling about specific passages. For example, I get super encouraged about the story of the woman with the issue of blood. From the courage she had to leave her home to the faith she had to be healed just by touching the Messiah tzitzits speaks volumes to me. This is something you’d find journaled out in my encouragement section.


Praise is self-explanatory of course, but I like to think of it as a way of writing actual thank you cards to the Father and putting them in this section. There is something to praising the Father, especially when facing difficult times. I’ve never known anyone to come out of a moment of praise feeling down and out. Nope. Praise definitely has a way of shifting moods and lifting spirits!


The prayer section is another self-explanatory section, and this is where things can get really detailed. My husband gave me the idea of giving every person I could think of in my immediate and extended family and page to pray specifically for them. After giving it some thought, I found it to be a lovely idea. Other pages I have in the section are prayers for:

  • Myself
  • My husband Bryan
  • Our Marriage
  • Our Children (they each have their own page(s)
  • Our Homeschool
  • Our Business(es)
  • Finances
  • Desires


The last section I have is Studies. This is where all my Bible study notes go. Whether it’s a topical, word, or any other kind of study – it goes here.

Why I Use A Binder to Journal

I upgraded to using a binder journal for two main reasons, (1) to maximize space, and (2) to allow for unrestricted creativity. I can write, doodle, draw and get creative with tapes and stickers without completely covering up the Scripture in my Bible. I can also easily add to and take away as needed (no pun intended, LOL).

One of the biggest issues I ran into with using standard journals was running out of space. With a binder, I get double, if not triple the amount of space and can always upgrade without having to leave any past notes behind.

Lastly, I use a binder to journal because I can personalize it. I named mine after my very first blog that I started about a decade ago called DIGG LIFE. DIGG LIFE stands for Digging in God’s Grace & Living in Faith Every Day. Beyond this being super sentimental to me, it also speaks of my walk with the Most High. I want to always dig in His grace and live in faith every single day.

A bible and journal laying on the table.

Other Bible Journaling Ideas

Keeping in line with not writing in your Bible, I created several printable journals that you can download and print however many pages you want. Each of these has been created with the writer and doodler in mind. You can add these to your very own journal binder, use it to create one, or keep them as individual pages. Access them below:

CHIME IN: Do you keep a journal? If so, what kind and why? Let me know in the comments below!

This Post Has 20 Comments

  1. Chris

    I have become frustrated with the very same thing!! It seems to have become an art project, instead of interaction with the Word. Unless someone is memorizing during the hours of drawing and coloring, it seems almost a time waster….. I don’t have a platform to share that, so you got me singing to the choir!

    1. Michelle

      It’s so comforting to know that my husband (and I) aren’t the only ones!! Woot woot!

  2. Laura

    I so agree with you Michelle! And I love your binder idea!! Keeps your Bible niceand clear while giving you a place to be creative and collect all your thoughts and prayers! Love the organization of your binder too!! Right now I just have a small journal where I write about my day type of thing. But I’d really like to try this! Where do I find prices?I live in Canada,do you ship to Canada?

    1. Michelle

      Thanks Laura! I really appreciate your kind words. I will send you an email to discuss shipping options! XO

  3. Carli

    You are preaching, sister! It DRIVES me crazy when I see people do that. i am all about writing notes and underlining and highlighting things in the Word. I do this when something sticks out to me and I want to remember it next time I land there. It is so disgraceful to me though to draw all over the word. Furthermore, I find it distracting in church when I sit next to someone who has that all over their pages. Let me get off my soapbox now.

    1. Michelle

      I think that’s something people don’t always take into consideration. Someone else told me that it is a form of expression and can help people get into the Word. While I agree, I still see your point as more valid in terms of it being a distraction. At first it was cell phones in church becoming a distraction… now it’s Bible journaling! Thanks for stopping by! XO

    2. Laura

      I do the same thing when I read my bible meaning that I will underline and highlight things that stand out to me.

  4. Claudia Estrada

    I love and need the full kit.
    Now, as the journaling part, I have never been a huge fan honestly. To me the bible is sacred and every verse has a different help you differently in different moments of your life!

    1. Michelle

      I understand what you mean! Journaling is definitely not for everyone and has it’s various uses. Thanks for stopping by Claudia, XO!

  5. candy

    I underline or write simple words to remember in my scriptures. I have a scripture journal that I use to worth down thoughts, questions and feelings for when I am reading and studying the scriptures.

  6. Colleen

    Binder journaling sounds a lot like bullet journaling (at least when it comes to the creativity in the spreads people create). I’d never even heard of Bible journaling before, and it sounds like I’m on your husband’s side of the argument here. I may have highlighted a few passages in my Bible, but nothing like underlining or notes in the margins.

    1. Michelle

      I agree, it does! I also used to BUJO hardcore and this is definitely up there with it. Thanks so much for stopping by Colleen!

  7. I think it’s incredible that you make these! I find it helpful to journal as I read my scriptures, too. It helps me to better remember what I’ve read and especially to remember promptings I’ve received. There is no way I could fit what I need to write in just the margins!

    1. Michelle

      Yassss! This!! There are times where God speaks something to my spirit that I just HAVE TO write down… in my Bible would NOT be a good place. LOL Thanks so much for stopping by Amy!

  8. Melanie

    I’m sorry but I completely disagree. My jouneraling bible is my RESPONSE bible not my study bible. While I’m making a joyful picture FOR MY FATHER I’m talking to him, I’m committing his word to my heart. I pray to him, I sit in silence with him. I let his hand guide my own and marvel at the artwork that HE helped me to create. I was not blessed with vocal ability, we won’t start with how enept I am with an instrument, but I CAN draw. I can create beautiful images, a gift that came from my father, a gift that I bring into his thrown room when ever I have the chance. It’s a bible that my children love to look through and want to hear the story of the storm at sea, because they saw the beautiful pastels that created that work of art. I

    1. Michelle

      Hey Melanie, thanks for stopping by and sharing your passion for Bible journaling. I believe everyone is able and should make their own decisions. My post is not to attack anyone (sorry if you felt that way), but to share me and my husband’s opinions about the matter, and simply suggest other forms of journaling. Keep in mind the intent of my post is to help others be mindful of their reasoning for Bible journaling and offer additional ways to do the same, if not more, by incorporating a journal binder. XO

    2. Ashley

      Your comment is so beautiful Melanie! Thanks for sharing why you Bible journal. That’s how I feel when I draw something in my scriptures.

  9. Red

    I agree! Thank you for posting this and for bringing another option to the table. I will be doing this for sure!!

    1. Michelle

      You’re so welcome! Glad I could help out. Thanks for stopping by, XO!

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