Recently, a company reached out to me about a new Bible study product they were offering. They had read my blog, “Has Bible Journaling Gone Too Far?” where I discussed the newest trend of drawing in your Bible and taking notes. I’m not opposed to taking notes within the margins of your Bible, but drawing over the sacred text is a no-no to me.
The JOT Bible Life-Notes people reached out to me with a cool new solution: a journal divided into sections for every book, chapter and verse of the Bible. I agreed to give it a try and write this post about my thoughts. (No money exchanged hands and I haven’t been bribed to write this.)
First, let me give you some background from their website: Instead of scattering your handwritten notes across multiple journals, or squeezing them along the margins of your Bible, the Jot Bible Life-Notes journal makes it possible to keep all of your notes together in one well-organized volume.
Well, I can certainly relate to that. As a writer, I have notebooks and journals all over. It’s what we do as writers. But I’ve also been working on a Bible study book aimed at people who suffer from depression. I’m methodically reading through my Bible, and making notes that I think might add to my book, as I go along. Here is what that has looked like the past few months:
Kind of messy, huh? Then I got my JOT Journal.
At first, I thought, “Wow, it’s heavy!” It’s the size of my actual Bible! I wasn’t sure I was going to like this new way of doing things. How would I be able to take notes with this cumbersome thing?
What I did love about this journal was that it looked just like a Bible! Complete with the gilded page edges, genuine leather casing, smyth-sewn binding, pages with acid-free paper and everything (even a storage box!) The paper is a bit heavier inside so you can take notes on it without it ripping, but, surprisingly, with this heavier paper, it’s still about the same weight as my Bible. As I began looking through it I noticed there is space to take notes for every book, chapter and verse of the Bible! Of course it needs to be big! How else would they fit all that in there?
I still wasn’t convinced I could balance this large item plus my Bible to get any good use out of it. Then I started to use it. I read my Bible, usually in the morning, and use an online commentary (Thru the Bible by J. Vernon McGee – I highly recommend it) to help me understand the Word better. As I’ve gone through the Bible in the past, if something strikes me as being important, I’ve used my notebook or legal pad to jot down the note. Here’s the issue with that – I have notes everywhere! How will I ever find what I need when I’m ready to write my book?
The JOT Journal actually helps in this regard! Here is what my study looks like now:
As you can see from the picture above, I’ve been making good use of the journal. There is more than enough space to write notes and even an extra notes section at the end of each book of the Bible if there isn’t. Plus, as you might be able to see above, I’m using an asterisk beside items that might help in the formation of my own book one day. That way I can simply pick up my JOT, find the asterisks and go from there! I’m so blown away how convenient and easily-organized this makes my study and work!
In addition, if I use different Bibles, I can still use the JOT to make notes – so even though I may use five or more translations, all my notes will be in one place.
Now, with all that said, I’ll give one downside for me: I don’t take it with me outside the home. It’s just too cumbersome and I don’t like to be weighed down. I still take a small notebook with me to church and group study, then I can transfer any note I took into my JOT when I return home. That way it’s still in the JOT journal, but I didn’t have to lug it around with me. It’s one very small downside to this otherwise wonderful product. (And if you don’t mind carrying it with you – then it isn’t a downside!)
I’m so thankful that God placed this wonderful product into my hands to help with my study of His Word. It has truly enriched my study and I know it will eventually assist in the writing of my book.
If you decide to give this journal a try, let me know what you think of it – I’d love to know how it’s helped you!
To learn more or purchase your own JOT Bible Life-Notes Journal go to: https://jotbiblelifenotes.com/ and tell them I sent you!