Bullet Journaling for My Scripture Study

Daily scripture study is not an easy habit to maintain. You'll recall I did a previous post about my scripture study bullet journal, where I said I was making some great progress with consistency. But there were quite a few things in my approach that I didn't like, so I stopped doing them. And once I stopped planning, my study became inconsistent again.

So I sat down and decided to deconstruct what was working for me, and what wasn't. What came from it has me really excited, and I think will allow me to zero in on what was working, and to ditch everything else that was needlessly taking up time and space.

The only thing I need my bullet journal to do is to help me study the scriptures, prepare lessons, and take notes in my various meetings. That's it. I don't need it to be a calendar, a planner, or a place of endless doodling. All of that stuff, as trendy as it is on all of the Pinterest boards for bullet journaling, is a distraction to me. I don't have time to replicate via hand drawn calendars what my cell phone can do in a matter of seconds. So I'm not going to do it anymore.

Instead, I'm going to focus my spreads purely on planning my scripture study. I wanted something simple that requires very little set-up time. With my new daily spread, I feel like I've achieved that goal:

Monday (or date range for prolonged study)Faith, Alma 32, Moroni 7, Holland (April 2016)
  • Find verses for lesson, talk, discussion, etc.
  • Personal goals for daily scripture study
  • Reading material for classes to be taught on Sunday
  • Receive answers from the Holy Ghost to a specific question
Alma 32:1

:2, 3, etc.

Moroni 7:1

Bednar, TopicInclude any direct quotes, personal impressions
New verses on multiple days for prolonged studyAdd additional cross references and notes.

I'm excited to try out this daily spread to see how I like it. I like the elements here, but I could see myself continuing to perfect the formatting until I'm completely satisfied with it. I'll be sure to keep you posted as I find what works best for me here.

In terms of a weekly spread, this really is the full extent of what I need, in terms of long range planning. If I plan my scripture study topics too far in advance, they become too far removed from what my present needs and questions are. So in terms of nailing down exact topics, I'm sticking to a basic weekly spread. I've laid it out to fit the tall, narrow pages of my current journal. But I'm sticking with keeping Sunday as the largest day. That way, I can not only plan for how I plan to keep the Sabbath day holy, I can also jot down ideas during sacrament meeting of topics or questions I want to study in the coming week. These are easy enough to use the typical arrows, to indicate ideas that need to be migrated into an upcoming spread.

Include built-in spaces for FHE, family scripture study, family councils, etc.Plan for individual study, with topics, chapters, goals, etc.
Schedule study for upcoming meetings, lessons on whichever day works best for you (For me, it's always Wednesday_Schedule study before you attend the temple
Plan to record promptings you receive,
scriptures you study at the temple
Schedule spiritual preparation for the sacrament
Finalize prep for Sunday meetings and lessons
Plan to make the study of scriptures, general conference talks, devotionals, etc. a part of your Sabbath day observance
Note scriptures you want to use in meetings, councils, or lessons for the day
→ Indicate topics or chapters to be migrated with arrows

If you're feeling super proactive (or especially bored during testimony meeting or dry council Sunday) you can set up your weekly spread for the coming week, then fill it in. A sacrament meeting speaker may not be holding your attention, but getting something out of it anyway is a conscious choice. I've learned some amazing lessons from the scriptures in meetings like that, because the spirit of revelation is still there. Carrying that spirit into the rest of my week in what I study helps me to see the thread of revelation running throughout my life.

Because I don't find it especially productive to do monthly planning, I'm not going to do it anymore. The only part of that I found to be constructive was the goal setting, creative brainstorming, and personal reflection. So that's what I'm keeping. Instead of calendaring a bunch of stuff that far in advance, I'm going to stick with a list format to help me think of things to study. I can draw from it for my weekly planning if anything catches my fancy. I can migrate anything to next month's list that I still think is important, and add page numbers to the ones I do study.

  • Goals
    • What is working well in my scripture study, and how will I continue doing it?
    • How can I improve my study? What obstacles do I need to remove?
  • Topics
    • What is my least favorite or least frequently studied topic in the scriptures?
    • Break down larger questions into its fundamental gospel components, and study them
  • Reading Goals 
    • Example: Finish the Book of Mormon by the end of the month
    • Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Yearly Reading Goals (with trackers)
  • Lesson Topics
    • Come Follow Me
    • Gospel Doctrine/Principles
    • Teachings of the Prophets
    • Teaching in the Savior’s Way
  • Questions
    • Honest
    • Interesting
    • Personally relevant
  • Follow Up on previous topics/questions
    • Is there more the Lord wants to teach you on a subject you have previously studied?

By simplifying the way I plan my scripture study, I will make it easier for myself to follow through. Instead of managing my study as an event, I want to facilitate the best possible experience for myself, based on what I need most in that moment. What this looks like changes for me so often, I need to more fully embrace the variety and depth that's truly available to me. I'm looking forward to how these new changes will help me to do that, and I'll continue to post updates here as I make these tools and techniques work for me.

Truth Eternal Tells Me I've a Mother There

Without further ado, let's do a scriptural deep-dive on Heavenly Mother. I've put a lot of thought into the best way to create a lon...