I remember the very first time I laid eyes on a journaling Bible. It was my senior year of high school, and one of my friends received one as a present. She brought it to Bible class and all the girls ooh-ed and ah-ed over the gorgeous floral cover. Then she opened it and showed us how there were lines on the inside she could use to take notes.

It felt weird, being jealous of a Bible. Seemed paradoxical or something.

But I was. I looked at my normal Bible, with small margins that are hard to write in and sighed. I wouldn’t ever be able to take such good notes in my Bible as my friend. It made me feel like a less-than Christian. I know it’s silly, but that’s how I felt.

Over the next few months and years, the Bible journaling craze has only grown.

Have you seen pictures of gorgeous journaling Bibles on Instagram or Pinterest? I sure have! Looking at the beautiful artwork done in the margins of the pictured journaling Bibles makes me smile. I love seeing other people’s notes.

But, I still don’t have a journaling Bible. And I don’t know if I’ll ever buy one.

For one, journaling Bibles are expensive!
And for two, I’m kinda attached to my current Bible.

You see, I learned over the years that I don’t need a fancy journaling Bible to take pretty notes in my Bible. I can do so in my “normal” Bible just fine.

I have some friends who don’t like to write in their Bibles- even if it’s just underlining a verse. If that’s you, no worries :) I’m not here to force you to write in your Bible. For me, however, I’ve found that writing in my Bible really helps me. Whenever I break out the colored pencils or the washi tape, somehow I always end up more focused and more engaged with what I’m reading. 

That being said, today I want to share with you how I Bible journal without a journaling Bible in case you’d like to do so as well :)

I've learned over the years that I don't need a fancy journaling Bible to take pretty notes in my Bible. I can do so in my "normal" Bible just fine.

Alrighty, so let’s get started with a list of the supplies I use.

Supplies Needed:

  • Bible
    • This is the most important supply ;)
    • My Bible is the English Standard Version Student Study Bible. I bought it from Crossway.org in 2012. See similar Bibles here.
  • Washi Tape
    • Hobby Lobby had a sale on washi tape a few months ago, so I got most of mine there.
    • Walmart also has a good selection
  • Sticky Notes
  • Paper
    • You can use scrapbooking paper, or regular copy paper.
  • Pens, Colored Pencils, Crayons, Highlighters, etc.

Bible Journal 1

How I Bible Journal without a Journaling Bible:

Method #1: Write in Margins

This is the very first way I started Bible journaling.

All you need to do is write in the margins of your Bible as you read your Bible, listen to a sermon, or participate in a Bible study.

Pretty simple, right? :)


Bible Journal 4


If you mess up, you can simply place washi tape over the mess up and try again :)


Bible Journal 6


My Bible also has introduction pages to each book of the Bible. Sometimes these pages have blank space, and I use those to take notes on as well.


Bible Journal 10

Method #2: Sticky Notes

This method involves one of the most magical creations ever: sticky notes!

Odds are, you already have some of these lying around, but if not they’re pretty inexpensive.

Sticky notes are a great way to record notes in your Bible.

I carry sticky notes in my purse so that in church, if I need something to take notes on, I can whip out my sticky notes and place some on the page of the passage we’re discussing. Works out great!


Bible Journaling 2

Bible Journal 3

Method #3: Washi Tape 

Washi tape is amazing! It comes in so many different colors and it’s so fun!

Like I mentioned above, I have several rolls of it now due to a sale Hobby Lobby had a while back. I have “regular” width washi tape, as well as skinnier washi tape.

The thicker, regular size I use to tape in paper.


Bible Journal 11

Bible Journal 9


The thinner tape I use to decorate the margins sometimes

Sometimes, if I’m studying one particular passage a lot, I’ll washi tape the top edge of that page so it’ll stand out and is easy to turn to. (Example of that under Method #5.)

Method #4: Color in Margins

You know those cute doodles you think of when you hear “Journaling Bible?”

Well, there’s no reason you can’t doodle in your normal Bible! Sure, these doodles may need to be on a smaller scale, but it’s still possible.


Bible Journal 8


Another way to have art work in your normal Bible (that I haven’t tried yet) would be to washi tape a coloring page directly into your Bible and then color that.

Method #5: All of the Above

Simply combine one or more of the above ideas :)


Bible Journal 7

Bible Journal 5

I hope this post has given you some inspiration on how you can Bible journal without a journaling Bible.

And I hope you’re able to apply some of these methods to your own personal Bible reading time :)

2 thoughts on “How to Bible Journal without a Journaling Bible

  1. Allison

    I love this! I actually do own a journaling Bible, but these tips are awesome, and I even use them! I completely relate to you saying how you are attached to your Bible.

  2. Fuzzy

    I have use sticky notes for many many years I really don’t like many of the so called colored in bibles i think are you more interested in doodling in your bible than really studying it but all to their own I use different colored sticky note for different subjects also

Comments are closed.