Bible journaling is simply responding to God’s Word. It’s as easy as grabbing your Bible and whatever writing utensil is handy and documenting what you discover. But the more intentional you are about your approach to Bible journaling, the more productive your time will be.
We’re going to help you pick the best Bible journaling supplies, but if you’re not overly familiar with the practice, check out How to Bible Journal. It will give you the information you need to start you on your journaling journey!
Once you’re ready to begin journaling, here are some tips for choosing the best tools.
A couple key considerations for picking a journaling Bible are:
• Wide margins: You want plenty of room to write your thoughts, prayers, and doodles. A lot of Bibles don’t have margins that are good for writing in. Either they’re too small or they’re already packed with notes and cross references.
• Heavier paper: To stop Bibles from getting too thick, a lot of them use very lightweight paper. This is great for casual reading, but pens and highlighters bleed through and can create a mess.
Here are some quality options for journaling Bibles:
The NIV Journal the Word™ Bible
Not only does this Bible have nice wide margins, but it’s lined to make it easier to write in. The paper is thick and works well with many kinds of writing utensils.
The NIV Beautiful Word™ Bible
If you’re drawn to artistic Bible journaling, this is a great choice. It’s printed on high-quality paper and there’s a lot of room to express your worship and devotion artistically. There are also 500 full-color illustrated verses to inspire your journaling and feed your soul.
The Jesus Bible, NIV
If you’re a Bible journaler that’s more into writing down thoughts, notes and reminders, The Jesus Bible offers all the room you need, plus you will encounter Jesus in all of Scripture.
Many people prefer not to write in their Bibles, or else they want more room to write and create. If that sounds like you, you can always use a separate journal. There are plenty of sizes available and you’ll just need to choose between lined, unlined, or one with a dotted grid, which is a helpful middle ground for both art and note taking.
Here are some suggestions:
● Moleskine Notebooks
● Unni Notebooks
● Leda Art Supply Sketchbook
Pro-tip: If you’re left-handed, make sure you get a journal that lays flat, otherwise the accommodations you have to make to write in it are almost not worth it.
As you know, there are all kinds of pen types available. So what’s best for Bible journaling? Ballpoint? Felt-tipped? Gel pens? Does it matter?
Anything is fair game. Ultimately, you want a pen that interacts with your Bible’s paper well, doesn’t smear easily, and makes it easy to write. This isn’t always the most expensive choice. Sometimes a cheap Bic pen works so much better than a lot of pricier models. As with all writing utensils, you want to test your pen on an inconspicuous place to ensure that it doesn’t bleed through, smear, or discolor.
Some journalers swear by these options:
● Staedtler Pigment liners
● Faber-Castell Grip 2001 Pencil HB
What About Adding Color?
If you want to add some colors to your journaling, you can use watercolor, pencils, pens, crayons, highlights—nothing is off limits. As with any tool, you just want to diligently ensure that the medium works with the paper stock.
One of the things you want to monitor how the pages handles moisture. Watercolors, felt pens, or highlighters that are too wet can damage the paper, bleed through, or smear.
Here are a couple places to start:
● Color It Premium 23 Colored Pencil set
● Artists Loft Fundamentals Watercolors
A Straight Edge
Unless you have an incredibly steady hand, you might want to get some kind of straight edge. It’s nice to have it available for underlining and artwork. While any kind of ruler will do in a pinch, you want to shy away from plastic or wood ones. The edges can get banged up, and cracks and divots will make it impossible to get a good straight line. It’s worthwhile to invest in a steel or aluminum straight edge so that it will be a lot more difficult to ding up.
There Are No “Right” Supplies
Bible journaling should be fun, inspirational, and unique. There are no perfect tools, but there are probably tools that will be perfect for what you want to do. Do some experimenting and play around with different options. Remember though, this is more about getting into Scripture than it is about finding a specific tool.
If you are interested in journaling right in your Bible, we encourage you to check out these wide margin NIV journaling Bibles.
If you are looking for more helpful information on Bible journaling, here are several other articles on the NIV blog on this subject –
Charting Your Spiritual Growth through Bible Journaling
Three Bible Journaling Ideas for Your Spiritual Walk
How to Bible Journal