Today's Scripture

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

How I Index My Bible As I Study

I have spent years being frustrated because I would read something in my Bible that I wanted to remember so I would write it down in whatever notebook happened to be around... aka, lost forever!

I wanted something kinda like an index, but official indexes don't list the kinds of things I'm interested in... some topical indexes might, but I wanted something more "me".  For example, recently as I was reading, I realized that there were quiet a few major Bible characters that were born of barren mothers, like Isaac, Jacob and Esau, Joseph, Samuel, John the Baptist, etc....   Isn't that interesting?  The mothers couldn't have children but the Lord changed that, then used the child in a big way.  I want to be able to access each of those quickly and easily.

Last year I found something on pinterest that seemed like it might be "the answer".  It was a pre-printed index that you stick to the front of any Bible then add small tabs lined up with each topic... so I ordered it.  Problem was it came with words already and since it turned out to be for The Book of Mormon it was really useless to me... except I still loved the idea of it.

Sooooo, I did my own.  I printed out a grid that I can add any text as I'm reading.  I then assigned each topic a color and then I cut and colored little arrow tabs to stick to the actual page the scripture is on.

I KNOW!  MESSY RIGHT??  But oh so helpful, for me...  I'm finally gonna explain those UGLY BLACK LINES on the edge of my Bible!  This is my journal Bible so they show up on almost all my pictures.  I put the lines there so it would be easier to line up the little tabs on the edges of the pages.  They are very helpful, but oh so ugly!

Below is a picture of the index text, then the page that the scripture is on with an arrow pointing to the actual text.  At the bottom you can see the back side of the "tab arrow"... that was by design because I started out using the circle tabs, flush to the edge of the page like I was told to do with the Mormon package I bought, but, that ended up being confusing.... If both sides of the tab are the same then you can't immediately tell which side of the page the scripture is on... I also added the arrow pointing to the text later to help with that as well.

I have worked with the design for about a year now and I love it, because I can immediately tab an idea as I'm reading.  BUT, I've decided over time that there has to be an even better way.... so I worked on the new improvements yesterday, on a different Bible.

First, all the colors were unnecessary and a PAIN!  I am forever looking for the right color pen.  I have TOO MANY pens so finding the right one is always tricky.
Solution: I decided to use 4 colors... 2 may have been plenty but I went with 4... and I went ahead and colored the edge of the grid before I stuck it down on the first page of my Bible.

Second, how to avoid the ugly black lines...
Solution: You can see on these next two pictures, I hung the colored grid over the edge about 1/8". That is helpful because I colored the backside of the grid as well .... and then I added a partial grid to the last page... now I can "eyeball" it fairly easily.  And too, I now fold the tabs over so that they stick out from the page more "tab" like ... about 1/16".  WAY BETTER.

OH!  the colored edges of these pages are the actual edges of this particular Bible, I didn't add that.  It is the Wayfinding Bible that has its own ways of studying which also involves color.

Back page:

Next, I used my Silhouette to cut over 1000 arrows into a solid sheet of label paper and then used the same markers, that I used for the index, to color them.  (I know, the coloring is awful, but it makes ZERO difference to each individual arrow.)

I then stuck those to the front page, opposite from the grid, ready to use... no more looking for the right pen!

OH! And I used the grid, instead of just normal lines, because I can add tabs to the tops and/or bottoms of the pages if I run out of space on the sides.

I have a FREE DOT Grid that I shared back in March 2012 that you can use for the index if you would like. Just click this text to get to that link.


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