Timestamped Bible Journaling

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Tuesday, July 20, 2021 0 comments

by Eric Hansen

Bible journaling is both one of the best things we can do daily and it’s also very easy to stop without restarting. For me the value was definitely there, but the time and effort it took made it quite easy to give up. The same goes with journaling in general. While the resistance can vary from person to person, one very common reason people quit most things is they don't make time to exert much energy into it.

There's a type of journaling called "interstitial journaling" which is a fancy way of saying "timestamped journaling." So instead of writing prose (like this post) in a journal, you simply write the time and what you want to make note of, typically as a bullet point style list. For example: "06:27 - Writing article for Worldview Warriors about interstitial journaling.”

From the technical side of things, you don't need anything different than journaling by some other means, but this does lend itself toward a more essentialist approach to journaling. If you have paper and a writing tool, you're good to go. If you want to do this digitally then I would highly suggest an outliner like Notion, Obsidian, or Logseq. While it's not in the scope of this article to explain the why, how, etc., I will provide some screenshots of my current setup in Logseq. While some of this will only apply to doing this digitally, the overall concept can be used in any medium.

Set Up

While the basic approach was already given (timestamp - event) there are various ways to make the entries you jot down more useful if you so wish. If you're a visual person, this may be helpful. For paper journaling you can do symbols or some other mark (even highlighters), and for outliners I find the ones I mentioned effectively make hashtags a solid option for this. For example, I have a list of hashtags that I can see what the entry is about at a glance:

These can be placed anywhere in the entry but I tend to try to write entries that flow with the idea. So instead of "did my devotional #🙌Praise," I'll write something such as "did my devotional and the Spirit told me to #🙌Praise #🔥God." The reason I do this is if I want to look back on things I was praying for, it's always good to see how or if the prayer had been resolved. If so, then I can make a note in today's journal about it, and if not, then I remember it's something that requires more prayer.

Journal Entry Example

While not the most profound example, and I'll expand on this in the next section, here is one example of what it looked like at the beginning for me:

All the blank-looking "#" are actual hashtags, just technical issues out of my experience to resolve. The "[[...]]" text is also more for linking ideas and again out of scope of this, but I wanted to explain in brief the differences here.

The idea here is still the same. I just make note of what the current time is of writing my thoughts down and what the thought is. If there are things to expand on, my preference is to sub-point it so my thoughts don't turn into run-on sentences. It also helps me keep my point clear on why I'm writing the event.

Highs and Lows

Now the point of Bible journaling, regardless of how, is to keep a record of how God works in your life. This looks different for everyone as each of our walks is also different. As much as I would love to say that this made me an expert Bible journaler, it is not the case. Each medium has its pros and cons, but I'll focus on the ones that I feel are equal regardless of how you may do this.


It was very simple, and any complexity that occurred was because of me. I also didn't feel punished for not writing a whole page of praise. If I had an off day or didn't feel like I could write much, then I just made a note of that when the thought came to me.

Seeing the flow of events made me realize the peaks and valleys of my days with emotions, thoughts, productivity, etc. This helped me better plan when I will start my day, learn Korean, read the Bible, and whatever else I wanted to do within the day.


It's still very easy to complicate things. The more friction we add into something (like visual identifiers), the more taxing it is to follow through on things. This is one thing I will probably stop doing except for possibly the most important. It's nice to be able to see links, correlations, etc., but the more we try to fluff up a simple process, the more convoluted it becomes. This is much like how the moral law from God went from 10 statements to hundreds.

If you don't enjoy journaling now, there's no guarantee this will make journaling fun for you. I’m not saying you shouldn't try it, regardless of how you feel about journaling in a journal. But it should be said that it's not a silver bullet to make recording your adventures with God any more appealing.

It can interrupt your already-structured Bible journaling. If you already have a system that works for you, then this may hurt that. But it could also help it as well. I always err on the side of caution so I put this here instead of as a high.

While I enjoy doing it digitally, I would say it can be a lot more difficult to keep up as well. Even if you are someone with their phone glued to their hip all day, usually it's easier to pull out some paper and a pen to write things down. If you are like me, though, and moving toward a purely digital way of life, then this could just be a small hill for major gain.

Lastly, while not specifically a high or low, I often found it difficult to keep track of any actual answered prayer. I feel if I had discovered this 1-2 years ago when I was in a season of God really working on me, there would be much more to highlight. But, the season I'm in now is actually quite relaxed in the grand scheme.

This isn't something I will stop, as I think the realization of how God impacts my life is important to see in retrospect. It also helps a bit to remember the important details of an event and not just that something happened. I do struggle, though, with writing full paragraphs, which makes the outlining approach this leans toward more suitable for me as well. None of the highs nor lows really sway me to either side of suggesting this style of journaling, though. It offers the ability to have greater insight and more un-fluffed thoughts jotted down, but finding that niche of making it work for you in an effective way is definitely trial and error.

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