2021 War Binder: Setup + What is it?

Check out one of the ways I strengthen my relationship with God in my latest YouTube video.

What is a War Binder?

From what I've seen on the interwebs, war binders were inspired by the movie War Room. War binders are kind of like prayer journals; they're meant to strengthen your relationship with God. It may include scriptures, bible studies, prayers, reflections, etc. To be honest, even though I've seen the movie, I didn't know war binders were a thing until after I had created about 3! My journal consists of notes I take while studying the Bible independently and in small groups, sermon notes, prayer lists, word studies, and many other things. So I think it earns the distinction as a war binder.

What is a Bullet Journal?

Bullet journals were invited by Ryder Carroll and popularized on YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram. Often shorted to "bujo," bullet journals are an alternative to traditional planners. It's a system using lists and symbols to organize (and simplify) the planning process. The typical bullet journal contains monthly layouts, weekly layouts, habit trackers, and collections (a collection is basically a list). The beauty is that you can add to or remove whatever you want from the system because you create it as you go. No two bullet journals are the same. I joined the bullet journal world around 2015 because I loved the flexibility and the creativity.

The Mash Up

For a while, I had a notebook for my bible study group and a notebook for my bullet journal. That didn't work so well, so I created the first iteration of my war binder/bullet journal mash-up. It was too bullet journal-y so it didn't really make sense. I was really bad at filling in the table of contents, so bible studies, sermon notes, and devotions were lost in the many pages of the journal. It was a bullet journal, with random studies thrown in. So I went back to separate journals, but something still wasn't quite right.

I finally ended up with the sweet spot last year this time when I created a journal I called "Woven Together." Before I started it, I made a mental list of what I liked about bullet journaling and what I liked about the bible study journal.

Bullet Journal War Binder
  • dot grid paper
  • idea/brainstorming lists
  • make it up as you go
  • system/key for easy reference
  • God focused
  • Bible study pages
  • sermon notes
  • word studies
Then I combined them!

Instead of a "table of contents," I have a "list of lists." It's essentially a collection of collections I want to create. After I create the collection, I add the page number to the original list. The primary function of these collections is to brain storm what topics, passages, and words I'm going to study, but I also add collections like favorite worship songs, women of the Bible, favorite passages, names of God, ways to be a better neighbor, etc. When I sit down to study the Word, I flip to my collections and pick a word, passage, or topic to study.

I've really enjored this format and think this is how I'll be journaling for a while. It's really helped to put God at the center of everything. Since I'm coming to the end of that journal, I decided to continue with "Woven Together: Volume 2" in 2021. This time I added back in some of the planning aspects of the bullet journal and I think it's better balanced than the first time I tried this. Do you journal? What style is your favorite?

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