2021 War Binder: Setup + What is it?

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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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About

Author Image Author Image I love reading the Word of God. With prayer God's Word reveals so much: from comfort to temperance, from perspective to affirmation. Digging into the depths of the Word, cross-referencing history, language and time differences, is a passion of mine. In March of 2015 I decided to go back through the Bible doing an in depth study on each section I read. Eventually I decided to share my journal of notes as I partake in this journey. I hope you are blessed by God and inspired to pursue a deeper relationship with Him. I love reading and learning about God, nature, and science. I am interested in how it all connects. The Creator's fingerprints are all over his creation. We can learn so much about Him and how we came to be by exploring the world around us. Join me as I explore the world and draw closer to the One who created it all.
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