The shortcomings of common note-taking practices

up:: Benefits of Connected Biblical Thinking

As dedicated disciples of Jesus, we come across what can seem like endless information, input and ideas. We go to camps and conferences, we listen to podcasts and sermons, read articles and books, not to mention our own personal time in prayer and Scripture. There’s no shortage of thoughts or insight, but storing and accessing it can be tricky.

”Digital dementia”

The first question we need to ask is, where are those insights? If your note-taking habits are anything like mine, they are scattered:

  • Notes written in the margins of the Bible,
  • Loose papers with scribbled thoughts,
  • Detailed notes in notebooks from conferences that I never looked at,
  • Verses quoted in my journal …
  • … and plenty other places.

Often I would read a part of Scripture and I knew I had notes on it somewhere, I just couldn’t remember where it went. That’s a lot of wasted potential!

”Being unable to access something you know you have is basically a form of “digital dementia"" Nick Milo

Even worse, when I was asked to share about a specific passage from Scripture: I was sure that somewhere there was a wealth of thoughts – my thoughts – on this, but I just couldn’t retrieve it because it wasn’t meaningfully connected.

Compartmentalising Scripture

Not only was I missing out on capitalising on previous notes in my walk with God, I was missing out on the opportunity to engage with Scripture more widely in my life. I noticed I had put Scripture along with the other “spiritual” stuff in one box, with my “secular” projects and interests in another.

This compartmentalisation is the classic hallmark of Split Thinking and my systems of note-taking were feeding into this tendency. The margin notes in my Bible were nowhere near my reflections on Productivity.

Implementing Connected Biblical Thinking, I was able to return to the Biblical exhortation of living a God-centered life in all things.

Linking Scripture

Now that we identified some of the ‘pain points’ and shortcomings of traditional note-taking ways, have a look at the Benefits of Connected Biblical Thinking or get started and Set up your Obsidian for Bible Study right away!