1. Select the version I like to read. Besides enjoying reading the ESV version, our pastor reads from and refers to this version for his sermons, so it was an easy decision for me. There are journaling or note-taking Bibles available for most of the highly read versions such as ESV, NIV, KJV, NKJV, and NLT.
2. Choose from single or double column. Single column means that the text is in one block on the page, whereas the double column has two columns of text.
3. Choose my cover style. Many versions have both hardcover and softcover options available. If you don't plan on using many embellishments or want something sturdy then a hardcover Bible may be for you! I've personally found that since adding clips, and paper flowers, and ribbon, and other doodads that the softcover is a little more forgiving. It's also is more flexible when trying to do various painting techniques, as you don't have the stiff cover to contend with.
4. Wade through the details. Once my preferences had been decided, there were a few more details to weed through. At the time, there weren't as many Bible options as there are now. Google helped me find exactly what I was looking for ("ESV journaling Bible" or "ESV note-takers Bible") and ultimately I purchased from Amazon. You might want to look at Google images for the Bible of your choice to examine things like the type of lines in the margins (solid vs. dotted), the coloring of the paper, the amount of journaling space surrounding the text, and price-point.
Hopefully these steps will have narrowed your options down to ONE (or two)!
5. Like this idea but lacking artistic confidence? I want to encourage you that this form of creativity is a learning journey and many techniques can be practiced and learned just like anything else. My very first Bible entries were nothing more than careful writing some thoughts with a pen.
If you're somehow limited by money, time, or energy then you might consider a Bible with pre-printed outlined illustrations and lettering such as the ever popular (and extremely hard to come by) Inspire Bible, the Creative Bible, or the Beautiful Word Bible (pre-colored illustrations). Only a small portions of these Bibles are pre-designed leaving you lots of room to spend time with God in the margins.
Can't afford a new Bible? No problem! An unlined journal bought at a craft store will do just perfectly. And it does good for us all to remember that this thing we call Bible journaling is not about the quality or quantity of our supplies, but about precious time spent with our God.