How Leveraging Technology To Resolve To Read The Bible This Year Can Help You Stay On Track With Other New Year’s Resolutions

Bible AppsLast year I posted New Year’s Resolution: Read The Bible and it ended up being the most read post of the year for ILikeTek.  To ring in the new year I’ve decided to offer a followup post.  As mentioned in the original post my app of choice was The Every Day Bible App however I ditched it midway through the year.  There was nothing wrong with the app, in fact it delivered daily on what it promised to do but I found myself longing for an actual Bible….in print.  I eventually filled this urge with the purchase of a study bible which came with free access to the study content in the publisher’s accompanying app (ESV Bible App).  Wanting to go deeper into Bible study turned out to be a precautionary tail of be careful what you ask for as I picked one of the most in depth study guides available which in turn took up all of my available daily reading time and eventually led me to falling behind on my reading plan on days I opted to read other things.  Since I’m not one to skip anything available to read in front of me I knew that if I was to get back on track and complete my New Year’s resolution I needed a straight forward approach for days when I just wanted to read the Bible and therefore it must exclude access to study material for those days.  It was around then that I stumbled on to the NeuBible App.
Herein the NeuBible App I found a beautifully polished app whose emphasis is solely on quick access to scripture with further emphasis on font.
I love a good font and it has a crisp selection.  I fell in love with the app’s straightforward approach with a simple swipe right gesture to select a book and swipe left gesture to select a chapter.  Best of all it always remembers precisely where I left off even if it was mid-chapter which came in quite handy as though I wasn’t using the Every Day Bible App anymore I was still following its year long reading plan.  Its plan was nice for its app where following from top to bottom every reading was laid out daily but trying to pick up outside the app was tedious since it jumped around to at least three different passages each day with some leaving off mid-chapter.
My next dilemma was knowing what each day’s reading consisted of.  This usually involved opening the Every Day Bible App to find out what it was and then opening whatever alternative app or print edition I chose to read from that day.  This just felt silly so I decided to improvise.  I would open the Every Day Bible App periodically and log ahead a few days’ readings into a list I created in my favorite to do list app – Wunderlist.  This allowed me to set reminders which I could access from my notification center at any time and check off complete as I read each passage.  It also helped me keep track of readings if I got behind easier than I was able to within the Every Day Bible App which reset each day.  In fact returning to the most popular Bible app the Youversion Bible App for an occasional reading plan didn’t even offer reading plan visibility from its notification center widget like I now could through my Wunderlist… eh list.
Now that I could get daily reminders and pick up my reading from any Bible app or print edition of choice I quickly got back on track and even finished my resolution to read the Bible in a year a few days early!  Besides as most experts will tell you the best way to complete New Year’s resolutions is to form habits.  For me daily checking off a year long goal and remaining mostly on track kept my other New Year’s resolutions fresh in my mind.  While I didn’t complete all of them it’s safe to say I completed more and made more progress on others than any other year in recent memory in large part due to the daily satisfaction of checking off each daily Bible reading in my to do list.  It’s no shock that good things really do come from reading the Bible every day!
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New Year’s Resolution: Read The Bible

1420972105_holy_bible2015 has rang in and you’ve decided this is going to be your year to read the Bible cover to cover so to speak.  I’ve put together a short list of apps to get you started.  There were many worthy Bible Apps to choose from but I’ve narrowed the list down to my three personal favorites.  The good news is you can’t really go wrong with any app that brings you…well the good news right?

The Bible App*

Bible-app-icon-english-64x64The Bible App by YouVersion is the most downloaded Bible app at 166 million downloads and counting.  It’s been my go to Bible app for at least the last 6 years. The Bible App is best known for giving away free unfettered access to virtually any translation or language you might fancy and a robust selection of devotionals to boot.  You’re most likely to find a devotional by your favorite author, pastor, or publisher in its library.  Part of the reason for its success is the fact that you’d be hard pressed to find a single platform it’s not available on.  This past year saw the addition of a social feed to discuss your favorite verses and insights with friends and video content most notably from the Lumo Project and the popular Bible Series that aired on The History Channel.  I personally love that I can easily switch between any Bible translation and find a plethora of devotionals and reading plans on any topic to suit my mood or need.  In fact one thing I’ve struggled with is staying current on a one year reading plan while being teased with so many tempting (pun not intended) choices.  Bonus if you’ve got kids, check out their accompanying free The Bible App For Kids.  It’s chock full of interactive storyboard kids’ games of popular Bible lessons.

Faithlife Study Bible

FSB-100If you’re familiar with Logos Bible Software then you’re already likely aware of their suite of Bible apps.  One of them is the Faithlife Study Bible App and I’ve listed it here because I stumbled on this gem last year and found myself even more distracted from my traditional one year reading plan in The Bible App.  Basically it’s a free study bible complete with maps, pictures, exhaustive study notes, and even videos.  It’s library is so huge it can actually be a bit daunting.  The only caveat is the only free translation is their in-house Lexingham English Bible (LEB) translation unless you’re willing to pay for popular translations like the NIV or NLT which are available for free on the aforementioned Bible App.  Nevertheless it’s a feast of biblical knowledge and even serves up a daily dose of sharable Bible word art each day.  If you’re serious about going deeper in your Bible study this is a must download and is available on most major platforms and the web.  Tip- be sure to create an account for their Logos content store because I was pleasantly surprised at Christmas time with a free $20 to spend on anything which I used to buy the NIV translation which is transferable across their suite of apps and services including the next one in this list.

Every Day Bible

EveryDayBibleAlso from the folks at Faithlife /Logos Bible Software and recently released in December.  You see both The Bible App and the Faithlife Study Bible App are robust at what they do good which can be a bad thing if all you want to do is open the app up and just pick up reading the Bible where you left off distraction free.  Enter the Every Day Bible App with its straightforward top to bottom reading design.  It’s literally a Bible app devoted solely to a one year reading plan.  You can’t select chapters or verses, study notes, maps, social feeds, or even highlight individual verses or phrases.  You simply open the app each day, start at the top, and read to the bottom where you check a box marking that day complete.  It serves up a mix of old and new testaments with some nice Bible Word art mixed in and if you’re faithful with it then 365 days later voila you’ve read the Bible through and start over.  It’s become my choice to read the Bible through this year and thanks to the aforementioned $20 gift I’m able to read it in my preferred translation.  I will still flip to the Bible App for shorter devotionals, topical reading plans, and social feed but the Every Day Bible App will be my workhorse year round solely due to its simple and fast formula.  Note it’s only available on iOS and the web for now.

* It should be noted the Bible App by YouVersion is a ministry of LifeChurch.tv, a multi-site church based in Oklahoma of which I’m a devoted member of.

App Discover | The Bible App To Hit Huge Milestone

The YouVersion Bible App

The YouVersion Bible App

Regardless of religion or lack thereof one thing nobody can deny is the Holy Bible is a historical document translated thousands of times over that has stood the test of time.  5 years ago a network of churches, Bible societies, and individuals teamed up their resources and created a Bible App.  It brings the Bible and hundreds of translations and versions that continue to grow to most anyone in digital form on the web or through app form for free.  It continues to rank high in most apps stores for popularity and in about an hour it is expected to eclipse 100 million downloads.  Quite a milestone, congratulations!  Maybe you can be lucky number 100 million, download it here.