GTD & Scripture Memory

I stumbled upon 43Folders sometime ago, in relation to the definitely low-tech HipsterPDA. Since then, I’ve been reading the site semi-regularly. And I’ve been bitten by the bug to try and manage my time better, both in terms of self survival (with a house filled with 4 children) and in honoring God in my time. It’s never good to have to waste time due to forgetting, misplacing, etc. And forgetful, I do find myself now. So, I went to the library and checked out “Getting Things Done” (hereafter GTD) by David Allen, which is the inspiration for the site 43Folders.

While I’m not a big fan of self-help styled books, I’m finding this one to be a valuable read. And it’s brought something else up to mind: Scripture Memory.

Once, many years ago, I went to an RUM (Reformed University Ministries) Christmas Conference.   While there, I learned what proved to be a rather complex to explain, yet simple to use, scripture memory system.  In fact, it’s a 43-Folders style implementation well before I ever heard of GTD.  But, in fact, it uses 39 dividers.   Here’s the basics.


1 3×5 index card box

1 package of 3×5 index cards

39 3×5 tab dividers


Label the dividers as follows:

1. One for “Today”

2.  7, one for each day of the week

3.  31 numbered, for each possible day of the month.

Take a card, write your scripture on it with reference, and on the back, just the reference.

Put that card in the Today divider.  Work on it for a week.

Next week, move it Sunday (or Monday if you prefer).  Next week, move the 2nd to your second day and add a new one for today.  Repeat until the days of the week are full.  Then, on week 9, move the first one to card #1.  Continue the same pattern.


Each day, you look at today’s card, the card for the day of the week, and the card(s) for the date (1st, 3rd, 22nd, etc).  You’re continually reviewing old material, keeping it fresh.

It’s easily adaptable to anything.  If you’re pursuing ordination in the PCA, it’d be handy for the Westminster Shorter Catechism.  Or anything else you have to memorize.

Review, howerver, is the key, both here in Scripture memory, and in implementing a GTD-based system.  Redeem the time!

Solo Deo Gloria,



About javajeb

Full time dad and IT guy. Part-time preacher/teacher. Full-time follower of Christ.
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2 Responses to GTD & Scripture Memory

  1. Gerald says:

    We can’t let this posting go by without commenting, can we?

    I LIKE your Hipster PDA a lot! Well designed, built for the real world. 🙂

    As for verse memorization, have you ever gone one step further and tried memorizing entire chapters ( or books) of the Bible? Beth and I like to take turns reading a chapter of the Bible to the other every night for a month. By the end of the month, we usually have that chapter memorized.

    The Psalms especially are easy to memorize this way.

  2. javajeb says:

    Thanks for the idea Gerald. No, I’ve never looked at memorizing entire chapters. One idea, however, is on the back burner – a whole book. Haven’t done it yet, but still percolating. Laura and I will have to try the reading thing – it’d be easy as she’s nursing in the evening.

    As for the Hipster, I’m slowly, slowly developing my own implementation, centered around a Moleskine pocket lined notebook and my Lee Valley Portable Office. The Moleskine is for the GTD lists and quick notes, the LVPO for calendaring and more extensive writing. However, I’ve yet to get the hang of the cards. A bit, but not enough to use.


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