A Personal Bible: how to collect and review life’s most valuable lessons

I read a lot, but I forget even more. Frustrated with the forgetting, I began to save my favorite readings into Evernote: Blog posts. Book excerpts. Forum threads. Poems. But once inside Evernote, all this wisdom was lost in the crowd, rarely to be discovered again. I didn’t have a reliable way to remind myself of what to review and when. Didn’t allow for serendipity or habit.

So I created a Personal Bible.

It’s a Microsoft Word document of my favorite text from over the years. Passages and sentences and excerpts that I want to read and re-read and absorb and marinate in. Whenever I have an aha! moment with text, I add it to my collection. From David Brooks columns to Malcolm Gladwell passages, from bucket lists to the Beatitudes, from writing advice to religious anecdotes. I try to read from it every day. Sometimes just a few sentences.

If we use the computer as an analogy, this document helps me keep life’s important lessons loaded onto my mind’s RAM. Lying just beneath conscious thought, available for quick and ready access.

Here’s the latest version you can download. Feel free to read it, edit it, use it as a template for your own.

I load the Word doc onto my Kindle and update it monthly. You may find some gems that you like. Better yet, I hope you’re inspired to create your own. If you do, please share it with me. I’d love to see what you curate for yourself.

Hi! I write about habits and spirituality and random whatevers. Click here to see the daily habits that I track. Find me on Twitter @kgao.