Last year I decided to read the bible in chronological order (i.e., the approximate order that the books are set or written, not canonical order). I was doing well until I had surgery and then I wasn’t really able to read anything while in hospital. Then when I got out and recovered, my routine was completely shot. Well, excuses excuses, I haven’t made much progress since then.
So, I was looking for a simple bible reading plan that I could add to my calendar to encourage me to continue. There are some nice bible reading plans on this ESV Bible site, and they’re available as calendar feeds, but they seem to start on the 1st of January and I couldn’t find any way to change that. I want to pick up where I left off, or at least start from today.
My solution: CSV file
Google Calendar can import CSV files, so I thought it couldn’t be too hard to make a simple CSV file to import into my calendar. All I needed to do was:
- Find an ordered list of passages to read
- Copy the list into a spreadsheet under a column heading of “Subject”
- In the next column, with a heading of “Start Date”, add the dates on which to read the passages
- Import into Google calendar
I got my bible reading plan from BiblePlan.org, where you can select to see the whole plan in undated form. I just copied the whole block of text from the web page. I could have pasted it directly into my spreadsheet and it would have populated my Subject column, but I pasted into Coda first to use the wildcard search to remove the day numbering.
The magic of the dates is that you only need to type in the first two and then you can use autofill to populate the rest of the column. To use autofill (in most spreadsheet applications) select the two sequential date fields, grab the bottom right corner and drag down until you’ve filled as many rows as you need.
There are other columns that you can add to your CSV to import with your reading events. You can view an example in this Google article About CSV files.
Importing to Google Calendar
Finally, I exported my spreadsheet as a CSV file and imported it into Google Calendar (under Settings > Calendar). I added it to a new calendar called “Bible Reading”. I wouldn’t recommend adding it to your main calendar, because it will become harder to isolate all those events and make changes if you want to switch to a different reading plan or change from an all-day event to a timed event, etc.
Now, if I could find out if OliveTree BibleReader has a URL structure with which to open the application on the iPhone, I could add a link to each passage in the description of each event and open each passage straight from my calendar.
I hope someone finds this useful. I hope it ends up being useful for me!