I say "plan" because Bible study, of course, should come from the heart. With anything though, to be the most productive, one must be purposeful. I guess that's what I try to do when it comes to Bible study-- be purposeful. The Bible is so big and wonderful, it can be hard to know where to even start!
The basics: Every year since it was ingrained into me by my parents, I have followed a daily Bible reading plan. Basically, it's some sort of plan to follow that gets you through the Bible in a year. There are a variety of these plans out there. Daniel and I do this together daily. It's great for several reasons-- I read the whole Bible rather than the sections I would pick on my own. It's also a great way for Daniel and I to bond over the Bible. And of course, it helps me to grow closer to God by ensuring that I consistently dive into His word.
Another way I like to delve into the Bible is what I call Bible marking. The idea here is that I am going to delve super deep into a particular aspect of the Bible and then make markings in my Bible (notes, pictures, graphs, etc) as I feel necessary. I use verse by verse guides or other books that are specifically on what I am studying. I have a wide-margin Bible for this purpose. A lined sheet so that you can write in a straight line and Micron pens are super helpful if you like Bible marking.
I like to supplement my Bible study with trying to read a book or two on the scripture regularly. Daniel and I recently started reading a book called Elpis Israel, which is just a fancy way to say The Hope of Israel. The hope we have was the hope given to God's people, Israel, which I hope to become adopted into!
And let's not forget the important ingredient-- prayer and action. Bible study is of no worth if we are not 1) communicating with God and 2) putting it into action! God's word says to love? I better do it! God's word says to take care of the poor? I better do it! If we aren't doing what God says, it doesn't matter if we know everything about his Word.
What does your Bible study look like?