1. Translation: we all have the one we are most comfortable with. Thankfully, most all major translations can be purchased in journaling or notetaking (same wider margins, usually with faint lines) form. Choose your favorite or decide to stretch and learn from reading a translation you are not as familiar with. This is definitely where my decision to go with the Holman instead of NIV or ESV came from.
2. Price: how much of an investment are you willing to make? There are several great options at or just below $30. Then there's the leather ESV one that's over $100 that I drool over.
3. Layout: there are single-column, double-column, wide margins, not-so-wide margins, lined margins and a new one that's been catching my eye lately that is two columns but with a wide margin BETWEEN the two columns. Mind. Blown. This is purely preference and, unfortunately, you might not know what your preference is until you end up with one you don't love. Go to Lifeway or a large bookstore and see what they have in stock. Look at the quality of the paper and the size of the print. Read reviews on ones you're considering on Amazon.
I'm attempting my first use of Associate links from Amazon because, supposedly Amazon will keep it current and connected to something they actually have in-stock. This is the first monetization of my site so if you click a link from my site and buy and a bazillion other people do too, I think I get a $10 Amazon gift card. Provided, of course, that I hooked it up right. Amazon should be looking at how much I spend on Prime and be giving me giftcards anyway, in my opinion, but that's a post for another day.
ESV Single Column this is the one I see used most often online, often covered with a Bible cover which can be found aplenty for this version on Etsy.
Holman Notetaking Bible (faint lines in margins) this is my Bible. I like the HCSB translation and also like that it has very faint lines to keep things lined up
NIV Journaling Bible the margins don't seem quite as wide with this one but the size seems good and it has good reviews