Today I want to talk to you about indexing. Do you have an index in your bullet journal? Have you felt disappointed from it? Have you thought of not using an index? Well that was me! But let’s start from the beginning.
The index consists one of the basic components of a bullet journal according to Ryder Caroll. Popular notebooks for bullet journalling, such as Leuchtturm, even if they are not pre-printed, they include a section about indexing by default. It is really the contexts of your notebook.
The most common way of indexing is as books have them: the topics one under the other one by order of appearance in the notebook. As we usually number our pages, the first page filled is recorded first, the second is recorded next, and so on.
After using this way of indexing for a couple of notebooks, I decided that I don’t like it. It didn’t really help me find the pages easily. In a bullet journal pages are not usually grouped according to topic. This way of indexing is just recording the chronological order of when things are written. As you can see above, my monthly pages were in pages 15, 18, 41 and 67. I happened to use this journal in order to plan my wedding, so the only way I had to group the pages were to try to note all the pages that considered this topic next to each other. I even tried using colours, but space is limited and the index gets messy…
At the end of last year, I was planning the starting of the new year and of my new bullet journal. And I was contemplating of not having an index at all! But then I got an idea!
Have you seen books that have a register in the back? They usually group the contents according to alphabetic order. Well, alphabetic order would not have been useful for me, but why not group my index according to topic?
In my case, instead of leaving a couple of pages totally empty in the beginning, so as to keep a list of the contents of my journal, I gave titles to the pages, according to what I usually note in my journal: Collections, Monthly, Projects and Recipes. So now, whenever I write a page, I register it in the appropriate page or column and not just all together.
I think I have finally found the best way of Indexing for me! I love that I can find easily that recipe I noted in the middle of February! Or the project that I created I don’t remember well, was it May or June?
Of course there is the risk that the the space I left empty would not be enough. Already since May I encountered the problem, that I underestimated the Monthly index. You can notice in the picture of Index 2 that the page I had dedicated got filled within half a year! This is a problem in general with bullet journal when you try to plan too much ahead!
I have the luxury with my Filofax Clipbook A5 to add pages wherever I want, so at least it did solve that problem by adding another page at the end of my whole Index, naming it Index 2a. Unfortunately, I can’t number this page correctly and in general, I am not sure I like it like this, having another Monthly index after the Recipes and Projects. I might decide to rewrite the whole Index pages again, in the close future. Or I might adjust my predictions of pages needed in the 2019 bullet journal. Who knows…