An index is one of the first terms you may come across when learning about bullet journaling. A bullet journal index helps you quickly and easily find your entries later. It’s a master collection and a timeline of all your pages. Using a color coding system through your index can help you more efficiently find spreads and help with migrating into a new journal in the future.
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Setting Up Your Index
Compiling an index is simple, and should be the first spread in a bullet journal. If you have a Leuchtturm 1917, like I do, the first few pages are a template for an index. If you have another brand of journal, leave the first couple of pages blank and fill in the topics of spreads and the corresponding page numbers as you go. Recurring collections or certain types of entries can be grouped together (e.g., Travel 104, 111, 180).
What to Include in Your Bullet Journal Index
Your index should include whatever you think is important to have a record of so you can go back and find it later. Perhaps the only spreads you need to refer back to are collections, therefore your index will be simple and spreads will be easy to find.
I choose to index everything, not so much because I need to refer back to spreads but more so I have an overview of each bullet journal when it’s complete. I can see the months the bujo spans and what I was tracking during that period of my life.
Organizing Your Bullet Journal Index
Some pages in your bullet journal will need to stand out more than others, such as collections or other spreads that are ongoing entries.
Color coding certain spreads is a simple way to filter out unimportant pages while looking for a certain collection.
For example, you could use two different colors to signify home and work, college and internships, etc. Personally, my method is using two highlighters to mean part year (pink) and full year (blue), with non-highlighted pages being spreads I don’t need to refer back to such as monthly logs/dailies.
So for a half-year spread, I’d highlight in pink my semester one university timetable which I only need for four months and use blue for a full-year spread such as my television show tracker.
It may also be useful to have a coding of ongoing collections to see what needs to be migrated over once you move into a new bullet journal–this is what my full-year color-coding works for.
Other Organization Methods
Color coding isn’t the only way to organize your index. Other ideas could include:
- Washi tape: Choose how ever many types of washi you need for organization categories and either place a piece of washi tape beside spread names or write on top of the pieces.
- Extra ribbons: With a quick Youtube or Google search you can find a whole range of tutorials on how to add extra bookmark ribbons to your bullet journal. This won’t allow a lot of pages to be marked but could help you keep track of the most important spreads you refer back to constantly.
- Underlining: You may simple wish to write in your spread titles in different colors or underline the spreads you want to keep track of.
An index is a way to catalog your bullet journal, but that doesn’t mean it can’t help you organize at the same time.
Do you keep an index? What methods do you use to keep track of everything in your index?