One of the founding principles of bullet journaling is to use an Index, to help you find what you’ve written in your notebook easily. The idea is, you write what you need to write on the next available page without worrying about where to write it. Just plonk it right down on the page. Then use your Index to find what you wrote later on.
Here are some ideas for different ways to index your pages:
The original method, slightly modified: in the original Bullet Journaling video, the Index is written on the first page of the notebook. I never liked that, because what if I end up using more than one page for my Index? So instead I wrote the Index in the back pages of my notebook so I could use as many index pages as I wanted.
Front vs. back method: After using my bullet journal for awhile, I realized I wasn’t using the Index pages at all, and having my Collections mixed in with my Daily Log was making me crazy. So instead of Indexing, I wrote my Daily Log from the front of the book, and my Collections and Lists from the back of the book. This works much better for me, because it’s easy to flip through the pages in the back of my notebook to find the Collection I’m looking for.
Stepwise method: This is a method I first discovered about 6 years ago when I lived in Asia, where they sell notebooks with marks on the page edges and a designated index in the back of the book. The idea is, you color in the page edge at a certain location for each topic, then look at the index to find the list of topics. So for example on all the pages where you’ve written a recipe, color the page edge at the Recipes level. Now you can easily find all your recipes throughout the book.
Color coding method: This is a similar idea to the Stepwise method, but using designated color coding instead of the location of the coloring-in. Or you can combine the two if you like, using colors at specific areas. So for example on all the pages where you have written about a specific project, color the page edge a designated color for that project. You’ll be able to easily find all the pages where you’ve written about that project. It also gives you an easy visual on how often you write about a particular topic.
I like the color coding method better than the stepwise method because it’s easier to see the colors than the exact placement of the colored edges. But if you don’t like to carry around multiple pens/ highlighters, and you can be more precise than I am with the colored location on your page edges, you might prefer the stepwise method.
What’s your preferred method of indexing in your bullet journal?
The notebook used in this post is an A5 size dot grid hardcover Rhodia Webnotebook.