The index is the heart of your Bullet Journal, and therefore, you should not underestimate it.
We design the index to help us keep track of our Bullet Journal. As you enter everything one after the other in your BuJo, you may find it challenging to search a particular item later on.
If you then need a page, you created several months ago, it is easier to look it up briefly in the index. Mainly if that page is not located in your current Bullet Journal, but in an older one. Therefore, an index is an essential part of every bullet journal!
You create it right at the beginning by leaving some pages blank. How many pages you need is entirely up to you-you have to find out for yourself. Three pages are a good guideline. If this is too much or too little for you, you can simply customize it in your next Bullet Journal!
How Do I Design the Index?
There are two basic ways to design the Bullet Journal Index. Ryder Carroll, the inventor of the Bullet Journal, developed the first variant. Whenever you want to add a new page to the index, you first write the title or name of the page, followed by the page number.
This variant has the following advantage:
If you create another page on the same topic, you need not create a new entry in the index. Instead, you simply write the new page numbers behind the existing entry!
Therefore, you can save space and have everything on one topic at a glance!
The other variant is especially suitable if you, for example, use a classic Leuchtturm1917 notebook. It already has three pages as the table of contents. On the left in the column, you enter the page number and on the right, the subject of the entry.
What Exactly Do I Add to the Index?
What you add to your Bullet Journal Index is up to you. I would just like to give you a few tips on what worked for me.
Enter all your monthly overviews.
Your single daily overviews waste more space in the index. After all, you only need them for one day and never again afterward, so you may leave them out!
Whenever you start a new collection (e.g., a series tracker or a list of reading books), add it to the index.
How Can I Customize the Index?
The principle of the Bullet Journal Index is clear. However, there are some ways to customize the index.
Arrange the index according to topics
The easiest way is to divide the index according to various categories. For example, if you use your bullet journal for both work and private purposes, you can use the first page of the index for personal entries and the second page for work.
Since these two categories rarely mix, there should be no overlaps. Therefore, you have everything you need at a glance.
Halve the page for more space
What sounds strange at first is actually quite simple. Just draw a vertical line in the middle of the page you intend to use for the index. This leaves you room for more entries per page!
This makes sense if you notice that you are adding a lot to your index and you probably haven’t kept an adequate amount of pages free for it.
Highlight special entries
You can underline the critical entries or write them in a different color. To mark them even more precisely, you can also use different colors for different categories (e.g., blue for work and green for private).
I always highlight the individual months in my index. This gives me a good structure.
The Index Is the Heart of Every Bullet Journal
You can omit some modules of the Bullet Journal System because you don’t need them – for example, I’ve heard of many people who don’t keep daily overviews because they don’t have so many events, tasks or special to-dos. Then it makes perfect sense to leave them out.
However, keep the index in your Bullet Journal. It gives you a quick overview and gives you a good outline of everything that is going on in your Bullet Journal.
When I started my first Bullet Journal, I was sure I wouldn’t need the index and that I wouldn’t be entering anything there, anyway. Wrong thought! When the first hundred pages were full, I was already happy to look things up in the index.
When I started my second Bullet Journal, the index helped me here as well. I went through all the entries and thought about which lists and collections I would like to transfer to the new journal. This was much faster and easier than browsing through all (over 200) pages.
So give the Bullet Journal Index a chance, even if you think you do not need it at all 🙂