Last Friday I introduced this series and talk a bit about rapid logging. This week I would like to talk about an often neglected part of the Bullet Journal system, the index.
One thing before we begin. If you want to a more general overview of the whole Bullet Journal system, please feel free to visit the official website.
What is an index?
An index or indices, to put it simply, is a list. Topics arranged down a page in a list, sometimes alphabetically, with the page(s) in a text where they’re located next to the topic.
A sub-index is no different than the main index of a Bullet Journal. It organizes information by topics and page numbers.
Where it excels and why so many use them is because they’re great for saving space in the main index and making pages dedicated to a subject like journal entries, drawing, or meeting notes more easily located later.
However, I would say that there’s also more variation in the sub-indices someone may use in their Bullet Journal than in the main Bullet Journal index. A simple list with the relevant topic heading isn’t uncommon at all, but someone may also choose to use a method based on Future Log methods like the Alastair Method or the Calendex.
What should be indexed?
There’s some debate over what should or shouldn’t be put in the index of a Bullet Journal. Some say everything, some say only the really important stuff.
I’m in the important stuff camp. My easy rule of thumb being that sub-indices, the start of a new month, Future Log, and collections should be placed in the main index. And anything important to the topic being covered by a sub-index should go in a sub-index if someone chooses to use one.
How do you index something?
In addition to the debate about what should be included or excluded from the Index, there’s also some debate about when to index something. I won’t rehash those debates here, they’re pretty pointless. But I prefer to think of indexing as an ongoing activity.
An activity where someone updates their Bullet Journal’s Index as the need arises. This may mean daily for a Calendex style index of Daily Logs for some and/or rarely for those who doesn’t use many Collections at all. The important part is that things are updated as you go.
Next Friday we’ll, as I mentioned before, be talking about the Future Log part of the Bullet Journal system. But if you want to join me I will be putting up the promised Magpie Lord post sometime this weekend. And Monday I’ll be talking about Gothic Minimalism. What Minimalism as a lifestyle movement is and how I put my own dark, Goth flare on it to be more exact.