Welcome back to Bullet Journal Basics! For those of you who are new to this series, previous posts can be found here.
The Bullet Journal® is a great tool for writers and unsung hero of this tool is the index.
What is an Index?
The standard index is a list of the contents of a book categorized by topic. Typically at the back of the book, history gives us awesome examples such as John Locke’s 1 method of indexing commonplace books which were located in the front.
Ryder Carroll’s Bullet Journal method draws on this history as a means of making sure the Bullet Journal user can find important information later. Though, like most people who used indexing in their planner or writing methods, this surely wasn’t intentional. Just something which happened through osmosis and how ingrained indexing is for modern people.
How do you set up and use the Index?
Take your Bullet Journal method of choice and, either at the front or the back, title a couple of pages “INDEX.” On the next line or a couple of lines below, write the title of the page and the page number or number range for that page.
For those who worry about running out room, the best method will be putting the index at the back of your method of choice. This allows the index and the actual content of the Bullet Journal to meet up naturally. And for those who don’t mind just adding additional pages to their index somewhere else in the book if they run out of room, the index being the first couple of pages of your method of choice will probably feel the most comfortable.
Ryder places his index in the front of journals. Pick whichever works for you.
What should be Indexed?
Anything you feel is important enough to note down in the index. Maybe it is a sub-index of daily logs. A sub-index related to a specific project. A chronological chunk of time like a month and the pages it spans. Meeting notes from talks with your agent, lists of agents to query etc.
Sometimes a Bullet Journalist won’t want to clutter up their main index with multiple pages about the same project or noting every meeting/phone call they felt the need to keep notes on. But they will still want to have easy access to those pages.
The sub-index or a secondary index that is then linked to the main index treating it like any other important page/collection is a great solution to this problem. Things are centralized on a pages or range of pages and they’re not cluttering up the main index. It’s as easy a quick flip to the sub-index and then to the desired page(s). Which for writers means less time looking for information in their Bullet Journal and more time working on their projects.
Remember there is no right and wrong way to set up your Bullet Journal’s index/indices. Do what works for you as a Bullet Journalist and a writer.
How do you index your Bullet Journal?