A bullet journal index is like a contents page for your bullet journal. If you follow the traditional method of bullet journaling (bulletjournal.com), you’ll see the index is a permanent fixture in a bullet journal. But do you really need one in your journal?
What is the Point of an Index?
Although a bullet journal index is like a contents page, it’s not necessarily in chronological order. The index isn’t static but constantly changes because each time you add to your bullet journal, you should be adding to your index page.
For example, if you add a new collection such as “Books to read” tracker on the next page which happens to be page 21. You can add to your index:
21 – Books To Read
However, if on page 22 you add another gratitude log, you can add to your index:
10,22 – Gratitude Logs
Because you keep adding various collections to your bullet journal as you go, it’s good to have an index that you can refer to so you can easily find things in your bullet journal.
When I started bullet journaling, I wondered what the point of having an Index was. My bullet journal is something I almost always carry with me, I refer to it on a daily basis, so I KNOW what is in it and where to find certain collections etc. The Index seemed like a waste of time.
But now that I’ve got a nice stack of completed notebooks, if I do want to refer back to something in an old bullet journal, the Index is a lifesaver! It will save you time flipping through pages and pages looking for something in particular, I promise you!
At the end of the day, an index is not crucial to the set up of your bullet journal, it really depends on if you find it useful or not.
Supplies Needed to Set Up Your Bullet Journal Index:
- A notebook (I suggest Lemome or Dingbats*)
- A pen – my favourite for using in my bullet journal is the Staedtler Pigment Liner
- A ruler
How to Create A Bullet Journal Index:
The index page usually appears at the start of your bullet journal and is super easy to set up!
An index usually takes up 2-4 pages in your bullet journal depending on how many pages your journal has, and also how many collections you tend to create.
I always set up 4 pages to be on the safe side.
Creating an index page is as simple as splitting your pages into two columns. One smaller column for the page numbers, and a larger column for the description of the pages. Like this:
Each time you complete a page or collection, you number your page/s and you add this to your index page.
I have to number ALL 200-something pages?
No! Of course not. If you journal pages aren’t already numbered, I would number as I go. Doing it this way rather than numbering all the pages before hand means you still have the ability to rip out pages (god forbid) or stick pages together if you really muck up your pages. This doesn’t ruin your numbering system.
However you can get some notebooks with the pages already numbered, like the Dingbats*, Leuchtturm or Scribbles That Matter.
How to Organise your Bullet Journal Index:
The index helps you navigate your bullet journal, but at the same time, it can become a loooooong list – I mean, 4 pages long potentially?
This in itself can be hard to read and navigate.
So to get around this, here are some tips and tricks to organise your index so it’s even easier to find things in your bullet journal!
1. Colour coding
Highlight items which should be grouped together like how Christina from Square Lime Designs has. (some great highlighters to try are Frixion Pastel Highlighters – they’re erasable!)
2. Make certain entries stand out
You can separate each month out by making the months stand out. For example below, indenting everything other than the month or more important collections so that they stand out:
You can highlight the more important spreads using colour:
Or you can simply make the letters bolder:
3. Separate your Collections pages from your Calendar pages
4. Only Index your Collections
Some people don’t add their daily and weekly pages to their index, because they are pretty standard in a bullet journal. Instead, try only indexing important collections, like movie trackers or your cleaning schedule or shopping lists.
This technique not only removes the clutter from your index but it also will reduce the size of your index.
5. Start your Index at the Back of your Notebook
Ok, sounds weird. But if you don’t know how many pages you need for your Index (especially if you’ve never had a bullet journal before), starting at the back means you won’t run out of space for you Index as it grows.
6. Split Your Index Pages Into Two
If you don’t like the idea of having your index at the back of your notebook, but you’re still worried about running out of room. Then you can save space by splitting your index pages in two.
7. Categorise Your Index
If the collections and pages in your bullet journal fall into distinct categories, you can group them, like this beautiful example below:
How to Decorate Your Bullet Journal Index
Just like the rest of your bullet journal, you can decorate your index pages as much or as little as you want. Here are some examples:
Use Washi Tape:
Add colour using watercolour paint or gouache:
Use a cute hand-lettered heading:
If you want more ideas for simple hand-lettered fonts to try, make sure you check out this post!
Add a Banner:
Decorate with some Gorgeous Florals:
If you struggle with these like I do, make sure to see how I go about creating floral drawings in my journal here.
Decorate using Stickers:
I hope you’ve learnt everything you need to know about the Bullet Journal Index, and got some cute ideas on how to decorate and create one for yourself.
Just remember that you don’t have to have an index in your bullet journal, if you don’t find it useful, don’t include it. But if you do, I’d love to see it! Just email me or tag me on Instagram!
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