Cross-Indexed Bullet Journals

Nancy H. Vest, a friend of mine who recently began using Bullet Journaling, wrote a post about the BuJo Index Page as part of a brief series of posts about her excursion into this wonderful practice. The Index Page is typically the first page of a BuJo and is used to jump into various topical pages which may be interspersed among the more numerous, chronological, calendar-related and daily journal pages.

As I am now on my third BuJo since I started in December, 2017, here’s a refinement I developed to make this indexing resource more useful than simply indexing within the current volume. When I begin a new BuJo volume, I copy index entries that I’ll need going forward along with backward references to earlier BuJos. The picture below shows the Index page I built the other day for my third volume.

My previous BuJos are numbered 1 and 2. Note the page numbers in the Index having the format number:number. The first number is the Bujo number and the second the page number. If there is no Bujo number, it’s naturally assumed to be the current volume. This allows the index to reference iall of the pages having the same topic regardless of the volume in which they appear.

Each journal also has its own entry simply to note the ranges of dates it incorporates. The first two pages of my first BuJo (1:3) contain dense notes about the notation I use within my own BuJos. I have occasionally gone back and revised those pages knowing any future Index will lead me back.

One thing I do not do is go back and revise the Index pages of previous BuJos. They are there for future reference, but the one in the current volume addresses current and future needs.

I have also developed a fairly sophisticated notation for interlinking pages within a BuJo. Here, daily pages point “up” to weekly, weekly to monthly, monthly to Future Log, for example; back and forth between diary pages; between non-calendar/diary pages; and between different instances of the same type of page. Those cross-links also use the <BuJo number>:<page number> syntax where appropriate.

I may write another post about that indexing technique. It has served me extremely well, not only because it’s another form of implicit “index” that augments the Index Page itself but because it allows navigation within the BuJo from any page within it.

I won’t win any design awards for my Bujos, because they is about as utilitarian and low-maintenance as they get (they’re entirely in erasable pencil, for example, and creating various flavors of new calendar pages takes just a couple of minutes), but I hope this has sparked your curiosity and imagination to make your BuJo’s Index page more navigable and to help you consider how you might manage your volumes as you transition to new ones.

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