What Is A Bullet Journal Index? 30 Ideas and How To Make It!

The bullet journal index is one of the first parts you’ll see in a bullet journal… if you use them. Love them or hate them, understanding this collection in the bullet journal system will make you understand the need for it.

I already made a guide last February 2020 on how to hit the ground running, it caught the attention of some and I even saw guides that followed its direction. I decided to polish things and make it more digestible. Of course, more information is still in the older guide if you want more details, but this should be enough to start your own!

Here you’ll find:

  • What A Bullet Journal Index Is
  • Why You Need a Bullet Journal Index
  • How To Make One
  • How To Thread
  • 30 Bullet Journal Index Ideas

What Is A Bullet Journal?

A bullet journal index is a collection you can use in a bullet journal. Usually placed at the beginning of the notebook, its purpose is to serve as a sort of table of contents for all the topics within the journal itself. It serves as a directory in what is usually a blank notebook.

The bullet journal index is basically a table of contents for what’s in your notebook.

Since bullet journals are usually made with blank notebooks, there are no pre-made sections in the notebook. This may make it a bit difficult to find where certain subject matters, topics, or collections are. Hence, the creation of the bullet journal index.

“Collection” is a term used in bullet journaling. A collection is basically a section concerning a specific subject. It can be about anything, but it is usually a tracker or log. For more bujo terms, check out this glossary I made!

A bullet journal index is optional, but it is often recommended to help you find things easier throughout the notebook. You don’t even have to put it in the forefront, as you can have it at the very end of your bullet journal.

In need of a bullet journal? Find our best recommendations, just click here!

Do You Need A Bullet Journal Index?

A bullet journal index serves to make navigating your bullet journal easier and more manageable. Techniques have been developed that will let you track things even across notebooks, letting you find things in previous notebooks you have used as a bullet journal.

Advantages

  • Easier to find things
  • Let’s you keep track of info across large periods of time
  • Provides an overview of the notebook’s content

Like previously mentioned, the index makes it easier to find things. You might take it for granted, but when your notebook begins to fill up, you’ll be thankful you have it!

It’s not even that complicated to make. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

It also gives you the convenience of easily turning to a page you have set anywhere in your notebook. The alternative is turning pages incessantly until you find what you are looking for. Trust me, you get tired of it

Depending on how long you intend to use your notebook, it might almost be required to have one. The guiding principle is: the more information you have, the more you need it!

A year is a long time. Keeping track of things may seem easy at first, but it’s quite easy to get lost right away. This is especially true if you have a lot going on in a week.

Take this example. A mother never has a schedule all to her own. A mother’s schedule always involves the kids, both the actual kids and the ones who think like kids, like their husbands. For all the information they have to juggle, it’s easy to get lost.

The bullet journal index can help with that. Another thing that can help if you’re a mother is the guide I made for moms who want to make a bullet journal. Click here to find the guide.

Disadvantages

  • Can get tedious to fill
  • Can get out of hand if not properly made
  • Can run out of space

One of the most glaring disadvantages is that it can turn into a chore. It’s something that you always have to have in the back of your mind whenever you log in data inside your notebook. For some, it can get tiring quite quickly.

Once this happens, more and more you “forget” to log in new data until it falls into disarray.

An index falling into disarray is not the end of the world, it is hard to come back from, though. Actually, not really. It might take an afternoon of cleaning up, but can you imagine how much erasing your index will get?

That brings up the next point, you might run out of space. Since you put the index at the start, having too many topics in the notebook might make you go over the pages you alot for it. This might not be a pretty sight.

Thankfully, there is a solution for when you run out of space. This is the same solution used for when you want to track information across notebooks. The solution is: Threading.

I’ll explain threading further down. It’s really something that’s easier to understand once you KNOW how to make a bullet journal index.

How To Make And Start Your Own Bullet Journal Index

To start your own Bullet Journal Index, you’ll need to:

  1. Set aside a few pages
  2. Label the section or collection
  3. Fill in with the different collections in your bullet journal
  4. Optional Format: “Topic, Page Number”
  5. Update frequently

That’s it!

If it seems simple, that’s because it is. If you need more information, here’s an excerpt from my other article How To Setup A Minimalist Bullet Journal I wrote earlier in the year.

It’s simple enough to make.

All you need to do is to take a few blank pages at the beginning of your notebook, depending on how much you think you’ll be using and label them “Index”. That’s it! Once you log something into your index, you might find that certain collections are longer than what you thought and you had to continue it at another page. To keep track of this, just write the name of the collection and the page number after it.

It should look like this: Worldbuilding p34

Scribbler Planet Article On How To Setup a Minimalist Bullet Journal

“It’s simple enough to make. All you need to do is to take a few blank pages at the beginning of your notebook, depending on how much you think you’ll be using and label them “Index”.

That’s it!

Once you log something into your index, you might find that certain collections are longer than what you thought and you had to continue it at another page. To keep track of this, just write the name of the collection and the page number after it. For the subsequent pages that continue the collection, put in a comma and write the page number of where it is.

It should look like this:

Worldbuilding p34

This means that the worldbuilding collection I have in my notebook is on page 34.

Here’s a really good sample I found on Instagram:

Onto Threading!

What is Threading for The Bullet Journal Index?

Threading is a technique used to organize different pages in the bullet journal index. It is used when certain collections or sections have to be written in different parts of the notebook and cannot be connected continuously.

Let me present a problem to you. Say you have allotted pages for your Brain Dump on pages 5-8 of your notebook. You had a lot of things in your mind and you used up all three pages already.

What do you do to keep on using your brain dump?

The answer: Go to the next free page and continue it there.

No fuss. No problem.

But wait! If I put different entries of the brain dump in the Index, it’ll be confusing!

That’s when you thread!

You’ll be using the same line of entry for the initial brain dump, you’ll just be adding stuff to it.

By the way, here’s a guide for using a brain dump in the bullet journal. When I wrote it, it was one of the first guides to come out. I hope you can use it well!

How To Thread For The Bullet Journal Index?

To use threading for the bullet journal index, you’ll need to:

  1. Create a bullet journal index
  2. Take note of the pages of the initial collection
  3. Log in new data with suggested format: “Topic, Page Number, Continued Page”
  4. Update accordingly

This may seem a bit more complicated, but let me assure you that it’s not.

Continuing the example from above, a threaded entry will now look like:

“Brain Dump, Page 5-8, Page 16-20”

That’s really it. Simple, huh!

Now onto the Bullet Journal Index Ideas for your layouts!

30 Bullet Journal Ideas

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Did this help you? Find out more things you can put inside your bullet journal with this interactive screen!

Feel free to swipe left or right!

scribblerplanet

Jm here! I run the Scribbler Planet website. If you're new to bullet journals and journaling, I think I can help you out. I've always had problems with keeping on track with what I'm doing, so when I heard bullet journaling could help I tried my hand at it. Here we are about a year later and I'm glad to say it significantly helped. Here's hoping I can help you do the same!

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