How I Use My Notebook When Journaling

Maybe You’ll Find An Idea Or Two To Try Yourself

Photo by Estée Janssens on Unsplash

I have had many notebooks throughout the years that I have journaled in. I have had many good thoughts, ideas, projects, and who knows what else lost in the pages. There were times I could flip through and find what I was looking for, but most of the time, I had no success.

Enter Bullet Journaling and the concept of the index. When I first took up Bullet Journaling a few years ago, I eschewed the index because I was too lazy to care about tracking or finding anything. I guess I thought that everything was in there by date and that was good enough.

As my Bullet Journaling experience grew, as I began to add collections or brain dumps, or other things, the need to know where those pages sat in the midst of the rest became more pertinent. The index became my friend and made my life much easier.

Enter then my regular journaling journal, my diary, my writing notebook, whatever you want to call it. I name all my journals and notebooks, so the one I am currently working with is Anke-Thora. I literally call my books by their names while I work with them. It’s just one of those weird things that I do. It helps me remember where I might have stashed things at times. Plus, it also helps me relax and trust my journal more, which helps me open up more as I write.

Anke-Thora is the first diary/writing journal I have kept that I have used an index with. I lucked out with the current notebook. It came with a pre-printed index and pre-numberered pages. She has college-ruled lines on her pages.

My practice is to write, journal, put it all down on the page, and then let it go. I come back a few hours later, or the next day, or the next week, whatever feels right to me. I come back and re-read what I wrote. I use a highlighter to underline anything important that I think I will need for whatever reason. Anything I highlight gets noted and put in the index. This way, I can find things later on when I need them.

I have story ideas that I can find in a snap. I have projects mapped out in random wild detail sitting right there where I can find them, waiting for me to push them further. I have notes to myself, phone numbers scribbled along the edge of a page, an address scrawled along the margin of another page, all duly written up in the index for easy access.

That’s my greatest discovery of late. I hope it helps you in your journey as well.