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Thread: Journals - Indexing

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    Senior Member Empty_of_Clouds's Avatar
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    Default Journals - Indexing

    Something that has been bothering me for a while: for those who journal regularly, do you keep an index of your journals for ease of reference?

    I understand that bullet journals are really a kind of scheduling device, so I expect a degree of indexing there, but other personal journals? Or Traveller's type journals? Or Hobonichi's?

    Well, you get the picture.

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    Senior Member azkid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Journals - Indexing

    Bullet journals can be a scheduling device—I don't use mine for that but instead for note taking and "to do" items and I keep an index of topics and pages.

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    Default Re: Journals - Indexing

    My journals or diaries are typically never looked at again. My Franklin planner is indexed and kept for 7 years or so.
    I use a fountain pen and a paper planner - paperinkplan.wordpress.com

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    Default Re: Journals - Indexing

    Most of my notebooks are labelled by date. I try to assign a certain type or size to each separate purpose so that no further identifying marks are necessary. In any case I rarely revisit them and can barely read them when I do.

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    Default Re: Journals - Indexing

    I keep lots of journals. They are arranged by subject by means of spine labels. Internally, stories are arranged by date. Journals containing stories with miscellaneous subjects all have "Locke Index" front matter, as does my commonplace book. Entries that can be grouped in some way are handled with different colored inks.

    Example: I have upwards of 800 pages of stuff in my gig journal, going back to 1989. If I want to read about the three-day gig I played on Blennerhassett Island in 1998 with the Anonymous String Band, I pull down the first book, look for green headings in 1998, and flip to the desired story.

    In the cat journal, each cat has his/her own color.
    Each wilderness canoe/kayak trip has its own book with mounted and annotated photographs. If it doesn't fill the book completely, too bad; some paper gets wasted.
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    Default Re: Journals - Indexing

    I have one journal I keep many things in. I do create an index on a separate sheet of paper while filling that volume then rewrite the index in order on a few pages I reserve in the back. I put the topic of the entry on the first line and use that for the index. I also transcribe some entries to computer and I transcribe the index to a spreadsheet.

    Rick

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    Default Re: Journals - Indexing

    My daily journals contain a lot of forgettable blather, but also things which I might want to return to again: major events, interesting things that I've learned, ideas that seem brilliant to me at the time, and so forth. I number the pages as I go, and when one of those things comes up, I put a brief explanation and a reference to the page number on the flyleaf.

    As for indexing the journals themselves, I put the dates that I started and finished them on the flyleaf or inside cover, and keep them roughly in order. I rarely return to an old journal, but it does happen.
    "So convenient a thing it is to be a reasonable creature, since it enables one to find or make a reason for everything one has a mind to do."
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    Default Re: Journals - Indexing

    Nice.

    What spurred this question was one of those moments when I remembered writing something (that I thought was) interesting, but couldn't remember where.

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    Default Re: Journals - Indexing

    Nope. I never index my journals, though once finished I place it on a shelf in order by date. I do reread parts from time to time, but that means I have to look for the dates scattered across the lot.

    Even with the Leuchtturm journals which have that awesome index at the front, I cannot for the life of me keep filling it out.
    "Love is the final fight."

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    Default Re: Journals - Indexing

    I reread my journals often. It is one of the main reasons I write them. I have to keep writing lest the reading becomes repetitititive.
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    Default Re: Journals - Indexing

    I do sometimes put an asterisk in the margin next to something I might want to find again or that might be relevant in another context.

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    Default Re: Journals - Indexing

    I index, especially my commonplace journals. I use my own adapted, simplified version of John Locke’s system. Also, because items are added randomly throughout the journal, linked subjects can end up being located at various random places throughout the journal. To avoid having to continually refer to the index, and to make it easy to find scattered pages on the same subject, I utilise my own version of threading (based on Ryder Carroll’s Bullet Journal threading method).

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    Default Re: Journals - Indexing

    If I had to index, I'd use a computer. Handwriting is my escape from all that, including the freedom to throw away stuff that no longer seems relevant and seeing it disappear without the slightest trace, unlike most digital data. It also includes the joy of looking for something in a myriad of pages and finding other interesting or embarrassing things, too. The only concession I make is to use different drawers and journals for storing writings on different subjects, although I have to admit to being less than strict about it.

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    Default Re: Journals - Indexing

    Since my memory is casually indexed by geography, I can usually pinpoint which notebook contains the information I want to access. "Vague memory of...[place]. Okay... that must have been 1993."

    I eventually wrote the beginning and ending dates on the spines of the notebooks, and when I find the information I was looking for, I might place a bookmark there, sometimes writing on the top of it a few words, "key words" or "tags."

    But, otherwise, nope. No indexing. Not yet, anyway. (No plans to start, but never say never.)
    Last edited by ethernautrix; June 18th, 2019 at 02:37 AM. Reason: If only I would proofread BEFORE posting. When will I learn? Probably never.
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    Default Re: Journals - Indexing

    Quote Originally Posted by migo984 View Post
    I index, especially my commonplace journals. I use my own adapted, simplified version of John Locke’s system. Also, because items are added randomly throughout the journal, linked subjects can end up being located at various random places throughout the journal. To avoid having to continually refer to the index, and to make it easy to find scattered pages on the same subject, I utilise my own version of threading (based on Ryder Carroll’s Bullet Journal threading method).
    Migo,

    Do you use an expandable notebook (or ring binder) for your commonplace book? Or are you on to several or multiple journals?
    Lady Onogaro

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    Default Re: Journals - Indexing

    I tried indexing once, but it was too demanding of my time. I"m doing good to write everyday, especially the past few weeks because I was down with a persistent migraine and other health problems that have kept me from writing much of anything.
    Lady Onogaro

    "Be yourself--everybody else is already taken." --Oscar Wilde

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    Default Re: Journals - Indexing

    I've found it best just to keep entries in both my journals and pocket notebooks un-indexed, since if I ever need to reference something I can flip back through earlier dates to find it. I usually write in different inks whenever I'm keeping notes throughout the day, and these often help distinguish between different topics, but I don't even have a color code or anything like that.

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    Default Re: Journals - Indexing

    I start every entry with the date. If I feel something is interesting and worth coming back to, I ink the edge of the page so it is visible when closed. I write anything I want and don't usually take notebooks as sacred, since I find if I make a book for one purpose, inevitably only a few pages get used. One exception is tasting and brewing notes for tea, which is its own book. It's often useful to look up parameters that worked before, or to keep track as I adjust parameters.

    Generally I think journals are for rough stuff, which can be fleshed out later if it's any good in a separate good copy. I have a good memory anyway though, going back to journals is just a way of fact checking it.

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    Default Re: Journals - Indexing

    I use Leuchtturm's 1917 journals for the stuff I want to index.

    The books have page numbers and a front page for indexing - so the reviews and bits & bods I want indexed go in there, with an indication where it is on the front page.

    For other stuff, I have a Leuchtturm A4 Master - which has page nos, so if I write anything that I want to find later - I cut and paste, or copy it into there - and fill in the index.

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    Default Re: Journals - Indexing

    I just put a start-stop date on the top outer portion of the pages with a Sharpie. My school notebooks have an index on the back but I rarely use the index because I have stickies marking important pages.
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