Indexing and Organizing a Moleskine Notebook
(This actually applies to almost any notebook)”
The motivation for this comes from not wanting to waste space in my notebook, but wanting to be able to easily find related notes from the past.
You know you never finish even one thought in one sitting, right?
This comes from a programming concept called “threading”
The concept is this: The last piece of data in a block of data is actually the directions to find the next piece of data in that block. So… If the size of each piece of data is limited — in this case a page — when you get near the end of the allotted piece of data, you insert, as the last piece of information, where to find the next part of the piece of data.
How I do this in a Moleskine notebook
Picture this scenario: You’ve just had filled a page which is a continuation of a page you wrote in the past.
First, each page must be numbered. I do this on the bottom outside corner of the page. This lets me quickly flip the pages to find what I want. You can purchase notebooks with numbered pages, but I like plain, unlined Moleskines.
Next, and bear in mind I’m talking about a page that’s just been filled, is a continuation of something started previously, I write the number of the page where I began the entry with an arrow pointing to the number of the current page. See where I’m going with this? If I later continue the same thought, I can come back to this page, write the number of the page the thought continues on with an arrow pointing to that number. That is, I have some pages with three numbers: One is the page number, another is the number of the page that comes before, and the third is the number of the page that comes after.
I tried just putting a list of page numbers beside the current page number, but that adds too much overhead. I had to keep going back to each page in the sequence, and adding the number of the new page.
How to create an index from all this
Here’s the key start the index at the back. That’s it! Choose a page at the back of the book. I use the first regular page from the back which opens flat properly in both directions. Take a look, and you’ll see what I mean.
I put the page number where the though starts, then a title/description of what’s on that page.
Other things I do to organize a Moleskine
- The first line of every page is the same:
- Location – Topic – Date
- The second line might contain these items:
- Names/Initials of who I’m with – Other Info – Time