Today a quick and useful post. When you use notebooks and planners for different subjects, you can easily get lost trying to find the correct pages. So, if you use a system where you can’t move the pages around, like a Bullet Journal, or a system where you simply need ways to distinguish different topics within a larger system, this is for you!
This is not a new system and also not something I came up with myself (you can probably thank some medieval scribe for that), but it’s one of the easiest ways to navigate around in your notebooks. I originally saw it on a video about how to organize a notebook when you study at college about a year back. I thought it was very smart and a simple but effective way to organise my Bullet Journal.
This is for example a guide to London where they use the coloured bands to differentiate between the chapters.
For who will this be useful?
This is not just for planners but can also come in handy for school/college or work, anything where you can’t move the pages around but still need to be able to recognize and reference them later.
What do you need?
- Notebook/other system that needs sorting
- Something to mark the pages
For markers I like to use my dotted stickers (8mm size so I can use them easily in my notebooks) or washi tape. But I know that others colour the edge with pencils or felt tips or other things that leave behind colours. I’ve even seen this system used with just black marks.
I like to use 8mm stickers and small 5mm washi because the dots in the dotted Moleskine, Leuchtturm and Rhodia are 5 mm apart. Using 8mm stickers gives me a little leeway when I use multiple tags on the same page and they’re right under another.
Like here, this page is tagged with blue and green, blue for the front of the page and green for the back of the page.
How does it work?
First, you decide on the things you need to tag, your topics so to say. Then you put them somewhere easy to reference (I prefer the front of the book, but often also the back as a redundancy).
To tag a page you fold your sticker/washi around the edge of the page on the right height, as indicated by your list above. I prefer to keep them flushed against the edge of the page so they don’t get in the way when I flip through the book, but I know that some people like to have them stick out a little which is easy to do when you use washi.
Do remember to keep enough space between your listed topics so you can double tag them when you need to.
Now, every time you need to be able to quickly reference something, you can tag it and then later quickly find it.
What will it look like?
I’ve been using it for a year now and on multiple types of notebooks and I’ll explain each one below.
My Bullet Journal
(see a post explaining what Bullet Journaling is here)
This is what the colours represent:
I made two mistakes this first time around. One was that I didn’t remember to leave space for the washi at the top of weekly pages (the same system as this but I used a different washi at the top of each week both to find it and give it some colour) and the second thing was that I never wrote down the number of the dot that was in the middle of each sticker, so sometimes it was tricky placing them.
Since then I’ve started doing this (pic of my current bujo):
I only started the notebook halfway through the year, so it starts with June. This notebook has pages that have all months on them, or quarters or even weeks. By colouring this way I can find each month inside the notebook. And see better where we are in the year.
Another place where I use this is my discbound recipe ‘book’. These are recipes that I found online. They’re sorted in alphabetical order, but I needed a way to quickly reference important things like type of protein or type of carb, or even a lack of them.
The reason there are a lot of pages at the front that aren’t tagged is because those are recipes we’ve yet to try. They will get tagged when they move to the back of the book.
For pages that I reference a lot (sometimes daily) I give them a little flag so I can immediately get to them.
The blue one is for my TV series page and the green for the page where I’ve listed the weights of my pans and some quick calorie information. These are the only flags that I use in the notebook, which means that they really do stand out.
There are of course many more ways that this can be useful. Some of which I probably haven’t even thought of. What do you think about this system? Do you think it would be useful for you?