Today you’re going to learn how to plan ahead with a bullet journal future log.
In fact, the bullet journal future log helped me to manage my long-terms projects, future appointments or events.
So if you think you can’t start a bullet journal because:
- you need a calendar
- future planning in a bujo seems complicated
- you don’t know how you can future plan in a blank notebook
- you’re confused by the future log idea
Then keep reading for detailed information on how to log future tasks in a bullet journal.
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Bullet Journal Long Term Planning
Without a doubt, one of the most common concerns when it comes to bullet journaling is the lack of a regular calendar.
Even though starting a fully customized bullet journal is tempting, not being able to plan ahead and write down all future appointments, events, and deadlines is the biggest reason people tend to give up the ideas of bullet journaling before they even start.
Actually, since you get a bullet journal notebook with blank pages, future planning can be a challenge.
Instead of keeping track of the future with a regular, already set up planner, you create your bujo pages up to date.
However, there are ways to do future planning in a bullet journal like:
- Future Log
- The Alastair Method
- Future Log & Alastair Method Hybrid
- Future Log & Calendex Hybrid
- The Sticky Notes System
- Stacking Post-Its
- Monthly Log
- Planning Wheel
What is a Bullet Journal Future Log?
Generally, a future log is a place where you can list our long-term plan. Long story short- it’s a shorter version of a monthly calendar.
Sometimes bullet journalists call a future log the bullet journal year at a glance layout.
All you need to do is to write down month after month and leave someplace for short information and few details
- it’s a simple, transparent way to log your future tasks
- it’s hard to put all 12 months onto only 1 spread (two pages)
- if you want to log many events, you can rapidly run out of space
- it’s hard to write down the logs chronologically
What to Put in a Bullet Journal Future Log
- doctor’s appointments
Bullet Journal Future Log Hacks
Sometimes your month is busier than usual. For instance, you have more than 3 appointments or events throughout the day.
As a result, a bullet journal future log may become decluttered. But if you put a prominent indicator like the red exclamation point (warning sign), you’ll immediately know that this day will be hectic.
Absolutely, writing down the entire calendar for 12 months can be a daunting task. Fortunately, there are some bullet journal hacks that’ll make this ungrateful work a little bit easier:
- get calendar stamps
- post bujo mini calendar stickers in the monthly page
- download and print out bullet journal future log printable (this one below is from Space+Quiet)
Bullet Journal Future Log Ideas
Classic Future Log (created by Ryder Carroll)
Vertical Future Log
Horizontal Future Log
Mini Calendar + Future Log Columns
In most cases, when you’re looking at the calendex for the very first time, this system seems to be so complicated, overthought, and cluttered.
However, after spending a couple of minutes on understanding what is the calendex is and how does it work, suddenly it may be a great way for future planning.
What is Calendex?
General, the Calendex is a calendar and index hybrid created by Eddy Hope.
First, you divide the whole spread (2 pages) into columns (1 column is a 1 month).
Second, you put numbers (days) on the left and/or right side.
Third, you separate each week with a horizontal line. When the month has less than 31 days, fill the empty cells with lines or color.
How to Plan with Calendex?
It’s 9/6/2019. You called your dentist and set up an appointment on 3/15/2020. You put this information with all details (who, where, when, how much, etc.) on your daily log, weekly layout or monthly spread.
Now you go to your Calendex. You look for 3/15/2020 and note down the page number where you can find all the needed information and details.
- year at glance fits on a 2-page spread
- it reduces your paper use
- great if you need a lot of space for details
- it’s perfect for those of you who don’t have much to track
- it can be uncomfortable, especially if you don’t like flipping through your bullet journal
- your bujo can be worn out very soon
- you have to get a notebook with number pages (or number them by yourself)
- the columns are pretty narrow
- for some of us, it may be complicated to set it up
- in order to know where you’re in the Calendex, you can cross off each day as it passes or use a paper clip on a current day
- use color code index for your life categories to mark individual events
- add a space for notes like boxes with each of the months after the calendex
- indicate a longer period like trips, holidays or exams with color border, arrow or simply color the days of the week
- put a letter (for example c like calendex) next to the event information on the spread. Therefore you immediately know where to find all the details
Bullet Journal Future Log + Calendex Hybrid
As well as that, you can also combine a bullet journal future log with the Calendex.
It’s helpful when some months are busier than others. For instance, you need a really long description of each item or you have more than 1 or 2 events every day for the next months.
On the other hand, for the rest of the months, you have only a few items to log.
How does this combo work?
Let’s see an example:
The Alastair Method
The next method, created by Alastair Johnston is less popular than the ones mentioned above. But it’s worth to know how to plan ahead with the Alastair method.
Firstly, you create vertical columns with months. Next, you write down the list of the upcoming events and use dots to indicate them.
- you have all the events gathered in one place
- year overview is on 1 page
- the layout can become messy after adding more than 1 items
- chronology issues
- not enough space to add many details
Future Log + Alastair Method Hybrid
I love the idea of a simple mini calendar future log combined with the Alastair method created by Onki_art. It seems to be simple and clear. Definitely I have to check if it works for me too.
Basically, you create a mini calendar where you mark already planned days. Then you set up the columns with months, information (what, when, who), checkbox and describe the item’s details.
After you put the appointment in the bullet journal month at a glance spread, you tick the box off.
The next amazing future planning system is the combination of the Calendex (the left side) and Alastair method (the right side).
To make your life, even more, easier, instead of writing down the page number in the Calendex, you can use the shape of your choice or color-coding.
- you know when you’re busy and see the details immediately
- in order to keep the journal log readable, you can use this system for planning only 4-6 months ahead
Similar to a regular planner, you can use a monthly log as a future log. You create one monthly layout per page at the beginning of the bujo.
Clearly, it’s one of the fastest ways to set up a bullet journal future log.
- sticky notes are so convenient to use
- the future log pages become reusable so you don’t have to create them all over again
- you can easily add, remove and move them around
- they come in different sizes and colors. Therefore they’re great for color-coding!
- they don’t last forever so it could be a pricey option
Just like sticky notes, stacking post-its is another fast and easy option for future planning. It requires even less space than sticky notes.
To tell the truth, I’m not the biggest fan of the circular future log. Not only it takes time to set it up but it requires an additional tool like this (affiliate link) one. But, I have to admit it – the planning wheel looks cool. More information you can find here.
How Many Months Should I Include in a Bullet Journal Yearly Spread?
Again, it depends on your lifestyle, planning habits, how long does the notebook lasts, etc.
Maybe you have a lot of appointments and having 12 months on 2-page spread makes it look messy and cluttered. Or all you need is a simple future log.
Definitely, it’s all about your personal preferences.
However, assuming that you already know how long do you plan ahead, I recommend you set up a bullet journal year overview for this period of time.
Also, I like to add space for long-term planning. So, if I want to log something for 2022, I’m able to do it with ease. When I start a new bullet journal, I’ll migrate the dates to a new future log.
Bullet Journal Future Log Ideas – Final Thoughts
In conclusion, there are plenty of ways for future planning in a bullet journal.
Obviously, you don’t have to give up bullet journaling only because you need a calendar. Just don’t be afraid to experiment and try out all of these great options.
Alternatively, create your own unique bullet journal future log. Also, feel free to send me an email and I add your method to this ultimate guide on how to set up a bullet journal yearly overview.