future planning bullet journal

Bullet Journal Future Log Ideas for 2020

Bullet Journal Year at a Glance | Bujo Yearly Spread

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 on detailed information on how to log future tasks in a bullet journal.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my full disclosure policy for details.

Bullet Journal Long Term Planning

Without a doubt, one of the most common concerns when it comes to bullet journaling is 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
  • Calendex
  • 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

Pros:

  • it’s a simple, transparent way to log your future tasks

Cons:

  • 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 

  • birthdays
  • holidays
  • trips
  • anniversaries
  • doctor’s appointments
  • projects
  • deadlines
  • exams

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:

future log printable bullet journal

Bullet Journal Future Log Ideas

Classic Future Log (created by Ryder Carroll)

bullet journal future log ideas

Vertical Future Log

bullet journal yearly spread

Horizontal Future Log

plan ahead journal

Mini Calendar + Future Log Columns

bullet journal year at a glance

The Calendex

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.

bullet journal calendex

How to Plan with Calendex?

For instance:

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.

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • 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

Calendex Hacks

  • 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

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:

bullet journal yearly spread

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.

Pros:

  • you have all the events gathered in one place
  • year overview is on 1 page

Cons:

  • the layout can become messy after adding more than 1 items
  • chronology issues
  • not enough space to add many details
journal log

Future Log + Alastair Method Hybrid

I love the idea of simple mini calendar future log combined with 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 item’s details.

After you put the appointment in the bullet journal month at a glance spread, you tick the box off.

bullet journal planning ahead

Calendex-Alastair Hybrid

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.

Pros:

  • you know when you’re busy and see the details immediately

Cons

  • in order to keep the journal log readable, you can use this system for planning only 4-6 months ahead
bullet journal future log layout

Monthly Log

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 bujo.

Sticky Notes

Clearly, it’s one of the fastest way to set up a bullet journal future log.

sticky notes

Pros:

  • 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 size and color. Therefore they’re great for color-coding!

Cons:

  • they don’t last forever so it could be a pricey option

Stacking Post-It’s

Just like sticky notes, stacking post-its is another fast and easy option for future planning. It requires even less space than sticky notes.

postits

Planning Wheel

To tell the truth, I’m not the biggest fan of the circular future log. It takes time to set it up, requires an additional tool like this one. But, I have to admit it – 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 last, 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.

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.

For example, in my case, I plan maybe 6 months ahead. 

Besides, my current bullet journal notebook is set to last only for 4 months. 

With this in mind, I put only September, October, November, and December mini calendars. 

If I want to log something for 2020, I created a place to note it down. When I start a new bullet journal, I’ll migrate the dates to a new future log.

plan ahead

Bullet Journal Future Log Ideas – Final Thoughts

In conclusion, there are plenty of ways for future planning in a bullet journal.

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.

Or maybe you create your own unique bullet journal future log. If yes, 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.

What’s Next? Discover Another Journal Inspiration:

Bullet Journal Key

Bullet Journal Index

Awesome Tips You Want to Know Before You Start a Bullet Journal

bullet journal future log

Bullet Journal Future Log

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