The Ultimate Guide to Future Planning in the Bullet Journal

Future Planning in the Bullet Journal-

This post is being a published a bit later than I had hoped. I had originally planned to publish a post on the future log on Wednesday, and I had an entire post ready to go when I realized something. Most of the work in that post wasn’t mine! I was just narrating a bunch of pictures of other people’s bullet journals. It’s nice to share other people’s ideas, but I really wanted this post to be mine. Besides, if you want to see a wide range of future log pictures, you can just check out my Pinterest board devoted to the future log. Instead of publishing the first post I wrote, I decided to break out my practice bullet journal (remember it from my bullet journal basics post?) and show you some of my own stuff. So, better late than never, I present to you…The Ultimate Guide to Future Planning in the Bullet Journal!

As you’ve probably guessed, today’s building block is the future log, the module that helps you plan for the future. (Thanks, Captain Obvious.) In this post, I’m going to be showing you nine different methods for future planning in your bullet journal. Ready? Let’s dive in!

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The original future log

Ryder Carroll’s original future log setup is simple: two pages divided into three sections each, one per month.

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While this setup works for some people, many have found that they need a more detail-oriented system to keep track of everything they have going on. I, personally, use a hybrid of this and a few other methods, but do what works for you!

Use this method if:

  • you like keeping it simple
  • you don’t have a lot of events to keep track of
  • you don’t plan a lot of things far in advance

This method might not work for you if:

  • you’re really busy and schedule a ton of events in advance
  • you like seeing future months laid out visually
  • you have a lot of recurring events that are a pain to write over and over

Original with mini calendars

The basic future log, but with little calendars so you can see a calendar view of each month.  As you can see, I’ve also incorporated a color-coding system with this one. The downside is that there’s even less space for writing!

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Use this method if:

  • you like the original future log but like being able to see a calendar of the month
  • you don’t have a lot of events to keep track of
  • you don’t plan a lot of things far in advance
  • you are a very visual person

This method might not work for you if:

  • you’re really busy and schedule a ton of events in advance
  • you have a lot of recurring events that are a pain to write over and over

Vertical layout

The original future log laid out differently. Laying it out vertically gives you much more space to write down events. I definitely don’t have enough events that I would need all of this space, but I think it would work really well if I added some drawings or mini calendars.

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Use this method if:

  • you like the original future log but the horizontal layout doesn’t work for you
  • you like keeping it simple
  • you have a lot of events to keep track of
  • you don’t plan a lot of things far in advance

This method might not work for you if:

  • you schedule a ton of events far in advance
  • you like seeing future months laid out visually
  • you have a lot of recurring events that are a pain to write over and over

Vertical with smaller months

I absolutely adore this layout! I was inspired to make this one by @journalspiration on instagram—isn’t it awesome? When I start a new journal (I’m already more than halfway through my current one and I started it in January!) I think I’ll be using this one, perhaps in combination with another method. I like that it has space at the bottom for goals, or really anything that you might want to write.

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Use this method if:

  • you like the original future log but not the horizontal layout
  • you don’t have a lot of events to keep track of
  • you don’t plan a lot of things far in advance
  • you like seeing future months laid out visually

This method might not work for you if:

  • you’re really busy and schedule a ton of events in advance
  • you have a lot of recurring events that are a pain to write over and over (you could easily fix this by using color coding and some mini calendars)

Calendex

The calendex is a system, invented by Eddy Hope, that combines a calendar and an index. Whenever you schedule an event, you rapid-log it in your current daily log. Then, in your calendex, you mark down the page number where you wrote the event, in the section for the day it’s happening. Many people color code their calendex too. I’ll admit, I don’t really like my calendex. It’s not a bad system, but it just doesn’t work for my schedule. Just because it doesn’t work for me doesn’t mean it won’t work for you, though! As you can see, I also have a page labeled horizon in this picture. This is a little trick I picked up from Boho Berry—somewhere near your future log, you have a horizon page where you jot down events that are so far away you don’t have a future log for them yet, or things that have not yet been assigned to a specific month. Then, when you make a new future log, you migrate everything.

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Use this method if:

  • you have a lot of recurring events that are a pain to write over and over
  • you’re really busy and schedule a ton of events far in advance
  • you are a very visual person
  • you don’t mind flipping back and forth between pages in your bullet journal

This method might not work for you if:

  • you don’t have a lot of events to keep track of
  • you don’t plan a lot of things far in advance
  • you don’t have a lot of recurring tasks
  • you don’t like flipping back and forth between pages in your bullet journal
  • you want to have space in your future log to write goals and tasks that apply to the whole month

The Alastair Method

If you use the Alastair method, invented by Alastair Johnston, you keep a running list of events and/or tasks and fill in a dot in the column for the month that the entry pertains to. (This is a bit hard to explain—it makes more sense if you look at the picture below.)

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Use this method if:

  • you don’t need to have each month’s events grouped together
  • you have some months that have a lot more events than others
  • you don’t plan a lot of things far in advance
  • you don’t have a lot of recurring events

This method might not work for you if:

  • you are a very visual person
  • you want each month’s events grouped together
  • you have a lot of recurring events
  • you plan a lot of things far in advance

Twelve month view

This method is similar to the original future log, but it gives a view of all twelve months of the year. You could easily combine this method with mini calendars and/or color coding.

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Use this method if:

  • you like the original future log but want to see the entire year
  • you like keeping it simple
  • you don’t have a lot of events to keep track of

This method might not work for you if:

  • you’re really busy and schedule a ton of events in advance
  • you like seeing future months laid out visually
  • you have a lot of recurring events that are a pain to write over and over

Birthdays and holidays

Set up similarly to the twelve month view, but used only for birthdays and holidays.

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Use this method if:

  • you want birthdays and holidays separate from other entries in your future log
  • you want to free up more space in your future log
  • you’re going to use it in combination with another method
  • you have a lot of birthdays and holidays to keep track of

This method might not work for you if:

  • you want to see everything for each month in one place and don’t like having multiple future logs
  • you don’t have many birthdays and holidays to keep track of
  • you have enough space for birthdays and holidays in your regular future log already

Vertical list

This method, introduced by Megan of Page Flutter, is super easy and effective. You have a vertical list with a space for each day of the month.

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Use this method if:

  • you are a very visual person
  • you want to have a designated space for each day
  • you like the idea of the calendex but don’t want to flip between pages

This method might not work for you if:

  • you want to have space in your future log to write goals and tasks that apply to the whole month

My future planning system

I’d like to stress, again, that different things work for different people. What works for me might not work for you. Still, I’m going to share my personal future planning system so you all can see how I combined different methods and how the different systems work together.

My future planning system involves elements from all of these systems:

  • original future log
  • calendex
  • birthdays and holidays

I use the basic future log to jot down goals, tasks, and ideas for each month. For example, if I think to myself, I’d really like to try out a self care tracker next month (true story, by the way), I would flip to the next month in my future log and write try self care tracker. I have also incorporated a brain dump aspect to my future log; I have a section titled horizon in my regular future log.

future-log

Specific events go into my calendex, although, like I said earlier, that system isn’t working for me as well as I thought it would. I feel like it isn’t very necessary for me since I don’t plan a ton of events far in advance. The stuff in my calendex could easily be put in my regular future log.

calendex

Finally, I also have a birthdays and holidays spread. I like to have birthdays and holidays on their own page. It is a bit risky though, because it’s possible that I’ll start a month, forget to look at this page, and miss someone’s birthday. Eek! Thankfully, that hasn’t happened to me. I’ve been pretty good about checking this page when I set up my monthly logs.

birthdays-and-holidays

That being said, I may switch to a vertical layout—I love that one so much!

Wow, that was another super long post! If you’re still craving future log inspiration, check out my Pinterest board all about the future log.

What’s your favorite future planning method? Did you learn any new ones from this post that you want to try? I’d love to hear about it! Let’s chat in the comments below.

Peace!

♥ Annie


Posts in this Series

Bullet Journal Index Inspiration

The Ultimate Guide to Future Planning in the Bullet Journal (you’re here!)

8 Monthly Layouts to Try

What is a Daily Log?


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5 thoughts on “The Ultimate Guide to Future Planning in the Bullet Journal

  1. Pingback: What is a Daily Log? – Blossoms and Bullet Journals

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  4. Pingback: 8 Monthly Layouts to Try – Blossoms and Bullet Journals

  5. Pingback: Bullet Journal Index Inspiration – Blossoms and Bullet Journals

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