Hello Planning Mashers!
Moving forward with a series of posts on Bullet Journaling for beginners, today, you’ll learn about a future log.
I gathered here all the information on how you can set up your own, some alternatives, and generally, what you can use this Bullet Journal page for.
Before we dive into the future log, let me share with you some other links.
If you’re just starting a Bullet Journal, you might want to consider checking my Ultimate Guide To Bullet Journal For Beginners.
There are also detailed posts about each of the basic pages:
- Bullet Journal Key
- Bullet Journal Index
- Future Log (this post)
- Monthly Spread
- Weekly / Daily Spreads
- Bullet Journal Collections
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What Is A Future Log
The future log is a page you usually find at the beginning of a Bullet Journal, and the purpose of it is to give an outline of the year ahead of you. When you start your journal, this is where you write everything you planned for the year.
Later on, when the month comes, you just flip back to your future log and migrate all the tasks.
The future log is a kind of collection of your yearly events. It’s not exactly a page you use every day, but more of a master storage of all your yearly information.
You definitely migrate all your tasks for your current month onto a monthly spread.
What To Write In The Future Log
I mentioned before that you write your yearly plans, but I bet for many of you it sounds too business-like. If I don’t have any meetings or business trips, do I even need this page? Well, my answer is yes, yes you do.
Here are some of the ideas on what you can add to your future log:
- Bill deadlines
- National holidays
- Doctor appointments
- Planned vacations
- TV | Movie premieres
- Sports events
- Important college dates (exams, assignment deadlines)
- Expiration dates for credit cards, car insurance, and such
- Pet vaccination dates
- Community activities
- Yearly sales dates
- Business meetings
I’m sure if you think about it, you’ll be able to come up with some other things that you usually plan ahead.
The future log is a great way to see your whole year at a glance and a perfect place to plan some big events because usually, just by looking at it, you can get more or less the feeling of how busy your month will be.
How To Set Up Your Future Log
There are several ways you can create a future log; it really all depends on the size of your notebook and, of course, whether you’re focused on writing down a lot of events or if it’s more important for you to have a whole year overview in one page.
Oh, and, of course, if you’re not feeling like writing down all those calendars, just try these calendar stickers.
This is definitely my favorite format to use because, for me, having a one-page overview is the most important part of a future log.
The only problem you might have is space. To make sure you fit all 12 months in one spread, you’ll probably need to sacrifice decorating your page.
This is my favorite format to use because, for me, having a one-page overview is the most important part of a future log.
This format allows only 6 months per spread, but you can use the rest of the page for writing all your appointments.
Personally, I never needed that much space if my future log. But I imagine when you’re a student it might be useful.
I think you can actually fill in all 12 months if you divide the page horizontally as well.
Of course, the downside is that that way, you’ll have less space to write your tasks and appointments. But for me, that’s usually enough space.
I’ve been in love with this format for a long time because it looks amazing!
From the cons, I’d say that setting up a circle log is a bit difficult. In case you still want to create one, I’d advise getting this circle ruler.
One Page Yearly Setup
Finally, you can create your future lof on one spread by adding all the months on one side and all the notes on the other.
It’s an easy win if you want at a glance view, and it is pretty easy to set up.
However, you might find that this setup doesn’t give you enough space for all the appointments and deadlines.
Dutch Door Future Log
Cutting a journal seems like a very scary thing, but it allows for creating some pretty cool pages.
Plus, it’s really not that scary once you do it once.
A dutch door idea for a future log will allow you to have a header easily seen whenever you are, and you can get so much more space for your future planning.
It’s cool to add washi tapes to the cut parts.
I know I always cut like a 5-year-old, and washi tape is a good way to kind of hide any mistakes.
But What If I Start My Bullet Journal In The Middle Of The Year
The beauty of the Bullet Journal is that you can start it all at any time of he year. So what do you do with your future log then? Definitely make a future log.
However, you’d want to start it from the next month, because you’ll be obviously already writing the current month in your monthly log.
For how long should you do your future log in this situation? It totally depends on you.
I think you usually don’t really know exactly how long your journal will last, so if you start one in August, for example (like I did), I’d recommend making a current log until December, and starting a new year in your journal with a new future log.
This is a future log from my square journal that seems to last for much longer. So I created a future log till March.
Future Log Alternatives
So far, we’ve talked about the standard calendar way to plan your future, but there are actually a few more ways you can set up your future plans.
I’ll cover a few other options here.
This is an easy and effective method that also allows you to add more months to one spread. Alastair method works pretty much like a running weekly spread.
On one side, you make columns of your months; on the other side you write the date and task.
When you write your task on the right, you add a dot to the related month.
This method is great if you want something fast and efficient and also don’t mind that your tasks aren’t written down in chronological order.
This method was created by Eddy Hope, and it’s basically a mix between an index and a calendar.
This system implies that you add the future events on your current daily spreads and then just note in the Calendex on which page you can find the event. Let me explain it all in detail.
First, you create a vertical calendar at the beginning of your journal. This is your Calendex. You can number your dailies if you want. Second, when there is an event to note and write in your Calendex, write the detail of the event on your current daily/weekly spread.
Then go to your Calendex and on the date the event is taking place, write a page number on where to find the event’s information.
The way you can make your tasks more obvious and easy to understand is by color-coding them.
That way, even if you don’t see what exactly you have planned that day, at least you’ll know if it’s a business meeting or time to pay your bills.
This system is great if you want to have a clean year-at-a-glance view and don’t mind flipping through your journal all the time. For me personally, this system isn’t a good fit because I absolutely love to know exactly what is happening, and I don’t really want to flip my journal every time to find out.
If you want to give this a try, check out the Resources Vault – we have free printable Calendex pages there.
If you’re not a part of Planning Mashers yet, sign up in the form at the end of the post and get access to a wonderful community and TONS of free printables!
Bullet Journal Future Log VS Monthly Log
Before we dive into future log inspirations, I thought I’d make something clear about future log and monthly log because I understand it might be confusing what’s the use and difference between the two.
I use both the future log and a monthly log. Even though information overlaps sometimes, I find that I still need both.
For me, the future log is for bit future planning, while the monthly log is for all the current things and appointments happening.
It can be very useful to have a future log, especially if you don’t pre-plan your monthly spreads in advance.
So the way it works is if it’s not in the current month – it goes in the future log. And every time I set up a new monthly spread, I’d look back to the future log to see what appointments and events I have for the month.
I definitely recommend using both spreads. Your future log is great for having at a glance view of the year and the main monthly appointments, while a monthly log gives you a more detailed view of all the little things you have scheduled.
Bullet Journal Future Log Inspirations
Of course, I couldn’t leave you without a few more fantastic future log spreads to keep your creativity flowing.
These also can be great decoration ideas for all your yearly pages, like a key or index.
I love how neat and well-organized this future log looks. All the succulents are actually pretty easy to doodle.
Check out my post Succulent And House Plant Doodles to get some step-by-step tutorials.
Another horizontal future log, and I love how much the colors pop.
I like this format and how much space you have for planning.
Here is a very creative way to put all the months on just two spreads.
It doesn’t give you enough space for writing your plans, but I generally find that it’s sufficient.
Beautiful year at a glance page; I always admire people who can create such flawless numbers – mine always seem to cramp together.
Also, it’s amazing how much style is in just a few extra lines.
I love how much interest just a few frames can add to the page.
I also feel like it’s a fun way to change the sides of monthly calendars. One more very simple thing that adds more pizazz to the page.
I always love how flowers look as decoration on your Bullet Journal pages.
And if you don’t know how simply check my post How To Draw Beautiful Flowers In Your Bullet Journal.
A beautiful example of a calendex, and as you can see, this one started in March. SO that’s also a great example of starting a future log in the middle of the year.
I also really like the color coding here.
This is not a combo I see often, but hey, whatever works best! This is a combination of a year at a glance and alastair method.
It’s amazing how neat all those numbers and boxes look!
My favorite vertical format, but in this case, it’s just 3 months per page.
It seems like not that many people do what I do and try to fit the entire year on two pages.
Liz always created the most beautiful floral pages, and this one is no exception.
I’m really loving how all the colors match and really add a lot of fun accents to the page.
This is such a beautiful year at a glance, with a page for holidays and such on the right.
Personally, I’d probably still mark in color the days on the calendar, but that’s just me loving to have my visual aids.
Beautiful future log, and I love the brush lettering of the months.
If you want to create the same, check out my Beginner’s Guide To Brush Lettering.
I’m loving the simple black-and-white minimalist pages, and this one is no exception.
I also like this combination of fonts, the opposite styles like these match so well.
This is a very busy year! But also a great example of a dutch door future log.
Dutch door was a perfect choice here since that way, you can see the color coding whenever you are.
I love how happy and beautiful this future log is. And I think it’s very cool to have different colors for each month.
Don’t forget that there is a free printable Calendex spread in the Resources Vault.
If you don’t have your access yet – sign up in the form below.
Once you confirm your subscription, you’ll get a secret word that will give you access to tons of Bullet Journal freebies.
Do you have any more questions on what a future log is and how to use it?
Which one of these looks interesting for you to try in your journal?
Share with us in the comments!
I hope this list was helpful; if you find it so, please share!
And remember: Keep Bullet Journaling, and Don’t Be A Blob.