Bullet Journal Future Log To Plan A Successful Year

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Continuing our enlightening series on Bullet Journaling for beginners, today’s spotlight is on one of the most essential components – the future log. This post is a treasure trove of knowledge and will take you through the process of setting up your own future log, offer some creative alternatives, and generally educate you on how this vital Bullet Journal page can be utilized to its full potential.

The future log, in essence, is a master planner for your year. It’s where you jot down all the significant events, deadlines, goals, and aspirations that span over the next few months. It’s like having a bird’s eye view of your life, helping you plan and prioritize better.

The future log is a fundamental part of your Bullet Journal. It’s not just a page to record future events; it’s a tool to help you visualize your time, set your intentions, and keep track of your progress. So let’s dive in, explore, and make this Bullet Journal page uniquely yours.

Before we dive into the future log and all the al;ternatives, let me mention a few things that you can find at the end of the post.

As a beginner, I know you have lots of questions, and things might seem overwhelming. And I’m here to help.

At the end of the post, I have a special freebie for you – a FREE course on Bullet Journaling for beginners that will help you with every step of setting up your very first Bullet Journal.

With that out of the way, let’s talk about the future log.

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What Is A Future Log

Ah, the future log – it’s like the crystal ball of your Bullet Journal, offering a glimpse into the year ahead. This page, typically nestled at the very beginning of your journal, serves as a roadmap for the next 365 days.

Imagine you’re standing at the threshold of a new year, bursting with plans, dreams, and to-dos. Where do all these go? Right onto your future log! This is where you jot down everything you’ve planned for the coming year, from birthdays and anniversaries to project deadlines and vacation dates. It’s like a sneak peek into your future, conveniently compiled in one place.

As the months roll by, you’ll find yourself flipping back to your future log, like visiting an old friend. You’ll see the tasks and events you had laid out for the month, ready to be migrated to your monthly spread. It’s like moving your belongings from a large warehouse (your future log) to your current residence (your monthly spread).

The future log, in essence, is a collection – a grand library, if you will – of your yearly events. It doesn’t demand daily attention like your daily or weekly logs. Instead, it quietly holds all your annual information, waiting patiently for you to visit.

What To Write In Your Future Log

First off, let’s debunk a common myth: yearly plans you aree to your future log aren’t just for business moguls or superheroes trying to save the world. Nope, they’re for each and every one of us. Whether we’re students, parents, artists, or teachers – we all have things we want to achieve, places we want to go, and people we want to meet. And guess what? A yearly plan is the golden ticket that can help us turn these dreams into reality.

Imagine for a moment that you’ve just bought a brand new, sparkling Bullet Journal. You flip open to the first page, ready to dive into the adventure that is your upcoming year.

Your future log is a vibrant, living roadmap of your life for the next year. It’s where you can scribble down that dream vacation you’ve been fantasizing about, or the online course you’ve been meaning to take. Want to learn how to make homemade pasta? Write it down. Thinking about adopting a pet? Jot that down too.

Here are some of the ideas on what you can add to your future log:

  • Bill deadlines
  • Birthdays
  • National holidays
  • Anniversaries
  • 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

The future log is akin to a panoramic view of your upcoming year. With one quick glance, you can see the entire landscape of your year spread out before you, filled with all its opportunities, challenges, and adventures. I’m sure if you give it a thought you can come up with some more ideas on what you’ll be using your Bullet Journal future log for.

In essence, the future log is not just a collection of dates and events; it’s a reflection of your life in the year ahead. It’s a space where you can dream, plan, and prepare.

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 A Bullet Journal Future Log

Ah, the exciting world of creating a future log! It’s like painting on a blank canvas – there are countless ways you can go about it. Your choice really hinges on two things: the size of your notebook and your personal preference, whether you’re keen on jotting down heaps of events or you’re more inclined towards having an entire year’s overview condensed into one page.

Let’s delve a bit deeper, shall we? If you’re working with a larger notebook, you have the luxury of spreading out. You could dedicate a full page (or even a double spread) for each month, giving you ample space to note down all the events, appointments, and deadlines. This is perfect for those of you who lead busy lives and need to keep track of a myriad of tasks.

On the other hand, if you’re more of a big-picture person and prefer to see your whole year at a glance, you might opt for a compact future log.

Oh, and, of course, if you’re not feeling like writing down all those calendars, just try these calendar stickers.

Horizontal Format

This format is like the golden retriever of future logs – trustworthy, reliable, and always there when you need it. It’s my absolute favorite, and I’ll tell you why.

There’s something incredibly satisfying about seeing your entire year laid out before you in one clean, crisp spread. It’s a bit like standing on a mountaintop, looking out over the landscape below.

From up here, you can see everything: the winding roads representing your journey, the forests denoting your goals and aspirations, and the rivers symbolizing your milestones and achievements. It’s a panoramic view of your life, a bird’s-eye perspective that allows you to see both where you are and where you’re heading.

And the best part? It’s all on one page. No flipping back and forth between months, no losing track of important dates or events. Everything is right there, at your fingertips. It’s like having your own personal time machine, allowing you to zoom in and out of your year with ease.

But, as with all good things, there is a catch. With the horizontal future log, space can be a bit of an issue. You see, fitting an entire year onto one spread is a bit like trying to pack a week’s worth of clothes into a carry-on suitcase. It requires some strategic planning and, yes, a bit of sacrifice.

In this case, that sacrifice often comes in the form of decorations. Those intricate doodles, those beautiful borders, those vibrant colors – they might have to take a backseat in this layout. But don’t despair! Remember, the beauty of the Bullet Journal system lies in its flexibility. If one format doesn’t work for you, there are countless others to choose from. And who knows, you might find that the simplicity of the horizontal future log is a breath of fresh air.

Vertical Format

There’s a certain charm to the vertical format in Bullet jJournaling that has always intrigued me. Imagine, if you will, standing on the precipice of a half-year of possibilities, all neatly arranged in a vertical spread before you. Sounds exciting, doesn’t it? That’s the magic of the vertical format.

What I absolutely love about this layout is that it allows you to devote an entire page to six months of planning. It’s like having a dedicated space for each month to stretch its legs and breathe. No cramming, no clutter, just a clean, streamlined view of your upcoming months.

What’s more, the vertical format gives you ample room to jot down all your appointments. From dentist check-ups to dinner dates, from business meetings to birthdays, every event finds its home here. And trust me, there’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of seeing all your plans laid out neatly in one place.

Now, you might be thinking, “But I don’t need all that space!” And you know what? That’s perfectly okay! Everybody’s life is different, and so are their planning needs. For me, a minimalist at heart, I’ve never needed that much room in my future log. But I can see how this format would be a godsend for students juggling classes, assignments, extracurriculars, and social events.

How To Plan Your Year With Bullet Journal Future Log, spread by @maplebujo | Masha Plans
Credit: @maplebujo

And here’s the best part: with a little bit of creativity, you can actually fit an entire year into this layout. Yes, you heard me right. All it takes is dividing the page horizontally, and voila, you’ve got 12 months at your fingertips. Now, that’s what I call making the most of your space!

Of course, every rose has its thorn, and the thorn in this case is that by squeezing in 12 months, you’ll have less space for your tasks and appointments.

Circle Format

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.

How To Plan Your Year With Bullet Journal Future Log, spread by @bumblebujo | Masha Plans
Credit: @bumblebujo

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 an 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.

Credit: @bujo_nina

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.

2021-2022 Bullet Journal Setup, future log | Masha Plans

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

Well, well, well! Look at us, diving deep into the world of Bullet Journaling! We’ve already explored the standard calendar method for planning our future. You know, the one where you meticulously jot down your appointments, deadlines, and birthdays in neat little boxes. But guess what? The fun doesn’t stop there!

There are actually a few more ways you can set up your future plans. So, put on your explorer’s hat, because we’re about to venture off the beaten path.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love a good, old-fashioned calendar spread as much as the next person. There’s something satisfying about seeing your month laid out in a neat grid, each day confined to its own little square. But let’s be honest, life isn’t always neat and tidy, is it? Sometimes, it’s messy and unpredictable, and that’s where these other planning methods come in.

Remember, there’s no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to Bullet Journaling. It’s all about finding what works best for you. So let’s talk about a few most popular alternatives that might work best for you.

Alastair Method

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.

How To Plan Your Year With Bullet Journal Future Log, spread by @minimaliststudy | Masha Plans
Credit: @minimaliststudy

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.

How To Plan Your Year With Bullet Journal Future Log, spread by @qualcosadierre | Masha Plans
Credit: @qualcosadierre

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.

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 the 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 an 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.

Free Course: Bullet Journaling For Beginners

Starting a Bullet Journal can be overwhelming and there are many pages for you to go through.

I’ve been there, I know how confusing it can be, especially considering how much information is out there. That’s why I’ve created this FREE course for beginners.

It will walk you through each step and give you information on each page so you can create a perfect Bullet Journal that would work perfectly just for you!

Simply sign up in the form below, and once you confirm your subscription, you’ll get all the details on how to get started.

More Resources

Of course, there is more to learn about Bullet Journaling, especially for beginners.

So here are a few posts for you to check next:

>>> What format of a future log are you going to try in your Bullet 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.

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