Moving forward with a series of posts for Bullet Journal beginners, today I want to talk about future logs. I gathered here all the information on how you can set up your own, some alternatives and generally what can you use your future log for.
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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 ahead for the year. Later on when the month comes you just flip back to your future log and migrate all the tasks.
Future log is kind of a 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 the tasks for your current month onto your 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 bet if you think about it, you’ll be able to come up with some things you usually plan ahead. Future log is really 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 depend 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.
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.
But of course you’ll have these problems only if you try to fit it all on one spread. It’s totally ok if you decide to assign 2 spreads for this page.
This format definitely allows only 6 months per spread, but it allows you to use the rest of the page for writing all your appointments.
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.
I’ve been in love with this format for a long time, because this honestly looks amazing! From the cons I’d say that setting up a circle tracker is a bit difficult. In case you still want to use it though, I’d advise to get this circular ruler.
One Page Yearly Setup
Finally you can create your future log on one spread by adding all the months on one side and all the notes on the other side. It’s an easy win if you want a glance view and 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.
But What If I Start My Bullet Journal In The Middle Of The Year
The beauty of Bullet Journal is that you can start it at any time of the year. So what do you do with your future log then? Definitely make a future log. However you’d want to start if 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) and know that probably yours will still be in use the next year, I’d recommend to make a current log until December, and start a new year in your journal with a new future log.
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 two other options here.
This is an easy and effective method, that also allows you to add more months on one spread. Alastair method works pretty much like a running list as a weekly.
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.
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 a 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!
The way you can make your tasks more obvious and easily to understand is by color coding them. That way even if you won’t see what exactly you have planned for that day, at least you’ll know if it’s a business meeting or time to pay your bills.
Do you have any more questions on what is a future log and how to use it? Which one of these systems looks interesting to you which would you use in your next journal? Looking forward to reading all your comments.
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