Hello Planning Mashers!
Today we talk about the monthly log. This is some basic stuff from the Bullet Journal system and I want to tell you how to use it best and the options you have to set it up, so you can create a monthly layout that’s perfect for you.
Plus I’ll give you 31+ Bullet Journal monthly log inspirations to get your creativity flowing.
A monthly log is a place to create a bird’ eye view of whatever is happening with your month. But of course, as with everything in your Bullet Journal, it’s totally customizable and can serve you in any way you need.
Let’s look into some options and concepts and then check inspirations from amazing creators on Instagram to give you ideas for your own monthly log.
This is just one of the posts of the Bullet Journal beginners series, so be sure to check the others:
- Bullet Journal Key
- Bullet Journal Index
- Future Log
- Monthly Spread (this post)
- Weekly / Daily Spreads
- Bullet Journal Collections
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What Is A Monthly Log?
A monthly log is basically a page where you organize your month. Mind-blowing uh?
Keep in mind this isn’t a place to write all your monthly tasks (for that you’ll have a monthly to-do list).
No, this is the place where you write down important appointments, deadlines, and other plans, so you can get, at a glance, how your month feels.
A monthly log usually comes together with a monthly to-do list, which is a list of all the tasks you have this month.
I’m telling you people, I’m sharing earth-shattering concepts here with you!
Just, remember to not be too detailed: it’s not a place where you should be writing write “remember to do the dishes on Monday”.
How To Fill Out Your Monthly Log
Ok, let’s get to business! First, you have to check with your future log to see if you already have anything big planned this month. The rest, you fill out during the month as new appointments arise.
Here are a few ideas on what you can write in your monthly log:
- Doctor visits
- Friend’s meetups
As for your monthly to-do list, make sure you analyzed your last month and see if there are any tasks you didn’t complete and need to migrate them into this month.
What Can You Add To Your Monthly Log
As I mentioned before, your monthly log usually comes together with a monthly to-do list.
But depending on how you set it up, there are a few more options on what you can add to this spread.
- Habit tracker
- Monthly goals
- Best of
- Next month
How To Set Up A Monthly Log
I bet you saw plenty of cool monthly setups on Pinterest and Instagram. How can you pick the perfect one for you? My answer is to just try out all of them, of course!
That’s definitely what I did and I finally figured out what works the best for me. I’m not joking! I tried ALL of them!
How did I accomplish this huge task, you might ask? Simple! The secret is… that there are only around 5 setups, basically. Here, let me briefly summarize them for you.
Classic Vertical Format
Following the original Bullet Journal setup, you just write all the dates and days of the week in one column. To add variety here, you can highlight the weekend days in different colors to be able to find them at first glance.
You can also put this column in the middle, so you can divide your appointments by personal on one side and work-related on the other.
This is probably the easiest way to set up your monthly log, and I find it really stylish looking. Plus it takes only one page, so on the neighboring one, you can add your to-do list.
However I myself am quite old-fashioned, and I just really need a calendar view.
To sum up.
- It’s really simple and easy to set up, great for beginners
- You only need a black pen
- You get a whole line to write your appointments per day
- There isn’t much space to be creative
- This style of calendar is not really intuitive
- It’s not very convenient if you have a lot of things happening in one day
This is a standard format and you can’t go wrong with it.
That’s the one you’ll see the most because it’s more intuitive.
This format is pretty useful, especially if you have a lot going on and need space to add things to your monthly log.
However, it doesn’t allow for much space for any other spreads you want to have together with it
- The grid is the most intuitive one
- There is plenty of space for people with busy schedules
- There is enough space to style the spread according to your monthly theme
- There isn’t much space for anything extra
- Might be a waste of pages if you’re not too busy
- It’s not that easy to set up because you’ll need to calculate the table extending on two pages, always an issue for me
Personally, I don’t like big calendars, because I don’t usually have as many appointments or deadlines as other people, so it’s kind of a waste. I really needed to have something that could tell me what important meetings or appointments I had for that month at a simple glance, without having to look for them for long.
So I went for a little bit of modified format – condensed calendar.
If you’re a fan of calendar view but two pages is a little too much – this might be the perfect option for you. Confidence your calendar to a one-page one and get tons of space to add anything else you need on your monthly log.
If your appointment schedule is as empty as mine usually is, maybe just add a tiny little calendar at the top of your page and use the rest for other sections of decorations and quotes.
To sum up, here are the pros and cons of using this format.
- Easier to set up
- Gives a lot of space for other elements
- Still, have a calendar view of the month
- Not enough space for appointments
- Not that easy of an at a glance look
One more thing you can do with a calendar format in your monthly log is to create it vertically, where the week goes from top to bottom, not from right to left.
Or when you need to turn your whole planner vertically to see the calendar.
I’m not a big fan of this format, but it definitely has its own advantages.
- The calendar is a whole page so enough space to write all appointments
- There is still a whole page to create any extra sections you need
- Can be pretty confusing, since the format isn’t intuitive
- You might need to move the journal to see it
Dutch Door Monthly Log
If you need a bigger monthly log but you want to still have a lot of sections in it, this option might be perfect for you.
By creating a dutch door, you allow for extra space, with you can use to add a vertical habit tracker, goals, or maybe just a notes section – whatever you’ve been missing.
Just one tip – when you plan your dutch door, have a thought on what you want to put there since as you open and close the dutch door it will cover some things. So if you want to be able to see your calendar and a monthly to-do list at a glance, make sure to put the to-do list outside the cut-out page.
- Creative design
- Allows for extra space to add sections you need
- The calendar has enough space for all your appointments
- You have to cut your journal (it’s not that scary though!)
- You can’t see all information at a glance since a part will always be covered by the cutout page
I love this one, even though I haven’t really used it that often. First of all, It looks adorable! But if you want to do a circle calendar, definitely make sure you have this circle ruler.
I tried to make a circle habit tracker without one and I failed miserably.
The disadvantage of this format would probably be the fact that you can’t really divide your tasks by work and personal life like with the vertical format (but then again you can’t do it in calendar view either! So, in the end, it’s entirely up to you).
To sum up.
- Looks cute
- You have more space for your daily appointments
- Can be a two-page log but still have space for other elements, like a to-do list or goals
- The hardest to set up
- Not very intuitive
Bullet Journal Monthly Log Inspirations
As I promised, I gathered for you tons of inspiration for monthly logs, check out these beautiful spreads.
These are some creative takes on different formats of a monthly log and I always recommend you to try out different things before you find out what works for you the best.
Beautiful vertical monthly setup. It’s a good idea to have every other line highlighted, that way it’s easier to navigate and see what line is for what day.
Also isn’t it super cool how just one little piece of paper can decorate a page so well?
Here is another take on the classic vertical monthly log. With this two-page format, you have so much more space to write down anything you need.
I’m also a huge fan of how Hayley plays around on the contrast of white and black.
Such a beautiful and gentle monthly log! It really makes me wish I used more watercolor to achieve this beautiful color effect.
I also like the idea of having the days of the week at the bottom of the calendar. Never thought of doing it that way!
Such a cool and bright monthly log, I love how Jess is always so creative.
The idea of making the calendar boxes in color is super fun! I actually did this in my Boba themed Bullet Journal setup, only I used colored paper, not kist colored it.
I feel like this maybe is not the most functional setup for a monthly log, but artistically it’s amazing!
This also probably would work for a 30 day month only.
This has been my favorite format for a very long time.
I love the little details in this one, like a shadow on the calendar and special dates marked in color.
I love this mix of formats! You get a calendar for your monthly view but you also get the vertical part to write down your monthly plans.
Oh and I love that the theme is coffee, I’m definitely a huge fan of creating coffee-themed pages. If you’re also a coffee lover, check my post Coffee Bullet Journal Theme Inspirations.
I love how the white space is used here. The page looks so light and spacious.
I’d probably fill it out with doodles, empty space makes me feel uncomfortable. And I’d definitely ruin it!
This is definitely more of my style! It’s full of decorative elements but also doesn’t look too crowded.
Those colors also look amazing together. I’m not a huge fan of bright colors like that, but these are great.
This format really allows you to have too much space for decorating!
I think she made this page look absolutely gorgeous, with all the bright colors and beautiful drawings.
When you choose a calendar monthly log you don’t have to draw all those boxes. You can simply add some horizontal lines and it will be enough.
I also like having that extra space next to the calendar, there are so many uses for this one!
here is one more cool idea on how to fill out empty space around the monthly log – just add a quote.
And of course, if you’re looking for more magical inspirations check my post Harry Potter Bullet Journal Inspirations.
I find this monthly log very confusing. Which date is which day?
But it looks pretty cool and the design is really not something I’ve ever seen.
So this log is decorated vertically but it’s actually a horizontal monthly log.
And I love how the ribbons so elegantly divide the month by weeks.
Super cute monthly log with beautiful watercolor work.
I also really love the contrast between the gentle watercolor colors and the deep black lines of the doodles.
If you want something between the two-page calendar and just a mini-calendar this is a perfect idea for you.
You have a larger calendar that still has space to write things down, but it’s also very compact occupying just half a page
Again loving the simple way of creating a calendar just with some horizontal lines.
And I’m a huge fan of this theme, so for more inspiration, you can check my post Books Bullet Journal Theme Inspirations.
The more of these monthly layouts I see the more I want to try it for myself.
The last one was all about decorations, this one also has a lot of space to write down your monthly plans.
Again I’m loving the contrast between the black and white. It must’ve taken a lot of time to fill out all that space with black ink.
And if you’re into the Halloween vibe check my post Spooky Halloween Bullet Journal Inspirations.
Finally a circle monthly log! I love these so much.
I feel like this might be not a perfect one for a busy month, but if it’s a more chill kind of month this one is perfect.
I guess I have to take back my previous words about the circle log not being perfect for a busy month.
This month seems to be very busy and I love how she manages to fit it all in, even when there are many things happening on one day.
I had to include this one because of how cute the illustrations are here.
The calendar is not straight so it might be a bit confusing, but I kind of like it, I think it makes it look very whimsy.
I must admire the colors used for this spread. For me, they look way too vivid and bright, but they work so well for this spread!
And Oreos is such a fun and creative theme!
I always love the mix of two different monthly logs. Because I totally get all the benefits of other types of monthly logs, but I still love so much to have a calendar view.
Extra points for the beautiful brush lettering here.
First of all – this is such beautiful watercolor work!
Secondly – I love that it’s a detailed overview of the month, including a habit tracker. Pretty much all you need to see your entire month at a glance.
I love that with a circle monthly log you can always add more layers to add more information.
Also adding color coding is a fun and useful idea to organize your busy month.
What format do you prefer in your monthly log? Which one do you want to try?
Share your opinions in the comments section below.
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And remember: Keep Bullet Journaling and Don’t Be A Blob!