Hi everybody! Welcome back to the How To Start A Bullet Journal series! I am so excited to get into this post! Today, you are going to create your Future Log for your Bullet Journal!
Normally when you buy a planner, it usually comes with at least twelve months worth of calendar spreads. One big calendar for the month, and then a couple of pages for the weekly plans. This makes it easy to write down future appointments or events by flipping to the appropriate month. Since your Bullet Journal is a blank notebook, it makes it kind of difficult to write down these future dates/appointments.
Thankfully, Ryder, the creator of the Bullet Journal has thought out a solution for this called the Future Log. To learn more, I suggest you visit this blog post that shows you the basics of the Bullet Journal. This is a great resource if you are trying to recreate the original system, or if you want to learn the foundation of the original system.
The Future Log is a spread that you can create as a place to write down those future appointments. I am going to show you how I created my Future Log which has a very minimal setup and only took me a few minutes to create. There are of course several layout options that I have seen on various social media outlets, so you have a lot of options if you don’t like the one I chose! I picked this one for its simplicity and functionality!
Future Log vs Monthly Calendar Pages
Now, you might be saying, why can’t I just create twelve-monthly spreads ahead of time to write all of this stuff down? You totally can!
When I moved over to my Bullet Journal, I had been using traditional store-bought planners for years. I was so used to being confined to the layout on the page provided, and fitting as much as I could in those tiny little boxes. This was the only way I knew how! I had a hard time, in the beginning, wrapping my head around using a new system that did not have those monthly calendar pages. So, when it came time to start my first Bujo, I created twelve-monthly calendars and left pages in between for my various spreads.
It did not take me long to realize that this did not work for me. In the first month, I ran out of pages to add my spreads to. The next month, I was afraid to create spreads, because I didn’t want to run out of space. This totally defeats the purpose of the system! On top of that, I was having a hard time squeezing everything into my monthly calendar.
I was sitting at my desk one day, and thinking about why I had to switch to a Bullet Journal in the first place. It was because those other planner systems did not work for me. So why was I trying to create those exact same systems in this notebook, when I had all of these blank pages to play around with? So, I grabbed a new notebook and started over. The difference was, this time, I did it following a traditional Bullet Journal system approach.
Now please don’t feel like you have to get rid of your monthly calendar pages. I still use them sometimes for my monthly spreads! Right now, we are just talking about future planning. I encourage you to take a step outside of your comfort zone, and explore the possibility of using Future Logs for future planning, and keeping your calendar pages for your monthly spreads.
If you are still unsure, then just create a couple of months at first, so you can test the waters of this new system without wasting too much time and paper! 🙂
Creating Your Future Log
For my 2019 Bujo, I am using a Leuchtturm 1917. I wanted to provide enough space to write in appointments. Setting up three months allowed me to use nine columns per month, which I figured should be enough room!
I started out by writing the name of the topic at the top of the page. I titled mine “Future Log”. You might notice that I write all of my headers on the left side of the page. This is because I suck at centering stuff on my page, and it ends up driving me crazy! I have learned I prefer the look of it being on the left side, rather than being off-center. If you manage to get yours centered, be sure to send a picture so that I can admire your talent! 🙂
Next, I started off by writing 31 on the bottom row in the most left-hand column. I start at 31 because that is the most amount of days you will have in any given month. It just so happens that January has 31 days in it! Coincidence? I then worked backward from 31 up to 1, using one row for each day of the month (31 rows in total). Next, I wrote January in the row above the days. This created an easy to follow outline for the rest of my months.
To create my next month, February, I first determined how many days there are in February. At the time of writing this post, the upcoming year had 28 days.
Since each month has nine columns, and one of those is used for the days, I counted out eight columns and placed my first day in the next column so that it lined up with the first day in January. I then wrote in all the days for February finishing at 28 and adding my February title.
You will repeat this process until you have all of your months! It’s as easy as that! As I said, I was able to fit three months on one page, so I used four pages in total for my future log.
Taking It A Step Further
As I have said many times in this series, the Bullet Journal method is very customizable! You can add anything you want, or remove anything you don’t see as being useful for you!
One thing many people have found they like to know is what day of the week a certain day will fall on. Example; January 1st, 2019 falls on a Tuesday. There are a couple of options on how you may wish to include this with your Future Log.
Adding it to your Future Log directly.
Perhaps the simplest way is to add the first letter of the weekday beside the dates in your Future Log. So for example, under January 2019, my first row would say 1T or T1, which means the 1st lands on a Tuesday. The next row would be 2W or W2, which means the 2nd lands on a Wednesday. You get the idea!
This is a very simple thing to add and is something you could find very beneficial.
Creating a Year at a Glance Spread
This solution is a little bit more time consuming to set up, but provides a great visual! A Year at a Glance spread is a page filled with the monthly calendars for the year. This page is similar to what you would find on the first and last page of a wall hanging calendar.
I tend to plan my weeks from Monday to Sunday, so this is how I set up my Year at a Glance mini calendars.
I started by titling my page (I attempted to center this one… and failed miserably!) Year in Review.
Starting on the left side of the page, I created a small header for the first month of the year, January. Below that, I used one grid space per day of the week, labeling it with the first initial. (Ie. Monday is M, Tuesday is T. You get the idea!)
Below that, I marked down the corresponding days under the appropriate weekday. Some months I used five rows, and others I used six. It just depends on how the days fall for that month.
I was able to get all twelve months onto one page. For one month, I used seven columns (wide), and seven to eight rows (height). To evenly space out the months, I left two columns between each month horizontally, and one row between each month vertically.
Now that you have created your future log, and maybe even your year at a glance spread, you are ready to start your monthly, weekly and daily spreads!
If you have any questions, please leave a comment below, so that I can be sure to answer all of your questions!
Until next time!
How To Start A Bullet Journal – The Series
The Future Log (You Are Here!)