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Plan Your Future in Your Bullet Journal

Your Ultimate Guide to Beginning a Bullet Journal AT ANY TIME

“The best way to predict the future is to create it” – Peter Drucker

On my Instagram sister site, @showmeyourplanner, the question I get asked the most is

“How do I get started?”

As with trying anything new, beginning a new bullet journal can be intimidating. There are a ton of conflicting resources out there telling you what bullet journal elements you should use or shouldn’t use. And the truth is, you do what’s right for you.

For this series, I’ve chosen the key elements for bullet journaling and will explain them in detail, and of course, provide you with lots of gorgeous inspiration from my favorite bullet journal accounts. I’ve organized the posts in this series in the order in which I use them, but feel free to click through the posts in any order that you like.

  1. Bullet Journal Index 
  2. Bullet Journal Key
  3. Bullet Journal Future Log (you’re here!)
  4. Bullet Journal Monthly Planning
  5. Bullet Journal Weekly Logs or Weekly Spreads
  6. Bullet Journal Dailies

One of the greatest (and most frustrating) components of any bullet journal is that the options are limitless. And while that is liberating for many, it is petrifying for others. How exactly is bullet journal future planning accomplished? If there is no calendar in my notebook, how can I possibly plan for the future?

Have no fear, I’ve found a few options for you here, to keep your future looking bright.

Bullet Journal Future Planning

I’ll be sharing with you examples of the following methods:

(If you’d like to jump right to a certain method, click on the method above.)

Alastair Method

The first two pictures are of the Alastair Method and my current favorite. You can read about the method here direct from the creator himself.

@nerdy.teacher and I both chose to use color a little differently in this method.

@showmeyourplanner

Calendex

The Calendex, sometimes called the Hope Method, is way to keep track of events for the year and the page numbers on which you have written details in your bullet journal. Many bullet journalers use a color code to see at a glance what type of event is occuring.

@anne_thm (now a private account)

Planning the future in your bullet journal has never been easier or more beautiful | Zen of Planning | Planner Peace and Inspiration

Leuchtturm1917 Grid Notebook

@cytherial_bulletjournal

(account no longer active)

How exquisite are those Calendex vines? Amazing!

If you’d like to learn more about the Calendex method, check out my post on how to Create a Bullet Journal Calendex.

Future Log

The Future Log is probably one of the greatest and simplest components in a bullet journal. All you need is the name of the month and list the important dates. Done!

@journalspiration

If you’re like @journalspiration, above, then include all the dates in the month, circle them with a colored pen, and voila! You’ve mapped out the next three months of your life. And who gives a ship, anyway?

Planning the future in your bullet journal has never been easier or more beautiful | Zen of Planning | Planner Peace and Inspiration

@bujo_nina

Aren’t those flowers gorgeous? Sometimes it helps to add a little pop of color on an otherwise black and white page.

And if you want to keep it super simple, just write the names of the month and only the important dates.

Planning the future in your bullet journal has never been easier or more beautiful | Zen of Planning | Planner Peace and Inspiration

planswith_ash

@bujosandcoffee

Above, @bujosandcoffee decided to map out her exercise routine for the next few months. Now that’s dedication!

Monthly Log

Some people like a little more space to plan their future, so they use monthly spreads instead, or in addition to a Calendex or Future Log. These monthly pages can also, of course, be really simple or complex. But that’s what makes a bullet journal future planning so wonderful: it’s completely personalized to your needs.

Here’s my own simple monthly spread.

@showmeyourplanner

I use a color code to assign events to people or categories (personal, hubby, girls, etc.)

Planning the future in your bullet journal has never been easier or more beautiful | Zen of Planning | Planner Peace and Inspiration

@saradr90

As you can see above, @saradr90 tracks all sorts of information in her monthly spread.

@banjobaby83

And it looks like @banjobaby83 goes old school with her monthly spread. This is a great option if you’re transitioning from a more traditional planner such as Erin Condren or contemporary Passion Planner.

Planning the future in your bullet journal has never been easier or more beautiful | Zen of Planning | Planner Peace and Inspiration

Leuchtturm1917 A5 Dotted

@rainbow.bujo

@rainbow.bujo (above) went with a kind of monthly plan, but she wrote her dates in vertically instead of horizontally.

pens.and.planners

If your work schedule is irregular, maybe try that spread from @pens.and.planners to keep track of your hours.

Finally, if you need to relax a bit,try a zentangle like the one below. It’s mesmerizing!

@paroksetynka

Which method do you use for your bullet journal future planning? Alastair Method? Future Log? Calendex? Another method? I’d love to hear about it. Feel free to link to a blog post about future planning in the comments below.

When you have the Index, and Key set up, and you’ve decided on how you’re going to plan your future, you’re ready to move on to number 3 in the Ultimate Guide to Beginning a Bullet Journal at Any Time: Bullet Journal Monthly Planning.

You can also click through to any of the other posts in this series by finding the link below.

Your Ultimate Guide to Beginning a Bullet Journal AT ANY TIME

  1. Bullet Journal Index 
  2. Bullet Journal Key
  3. Bullet Journal Future Log (you’re here!)
  4. Bullet Journal Monthly Planning
  5. Bullet Journal Weekly Logs or Weekly Spreads
  6. Bullet Journal Dailies

Looking for some awesome Bullet Journal Hacks? Check out my post, 40 Hacks for your Bullet Journal in this New Year. There are some must-read tips in there, too!

If you’re looking for some general bullet journal inspiration, check out my Bullet Journal Pinterest board. If you want to learn more about planning in general, follow my All Things Planner board on Pinterest.

If you’re looking for more inspiration, be sure to follow my bullet journal board on Pinterest.

Planning the future in your bullet journal has never been easier or more beautiful | Zen of Planning | Planner Peace and Inspiration

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Comments

  1. Hi Kat. I’m a big fan of GTD and just started bullet journalling. I’m trying to use the future log for higher level GTD planning (annual or 3 -5 year horizon actions), but can’t find any examples of this in layouts. Do you have any ideas?

    • Let me think about this one. I have a few examples of project management spreads. It’s actually on my list of posts to write. I’ll let you know when I post it.

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