One of the biggest things that tends to make people nervous about a planning system like the bullet journal is the fact that you plan as you go. Unlike a traditional planner where the entire year (or more) is laid out in front of you, the bullet journal is created as you go. That brings up the question of how you plan future appointments, birthdays or other long term events. Where do you put things that happen in November, when you haven’t gotten anywhere near creating your November spread yet?
That’s where the bullet journal future log comes in!
(If you need help starting your bullet journal, check out this ultimate guide to starting a bullet journal to help you get started.)
What is a Bullet Journal Future Log?
The future log is where you put all of upcoming appointments and events for the year. It gives you an overview at a glance of all the major dates you’ll want to keep in mind, and helps you set up future spreads.
The future log is the perfect place to put upcoming birthdays, anniversaries and holidays. Vacations, school dates, and doctors appointments could also be included in your bullet journal’s future log.
Pretty much anything and everything that you want to keep in mind for the future either as an overview or as a reference for when you set up your other spreads should be entered in your future log.
How to Set Up Your Bullet Journal Future Log
I recommend checking out some other bullet journal future logs for inspiration. There are a lot of options and which direction you’ll want to go depends on how much you’ve got on your plate planning wise and how simple you prefer to keep things.
The future log can be set up as a yearly overview. You can just list the month names and then leave space to add appointments and events as they come up, or you can list out each month and date individually. I would only recommend this section option if you have a lot of events and appointments to keep track of, as generally the briefer monthly overview is going to help you review things more quickly.
For some people, keeping a future log for each month is the easiest way to track all of their events and appointments. In some cases, it might even work for you to forego a monthly or weekly spread in favor of just the future log.
The easiest way to set this up is to list the month at the top of the page and then all the dates in order down the side. You can also add a letter to signify the day of the week. Then use that line in your bullet journal to list out appointments and events for that day.
Bullet Journal Future Log Hacks & Tips
- You can also include a mini calendar next to your months in your future log that lets you get a calendar view of the month as you review your events and appointments. If you don’t feel like writing the calendar out over and over you can get mini calendar stickers to put in your bullet journal instead
- Color coding can be very helpful for bringing your attention to a certain series of events. You can use all of one color for doctors appoints, all of another color for birthdays.
- If you have a lot of appointments and events, you may want to have separate future logs for them. One popular separate future log is the birthday future log. You can create a one page spread of all 12 months that focuses just on upcoming birthdays
- If you’re worried about frequently changing events and appointments, you can write your future log out in pencil or you can use post it notes as place holders until your schedule firms up.
- Keep returning to your future log to update it. Like your bullet journal key and your bullet journal index, you’ll want to make sure to keep your future log up to date in order for it to be useful to you.