The Future Log is the annual overview in your Bullet Journal. It loosely notes everything for each upcoming month. Whether you sort it chronologically or in the order in which the appointments, projects, or events come is your choice. There are different options to create the yearly overview, such as Classic, Calendex, Alaistar method or as a list.
We use the Future Log for long-term planning. Even though the heart of the Bullet Journal is the so-called Rapid Logging on a daily basis, an element for a long-term plan is indispensable in every planner.
Like any other element of a Bullet Journal, you can build your Future Log at your own discretion. It is thus essential to keep an eye on the critical events and dates for the next few months.
Structure of the Future Log
Classic Future Log – According To Ryder Caroll
The classic Future Log shows the next six months at a glance. We achieve this by opening two adjacent pages and dividing them into three parts. Then just type in the month name, and your Future Log is ready. Here you can enter dates or things you plan to do someday.
You can also spice up the Future Log or add your own elements. Whether you need six months or twelve months (so then 4 pages), you just have to try it out. To be on the safe side, I would reserve four pages.
Future Log According To the Hope Method
The principle of the Calendex was invented as a separate annual overview system by Eddy Hope, and many Journalers use it in their Bullet Journals. It is an alternative to the classic Future log.
With the Calendex you can have the whole year at a glance, and you don’t write the date as such in your year overview, but mark it, e.g. with a box [ ] or a circle o. On the next free pages in your journal, you will make notes about the event. In the box or the circle in the Calendex, you note down the page number to know where to find information about your event.
A further advantage is that the assignment to date is more explicit. We especially recommend Calendex for anyone who has to handle a lot of events that are far in the future. A Calendex can have a 6-month layout or a 12-month layout on one page.
Calendex in the Bullet Journal
To create the Calendex divide your double page into 12 equal parts. Note that you need space on the left to add the days. Then write the numbers 1-31 on the left side of the page below each other. For a better view, you can also add these numbers on the right side.
Add the months on the top of the page and create straight lines dividing the months. Now you can mark the week change (Saturday to Sunday or Sunday to Monday) with a horizontal line. Finally, you can shade the days below that don’t exist.
Using the Calendex
The word Calendex comprises “calendar” and “index”. It is almost a table of contents of your events or appointments. We will understand it better by example.
For example, let’s assume that I’m going to a conference over the weekend. For this, I have to prepare several things.
On the next free page of my Bullet Journal, I will put my notes for this event. I do NOT make an entry of this page in the standard index. Instead, I write the page number in my Calendex on the day the event takes place.
Therefore, I have enough space to make detailed notes about the event. Also, I can manage up to four events per day. If you want, you can use color-coding to distinguish between professional and private events visually.
Minimalistic Future Log – The Alastair Method
The Alastair method for the Future Log is well suited for all those who don’t enjoy creating calendars and also for those Journalers who find the classic Future Log too inflexible. The Alastair method combines an overview and flexibility ingeniously. It is a system of future planning and an annual summary.
In this method, you write each appointment or task for the future as it comes. It doesn’t matter whether the date is June or April. You then mark the appropriate month in the table. So you can quickly see in the month’s column, which appointments are due when you create the monthly overview.
Start on a new page and enter the event dates in the order in which they appear. You do not sort the log chronologically. On the right, you enter the dates and events, and on the left, you just put a dot in the corresponding column of the month.
If you now create a new month in the Bullet Journal, you scan the column for the month and search there for points. You can then transfer those events to your monthly overview.
- Advantage: Fast and uncomplicated
- Disadvantage: With too many events, it becomes unclear.
I would recommend this method to anyone who does not have too many appointments to manage. As soon as you need a second page, it becomes difficult to keep track.