I’m a recent convert to Bullet Journal system for keeping on top of my tasks and projects while at the same time keeping a record of notes, thoughts, lists and observations. The system just seems to work for me. Low tech is good.But one of the problems with it is the difficulty in listing or planning future events. Without writing out a full year diary it’s difficult to add events in a separate container, that is also easily updatable and quick to read.

So I came up with my own solution.

BuJo Forward Planning

What I do is to write a series of columns for each month on the left. Here I chose the next 6 months.

To the right I simply add in each future event with it’s exact date and then put a dot in the column that represents that month. It doesn’t matter if the events are not added chronologically.

When it’s time to move these to your monthly planner page, all that’s required is to quickly scan down the column of the month, locate the dots to signify entries for that month, then migrate the actual tasks to their dates in the monthly list.

Simple and effective.


This post was originally featured on alastairjohnston.com

Photo by: Matt Benson

About Alastair Johnston

Alastair Johnston helps charities to recruit, motivate and manage fundraising volunteers. On his blog, he writes about productivity, technology and living a better life as a proud husband, dad and disobedient Whippet owner.
  • OOh, love the simplicity of this, that seems much neater and more containable than the original version show. Thank you!

  • Absolutely will adopt this, just what’s needed. Thanks!

  • Amy Michele

    Such a great idea. I have been frustrated with all of my attempts at future logs, but I think this would work for me. Thanks for sharing!

  • Rachel Bruner

    Awesome! I love this Future Log idea, thanks for sharing!!

  • Jennifer Willis

    I love this! Brilliant and simple. I’ve set aside a page of my bullet journal for what I’m calling, “2016 Outlook.” The first twelve columns (starting left and moving right) are for the 2016 calendar year. Then there’s a “description” field, and I’ve added a check-box column at the end where I can tick off items as I add them to my monthly task lists moving forward.

    • Sally Crow

      Can you share a picture?

      • Jennifer Willis

        Sure! As you can see, I’ve only just started using this feature and haven’t yet checked off any of the boxes.

        • Justin Isenhour

          What’s the pinwheel-like graph plot signify?

          • Jennifer Willis

            That’s spiraldex! I’ve been using the spiraldex each day to track productivity (green), physical activity (blue), and chronic pain (red), though it was designed to help track pretty much whatever you want over the course of 18 hours each day. I’ve found it easier to use, for my purposes, than the chronodex.

            You can find out more about spiraldex here:
            http://kentfromoz.blogspot.com/2013/05/introducing-spiraldex-visual-mapping.html

            I’ve been using spiraldex in my bullet journal for about nine months and keep meaning to blog about it.

    • Pip Miller

      Love that the outlook is all cons! #GeekPrideDay 😉

      • Jennifer Willis

        But of course! 😉

  • Sally Crow

    Love this idea!

  • This is a fabulous idea Alastair.

    The future planning page of my bullet journal seems to have been left behind, as I focussed on daily things.

    (I’m adding this in when I transition to the new year)

    Thanks for sharing.

  • Whitney

    I like this idea, but I prefer to make one column instead of one for each month. In place of a dot, I write the number of the month 1-12. So when I get to January, I go looking for all the #1s. Takes up less space and quicker.

    • I thought the very same thing as I looked at his illustration!

    • But here you’re just looking for the dot in the specific column, which sounds faster for me :).

  • Clever

  • Art Szabo

    Love this! This is perfect for what I do. As a booking agent I sometimes have 50-75 shows a month or more to keep track of. I have been looking for a quick solution to keep track of these as an overview. I’ve tried EVERYTHING and now use Todoist and Sunrise Calendar as well as Google, Dropbox etc. But this is perfect for analogue version and quick reference of my shows. Thanks!

  • This is perfect for my needs; great idea! 😉

  • Peter

    I like the idea and have implemented, but now that Im adding entries, how does this improve on my phone’s calendar, which I use because it can notify me at specified times in advance? For example, I already have birthdates, and anniversary’s in my phone… why would I add them here?

    • Nicole Look-Christensen

      This is more for people who need to see their future events in their Bullet Journal instead of in a digital calendar. I myself use Google Calendar for most of my events, and just add them to the monthly & daily as they come up. It’s a personal preference.

    • Susan N.

      Technology can fail, or get lost, or… nice to have it in analog setting so you can be free from technology for a little tiny bit. 🙂

  • JoAnne Stanley

    This future log is the best yet!! so simple because there is a column to explain the dot. The 12 columns needed for an entire year leaves plenty of space to explain. I have everyone’s birthday for 2016 in the proper month in the column. Other items for the future EASILY added! I consult this page regularly!

  • CalamitousJen

    This is amazing! We have a lot of medical issues going on in my family, and often appointments are scheduled months in advance. It’s great to have a way to keep things like that from getting lost, and then being able to retrieve them quickly. Genius!

  • İbrahim Koçyiğit

    Using dots like this is handy also when it comes to monthly recurring items. One can have dots for every month as a reminder to pay the rent or dots every two or three months if the event is recurring every two or three months etc. Thanks!

  • Jhenn

    Great Idea, thanks for sharing!

  • Susan N.

    Wow! Love this!

  • This is a great idea, and I’d love to be able to use it, but how do you keep from double booking yourself? I often need to know quickly if a specific date and time far in the future — six or eight months, for example — is available for an appointment. Scanning so many columns seems like to would be more time consuming than flipping to a specific date in a calendar. I’d love to hear how others handle such a challenge. Thanks!

  • lcdc

    Ah! Now this I like! I’m brand, spanking new to Bullet Journalling and so far the only thing I couldn’t really wrap my head around was the Future Log. This makes more sense to me and I like İbrahim Koçyiğit’s idea for recurring tasks!