Yikes! I didn’t mean to be an entire day late with this post. Hopefully, next week will be better.
Last week I talked about the Index portion of the Bullet Journal, today I want to talk about the Future Log as I understand it. It goes without saying that every opinion in this part of the series and the series as a whole is mine and mine alone.
What Is A Future Log?
The simplest answer to this question is a list. A list reminding you when things like national holidays, birthdays, faith-based holidays are happening. A list that keeps track of appointments that may be months out. A list of tasks you know you want to do in the coming months. And a list of notes to yourself for the future.
How Do You Use The Future Log?
So, if the Future Log is a list, does that mean there’s no right and wrong way to use it. Yes and no. The right way is the way that works, even if it means not using it. The wrong way is, by contrast, using it in a way that hinders being able to get the most out of it.
Even when we talk about methods like the Alastair Method and The Calendex, methods that emerged before the Future Log was officially made a component of the basic Bullet Journal. None of the methods I talk about in this post should be used if they don’t work for someone. They’re part of a tool and have a function, and forcing ourselves to use something that isn’t working doesn’t help us.
Types of Future Log
It goes without saying that there are many types of Future Log. However, in this post, I will just be dealing with the three types. The Traditional Future Log, which can be found on BulletJournal.com; the Calendex, which has been featured on the official website; and the Alastair Method, which was also featured on the official website.
Traditional Future Log
The Traditional Future Log is the one you can see in Bullet Journal creator, Ryder Carroll’s, updated Bullet Journal overview video and as part of web tutorial on the system.
As you can see from the picture, in the standard version of this Future Log you do the following: label the top of the spread, divide the pages into threes, and label each of the resulting boxes with the next six months. But you can also do this by dividing a page into two or more columns depending on the size of your notebook. Some people even include a mini calendar to help with visualizing their month.
However, I do think this method has a small drawback. It’s harder to use this method in a pocket-sized notebook or other smaller notebook size. This can sometimes force someone in those sizes to use a whole page per month if they choose to go with this variation of the Future Log.
The Alastair Method
The Alastair Method is perhaps, in my mind, even more, simple than the Traditional Future Log. Label the page or pages with Future Log and providing you’re using a grid or dot grid notebook, all you have to do is place the first letter of the month at the top of your columns on the left side of the page and…voila! You’re done.
It’s a great method for minimizing the amount of space the Future Log takes up, which is especially awesome if someone is using a smaller notebook as I mentioned in the Traditional Future Log sub-section.
Perhaps the most complicated of the methods, I’ll simply leave it the explaining how it works to this Calendex article.
Its drawbacks include constant flipping through pages looking for appointments/events and no place for tasks in its original form. Its greatest asset being that the combination of calendar and index makes it great for people whose lives are heavily based on scheduling things in advance. This is especially true when the columns are wide enough.
What I Use and Recommend
If someone were to ask me what I recommend someone new to this system use, and what I used myself. I would ask about the size of their journal. I’ve found that the Traditional Method works best in average and large notebooks and the same with the Calendex. On the other hand, the Alastair Method is useable in all sizes as long as the user is able to keep the columns straight when looking at it. It isn’t that the Traditional Future Log and Calendex can’t work in a small notebook, but that they’re, generally, harder to pull off due to the size of the notebook.
Currently, I’m not using a Future Log at all. I moved from a Large Moleskine Classic (Amazon Link.) to a pocket-sized Traveler’s Notebook. The two slightly oversized pocket notebooks I’m using are crappy, so I didn’t want to use a Future Log until I move into better ones. When I do move into better notebooks, however, I will be using the Alastair Method.
Next Friday I will be talking about the Monthly Log. Monday and Wednesday’s post will, hopefully, be about my personal minimalism guidelines and a review of K.M. Weiland’s Outline Your Novel. Feel free to join me for those posts, if you want to. You can also find me on Facebook and Twitter. As for my Instagram, it has currently fallen into disuse for the most part. When I start getting back to my desired weekly Instagram post count, I will add the link again.
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