The bullet journal can be used for a multitude of sins, from to do lists to calendars to shopping to future planning - and it's the latter I'm focusing on today.
In my 2016 bullet journal I used future planning as one of the biggest elements of my system, but actually I found it wasn't really working for me. I was future planning my month's ahead of time, drawing out my calendar and my 4 weekly spreads and it came to the point where it was unorganised and wasn't helping me plan at all. I found that it left no room for change, no room for master to do lists and it meant things like packing lists or shopping lists were weeks after the event and I never knew where I was.
In my 2017 journal I decided against pre planning, against future planning in that way and it's worked much better for me. But now we're coming toward the tail end of the year and I'm already thinking about what to do for 2018 so I thought I'd share my top tips (and fav spreads) for future planning with your bullet journal.
Monthly planning is the smallest micro form of future planning in my opinion, and the one I use the most. I personally draw a calendar per month which I fill in over time with appointments, reminders, deadlines, events and things I'm doing and I then use that master calendar to fill in my week by week spreads.
Monthly future planning is for more detail I think. To successfully future plan for the month you want to write down everything you're doing - it's all about remembering week on week what you have booked in so that you can plan effectively. I for example have very busy weekends coming up which means I know how much I can take on during the week.
Favourite monthly bullet journal boards:
Yearly planning is all about seeing the full year in one glance. Personally, my only form of yearly planning is a double page spread of mini calendars for birthday reminders but I am toying with the idea of a new spread for my 2018 bullet journal.
You could try mini calendars, a list format, one big calendar, just bullet points...but however you do it, make sure it works in a layout for you. The yearly calendar future planning should be very minimalistic, no real detail, just events/birthdays/deadlines and dates you need to remember. Things like a weekend away would just say 'destination' and how many days you're away for, whereas your monthly calendar might include times, connections and accommodation details, or maybe even things you have planned when you're there.
To plan ahead successfully for your yearly spreads keep it simple, keep it to solid dates and events and try and keep it to one or two pages so you can see everything you need to at a glance.
Favourite yearly planning spreads:
Future logging in my opinion is different to yearly or monthly planning, it's more about goals, more about ideas and less about calendars. For me, I use future logging as lists or logs for things I want or need to do in the future. It's big to do lists with no date deadline, it's a list of things I want to include in my next bullet journal, it's blog post ideas.
Future logging should be something that doesn't necessarily have a date attached to it - more 'things you have to do next month' rather than things you have to do now. I personally looove a good old fashioned list layout but you might want to do a mindmap, some boxes or just a big page of scribbles.
For successful future logging you could incorporate your goals for next year, your new years resolutions, your big blog plans or simply some aspirations or dreams. Whatever it is that you future plan, make sure you track it as you go along.
Get future logging inspiration here:
Migrating future plans is what happens when you're reaching the end of your bullet journal but aren't quite ready to move on to the next one - just like now. I am starting to think about my 2018 journal as I come to the end of my 2017 one and I have started making plans for the new year. As life always does, you get event invitations, wedding save the dates, birthday parties planned 3 months in advance and you need somewhere to note them down now. This is where migrating comes in.
For me, I've kept it quite simple. I have a calendar on my kitchen wall with pockets in it so all invitations have been popped in there to remind me what I have planned in the first few months of 2018 but I have also started a list in the back of my bujo with dates of things I know are coming up.
If you're coming to the end of a journal or the end of the year my top tip would be to start a simple list of events, dates, things you know you have coming up or things you need to remember and migrate them into the new journal.
Have a peep at my favourite planning boards: