At Last, I Did It!
I am a stubborn person. I have been using the bullet journal for years, but I have yet to use it to its fullest potential. Partly because I am still discovering the methods that work for me and partly because of stubbornness. Specifically, I have been stubborn on creating a future log. Monthly spreads have been a staple for a while now, which is great! I love being able to make month-long goals. But I have always refused to create a system that allows me to set goals and make notes further than the reach of one month. Becoming my own boss meant I had to finally break down and create my future log. And I’m so glad I did!
My Future Log
One of the reasons I’ve been so resistant to the idea of a future log is the fear of failure. I’m afraid I won’t use it because it has such a wide scope on my life. I mean, I changed the way I did my monthly goals because I was not regularly checking them. How do I know this future log will work?
The truth is that I don’t know it will work. Maybe this is not the system that clicks with my brain and I’ll have to try another method. But I know I need to try! Running a business means that I have to look ahead. I need to be able to set plans months in advance so I can lay groundwork and prepare. I can’t keep flying by the seat of my pants forever and expect this blog to succeed. I’m a planner woman, after all!
I decided to try something nice and simple for my first future log to ease into it a little. As much as I love looking at complex systems, like Boho Berry’s calendex, they just scare the hell out of me. Plus, I don’t really have much in the way of solid appointments. Being a blogger means that my deadlines are almost entirely self-imposed, meaning they are flexible. My future log is a little more abstract than most peoples’ calendars. That’s both wonderful and difficult. (Want to start your own blog? Click here for $50 off your startup costs!)
Mostly, I want a way to jot down general tasks and goals – not specific commitments. So how do I set up my future log for such a loose schedule of events?
The Set Up
The system is very simple. I saw this layout a while back on Instagram or Pinterest, but I’m afraid I don’t remember who. Sorry! It stuck in my mind as something very basic. Lots of people like to have their log go for a full year ahead (or more!). I choose to keep the timeline short since this is my first one and, like I said, I’m afraid of not using it. Capping the future log to three months doesn’t make me feel quite so anxious.
On the left page of my dot grid Leuchtturm 1917, I separated the page into thirds. I used my little Wescott ruler and a Micron pen to set this up. Then I wrote out the next three months using my snazzy little metallic Gelly Roll pen. I just love the minimalist layout with a bit of flash, don’t you? This rosy gold/champagne color makes me so happy.
On the right page, I created two categories. One is just “Notes” so I can jot down anything random that comes up during my weekly meeting with Jon. There’s nothing there now, but it’s going to be wonderful when we talk about the blog’s future. So much stuff comes up during those meetings that it’s tough remembering it all. Having that little section is going to solve lots of stress.
Then, at the bottom, there’s my “Beyond” section. I want to be able to write anything there that won’t be pressing in this three month timeline, but needs to be remembered. Potential posts, products, or other down-the-line ideas can get scribbled here and kept safe. As we get closer to the end of January and it’s time for me to set up a new future log, I can move items in this section to an upcoming month.
The Future is Bright
After I drew up my future log, it didn’t feel nearly as scary. The idea I had built up in my head made it seem as this enormous, daunting task. In reality, the spread was very simple to create and even easier to fill. If something doesn’t quite fit the parameters of my set up, I just write a note and all is well. I don’t need to worry about planning for every kind of event and possibility. Really, it’s not so bad!
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If you have been avoiding putting off future planning, give this simple log a try. Just like planning a budget – whether you like it or not, you’re going to have to deal with it. So why not get a little extra control by planning ahead?
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