Welcome to the second post in our new series demonstrating how to use the bullet journal method in your planner! In the first post I showed you how to do your Daily Log.
Other elements of the Bullet Journal method are the Monthly Log and the Future Log. When bullet journaling in an undated notebook, these elements have to be hand written/ drawn into the pages month after month. Many bullet journal users find the Future Log particularly problematic because it’s difficult to do forward planning in an undated notebook. Bullet journaling in your planner eliminates these issues because the framework is already in place for you. There’s no setup time or hand-drawing planning pages. You just open your book and start using it right away!
First: the Monthly Log. Bullet journalers use their Monthly Log as a place to plan the upcoming month, to record events from the current month, or both. The Monthly Log is also where you write tasks that need to be done sometime this month but have not been assigned to a particular day yet.
The Monthly pages in the Life Noted planner are designed to be used as your Monthly Log.
The Life Noted planner has months on two pages calendars embedded in the weekly pages, so at the start of each month you get this month’s overview. There are a few different sections on the pages in addition to the daily spaces. These sections are designed to help you plan your month and your tasks while keeping your monthly goals visible.
There’s space each day to write the main events for that day. You can use these pages to plan ahead, then write each day’s details in your Daily Log. You can also use these spaces to record things that happened, for a quick overview. For example I write when my kids were sick and what their symptoms were, so I can see if it becomes a pattern.
At the right side of the right page is where you write tasks that need to be done sometime this month but not in any particular week. Each week as you write your to-do lists, check this list to see what you can fit in. This keeps longer-range tasks from dropping off the radar.
At the bottom of the left page is space to write your Objectives for the month. These will flow from your monthly goals from the previous page. (More on this in a future post!) This helps keep your goals visible, and gives you more space to break them down into specific actions.
At the bottom of the right page is open space where you can continue writing your Objectives, do mind mapping, write inspirational quotes, your theme for the month, or anything else you like in this space!
Next: the Future Log. As I mentioned before, the Future Log is the element many bullet journalers find the most challenging. Planning ahead is difficult in an undated notebook. Many bullet journalers draw in a Future Log in the front of their notebook, but without specific dates you need a reference calendar of some sort. Then as the date gets closer the event must be re-written into your Monthly Log and/ or Weekly/ Daily Log.
Simplify the whole process by doing your Future Log in your planner! There are several ways to do this in the Life Noted planner:
You can write events directly into the Monthly pages for the whole year. This is what I recommend. This gives you flexibility so that if things change in advance, you can write the updated times in your weekly pages on the week of.
For very busy people, you might prefer going ahead and writing scheduled events and appointments into your weekly pages so you can see how everything fits together.
For an overview of the entire year, use the Anno-Planning pages in the Life Noted planner. This gives you an overview of the year at a glance and is a great place to write deadlines, bills due, travel, holidays, and anything else you need to plan ahead for.
Yet to come in this series: Monthly reviews, Migration, Collections, and Threading!