Bullet Journaling

[Bullet Journal] My “Next-To-No” Monthly Planning

So if there is one aspect of the original Bullet Journal I do not adhere to is the “Future Log.” Truth of the matter is that my reasons for using my bullet journal isn’t to lay out a year in my life with projects/events/long-term goals/etc. As much as I want to organize my life to promote productivity and getting things done, attempting to project beyond any given week doesn’t help me.

Doesn’t help me because I’m an “out of sight, out of mind” person.

There is a reason why the typical, pre-made planner never worked for me. Attempting to have a “year-at-a-glance” spread is pretty pointless for me because when it’s at the front of a planner, and I’m in the middle of one, I never flip back to take a look (this was the case with my first bullet journal as well…when I actually did have a “future log.”

Photo May 09, 9 49 32 AM
Never once flipped back to this…not once!

This is where I deviate from the spirit of the bullet journal and “go digital.” I do all of my year-out planning through iCal, mainly for the convenience of being able to access it via the iCloud from any of my many Apple devices – my MacBook Pro, iPhone, iPad, and (the latest addition) Apple Watch. So as long as I have at least one of these devices, I can make additions, deletions, and adjustments as needed on the go.

However, that is not to say I DON’T have spreads that project
beyond the given or upcoming week.

I do keep a “monthly spread.” I won’t walk you through how I set it up (see my daily planning and weekly planning posts for set-up details…the format is different, but the process is the same), but will show you what it looks like.

Photo Dec 15, 3 35 43 PM.jpg
…and yes, I know I’m behind in my indexing…

Monthly GOALS

Now, while I’m not into future planning like some of the superstar bullet journalists out there on the Internet (#BuJofangirl), I do try to accomplish two to four project/activity goals during the month. The exact number of goals/activities is dependent on how busy I know I’m going to be.


This month, I only set two goals because, between working towards Christmas Eve at work (a church…where Christmas Eve and Easter Sunday are HUGE events) and major family birthdays to plan, I didn’t want to add fuel to the fire (of stress, stress, and MORE stress).

The first, planning for my son’s second birthday celebration, was already something I knew I wanted to focus a lot of my attention on. I could have TOTALLY made that my one and only goal (outside of work…I don’t list work projects here). But after a couple of months being delinquent on a monthly commitment to spend one-on-one time with the hubby, I wanted to be sure I got a nice date night with him as well. So I added a second item to my “GOALS” list.


As I mentioned in my weekly spread blog post, one of the things I wanted to accomplish in 2016 was to read at least one book per month. The “Reading List” is where I would write the titles of the books I planned to read that month. There came some months where I would be able to finish 3 to 4 books, and a couple of months I read none at all. But by setting this monthly reading list goal, I have read a total of 25 books thus far (far exceeding my initial goal of 12). #winning

I will say that my motivation for additional reading this month has waned a lot. But even if I’m not even able to check off one of the two books on this month’s list, I’m totally ok with it because, again, I’ve already exceeded my initial reading goal.


The index is a running “table of contents” that tell me which pages hold what content for the given month. The original Bullet Journal system incorporates a whole (note)book indexing system that I knew for a fact I would NEVER keep up with. So, I decided to keep a month-to-month index instead. As you can tell by the caption of the photo, even on a monthly level, I have a hard time keeping up. Can you imagine what would happen if I kept a running index at the start of the notebook that I would RARELY look at?

Yep…total exercise in futility.


Finally, my “This Month’s Events” calendar (a la “original Bullet Journal” method) is where I put important events, holidays, birthdays, and working weekends to reference throughout the month. But just like with the “Future Log” concept, this is a page I RARELY look at. After all, my iCal is easier to reference on the go.

So I’m in the process of determining whether it is necessary when I move into a new notebook insert in January. Will update you down the road on my decision on the matter.

Photo Jun 01, 4 55 09 PM (1)

So…that’s it, folks! My entire BuJo notebook insert, and how I use it as my second brain to keep from forgetting important events, activities, projects, and tasks.

Please remember that the Bullet Journal is something that each person can (and should) format and use as his/her life situation dictates. For me, this Monthly/Weekly/Daily system works! For others, they need more or less than that.

And that’s the REAL beauty of this system. ANYONE can benefit from it because it can become ANYTHING that each individual needs and wants.

Until next time…Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays! 

Always living to learn and love…

Lydia   ❤

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