Future Planning: Eddy Hope’s Calendex

I just love Eddy Hope's Calendex system! Today I'm walking you through how I use mine, plus a few adaptations I've made along the way.

It’s no secret by now that I am in love with my Calendex. Back in January, I was playing around with a few different methods — preparing for my Future Planning post. In that process, I fell in love with Eddy Hope’s Calendex method.

Fast forward 3 months, and I’ve decided that this is by far my favorite method of future planning. I’ve made a few small tweaks and adaptations along the way to make it work for me, and I can’t wait to share it all with you today!

Let’s get right to it!

THE ORIGINAL CALENDEX:

I’ll do my best to explain the intricacies of the Calendex system here but before I do, I highly recommend checking out Eddy’s detailed explanation over on the Bullet Journal Blog. This is the post that started it all for me, and I’ll never stop being grateful to Eddy for crafting this amazing system.

The Calendex is essentially a hybrid between an Index and a Calendar (hence the name). Although it looks complex at first, the Calendex is actually a quite simple and ingenious system.

Here’s how to set up your Calendex:

I just love Eddy Hope's Calendex system! Today I'm walking you through how I use mine, plus a few adaptations I've made along the way.

To start, you’ll draw out your columns. Simply write out the numbers 1-31 on the far left (I like to do this on each page of the spread to make it easier to find my place on each page), and then divide what’s left of the page into 6 equal columns. If you’re using a Leuchtturm1917 A5 notebook like me, this will make each column 4 “boxes” wide.

Once your columns are in place, write the months of the year along the top.

Optional: Draw horizontal lines to divide the weeks up in each month. I find that this helps when I’m quickly scanning the page to know which day of the week a certain date falls on.

For months that have less than 31 days, I like to draw hash marks along the bottom so that I don’t get confused (which is an easy thing to do haha!)

How to use your Calendex:

Once you are all set up, using your Calendex is actually very simple. As soon as you make a new appointment or know of an upcoming event, simply write that down (along with all pertinent details) on your current daily log.

I just love Eddy Hope's Calendex system! Today I'm walking you through how I use mine, plus a few adaptations I've made along the way.

See those colored boxes above? That is where I recorded upcoming events and appointments. I like to color code my Calendex, and blue is the color I use for personal activities.

So, on Tuesday the 23rd, I set a doctor’s appointment for March 10th. I wrote it into my daily page, and included all of the details that I would need at a later date.

I just love Eddy Hope's Calendex system! Today I'm walking you through how I use mine, plus a few adaptations I've made along the way.

Once you’ve written in the details, turn back to your Calendex, and create a box on the date of your appointment. Above, you can see that I created a blue (personal) box on March 10th, and then wrote the page number that event resides on (page 94).

When March 10th comes around, you simply refer to your Calendex, see that you have an event on page 94, and flip to it to discover the details.

I just love Eddy Hope's Calendex system! Today I'm walking you through how I use mine, plus a few adaptations I've made along the way.

In the photo above, you can see that on March 10th, I wrote it my appointment, with information pulled directly from page 94 (where I originally scheduled the appointment).

You can also see that I scheduled a new future event for April 8th. This is a guest post deadline that I have coming up. I wrote in the pertinent information, and then indexed that in the Calendex using the same method as before.

I just love Eddy Hope's Calendex system! Today I'm walking you through how I use mine, plus a few adaptations I've made along the way.

MY CALENDEX MODIFICATIONS:

As with any system, I have a hard time leaving well enough alone. I’m always on the hunt for different ways to improve my system, so I’ve developed a couple of “hacks” to make the Calendex fit better into my planning routine.

COLOR CODE:

Although I loved the original method, I knew that I wanted to add a color code right away. I went with the same color code that I have been using for months on my monthly spreads.

I just love Eddy Hope's Calendex system! Today I'm walking you through how I use mine, plus a few adaptations I've made along the way.

The color code serves two purposes — First, it helps me to distinguish what kind of events I have on any given day at a glance. And second, it helps me to quickly find the event or appointment that I’m looking for on my daily pages.

RECURRING EVENTS:

You’re probably wondering what all of the colored dots are all over my Calendex. These are nothing more than recurring events. A yellow dot, for example, signifies my weekly meeting with Kim over at Tiny Ray of Sunshine. We meet at the same time every week, so there really is no need to write it over and over again in my daily pages.

Green and Blue are for birthdays and holidays. I don’t keep a log of these in my Bullet Journal, but rather have them all set up as recurring events in my iCal calendar. The dots on the Calendex simply alert me that there is a birthday or holiday that day, and I can quickly reference iCal to find out the details.

FUTURE CHANGES:

One of my biggest struggles with the Calendex so far, has been the “cramped” feeling of having 6 months to a page. In addition, I haven’t found the need to have a full 12 months  in one spread. With each journal lasting me only 4-5 months, there really is no need to see that far in advance.

With that in mind, I’ve decided on a work-around for my next Bullet Journal. I took out my trusty “Practice BuJo” and devised a simpler spread.

I just love Eddy Hope's Calendex system! Today I'm walking you through how I use mine, plus a few adaptations I've made along the way.
My “practice bujo” is the Moleskine that I used in my “Moleskine vs. Leuchtturm” video ;)

On the first page, I set up my Calendex just as before — only this time, I only did 4 months across the page. Spreading it out this way allows for up to 6 appointments in a single day.

On the opposite page, I set up a future log following the Alastair Method, another future planning method that I outlined in January’s Future Planning post. Each column represents the following 6 months after the Calendex drops off. Events that far off into the future come up so rarely, that I think this page will have more than enough room to house them.


My Favorite Bullet Journal Supplies

Still want to know more? Check out my Calendex video on YouTube below for a detailed walkthrough.

Kara Benz
Kara Benz is the artist and author behind Boho Berry, where she inspires her readers to lead a more centered, fulfilled, and inspired life. Kara also runs a successful sticker shop on Etsy – Boho Berry Paperie.

JOIN THE BOHO BERRY TRIBE

  • Access to the Tribe Resource Library, chock full of FREE printables. New printables added every two weeks!
  • Admission into the Tribe Facebook Group, where we support and encourage each other daily.
  • An invite to my monthly Live Q&A exclusive to Tribe Members!
  • A 10% off coupon for Boho Berry Paperie for each month that you remain a Tribe Member.

You will also receive the Boho Berry Newsletter every Friday -- chock full of motivation, inspiration, updates and more!

Powered by ConvertKit
Since you're already a Tribe Member, this download is available for you in the Tribe Resource Library (http://www.bohoberry.com/resource-library). Remember, your password is PositiveVibes :)
  • Here is the thing that stops me trying the Calendex, and maybe you can help me: It seems like it would be a pain to be standing at the counter at the doctor’s office (or wherever) trying to make an appointment. Receptionist: “How about Mon., April 3rd, at 10 am?” Me (Flips to calendex, sees three entries on that date, flips to three different daily entries to find out what’s going on that day…): “Uh, no, it looks like I can’t do that date.” Repeat, repeat, repeat. So, I’m wondering if it wouldn’t be cumbersome to use to ADD appointments “in real life”.

    • Mikhela K

      I had the same problem, at first. Though mine was the sheer number of due dates making flipping around my bujo a hassle. You could try what I did:

      I made my calendex, but instead of page numbers, I made list identifiers (i.e. 1-whatever number, A-Z, etc). Then, on my very next two-page spread, I made a detail page where I write out the list and give details.

      For example: I meet with my grandma once a week for lunch, but not necessarily at the same time or day of the week. So on my calendex, a green C is dotted in varying places, and a green B is dotted in others. I flip to the next spread, to see that a green B means that I’m meeting my grandma at noon that day, and a green C means I’m meeting her at 11. Then I go back and see that on March 14, there’s a light blue A. I flip the page, and see that the light blue A means that I have an eye doctor appointment at 3 that day.

      It has the same idea and layout for the calendex, but there’s not nearly as much flipping around the journal.

    • Liz Travis

      I set all appointments in my phone calendar. Later I update my planner. I love having the initial note refer to the day I set the deadline intention. I didn’t like the idea of a separate log for the future details. Giving these hacks a spin. Thanks Kara

    • Lori, this is where I struggle also. I use a Google Cal at work, and have the iCal on my phone, but I don’t use it enough. Also, don’t remember to put stuff into it. So I think if I had my iCal set up, and put the events into that, when I was booking at the doctor’s office, I would wip out my phone. What happened was, my iCal crashed once and I lost everything, and I’ve been leary about relying on it since. I think I need to get over it.

    • Hmm… you make a valid point. I guess it works for me because I don’t tend to make appointments on the fly like that. I also add my appointments to my iCal calendar, so when I’m scheduling I actually just refer to my phone or laptop to see when I’m available.

      All of that being said, I think it’s definitely not a system for everyone, as we all have different planning needs. Ultimately, I think you have to find a system that works for your life :)

  • Thanks so much for sharing the Calendex with us, I think I’ve finally understood the method. It’s interesting the way you tested out less months. It feels overwhelming to me seeing all the 12 months at once and I have a sort of perpetual calendar/future log for the months far away from the current one. I never book appointments 6 months in advance (and I’d use my google calendar for that, however). So…thank you! :)

    • You’re welcome, Alice! It’s definitely less daunting to see the shorter time frame. I’m looking forward to seeing how I like it :)

  • I finally understand it! But I don’t think it would work for my current season of life. I’m a substitute teacher part time and a lot of my jobs are phoned in late at night, or negotiated in the hallway. It would be hard to flip around pages to see if I am available, but your previous monthly spread with the all day/am/pm works perfectly for me and really helps me fill my days up.

    • Mikhela K

      You could try what I did:

      I made my calendex, but instead of page numbers, I made list identifiers (i.e. 1-whatever number, A-Z, etc). Then, on my very next two-page spread, I made a detail page where I write out the list ID and give details.

      For example: I meet with my grandma once a week for lunch, but not necessarily at the same time or day of the week. So on my calendex, a green C is dotted in varying places, and a green B is dotted in others. I flip to the next spread, to see that a green B means that I’m meeting my grandma at noon that day, and a green C means I’m meeting her at 11. Then I go back and see that on March 14, there’s a light blue A. I flip the page, and see that the light blue A means that I have an eye doctor appointment at 3 that day.

      It has the same idea and layout for the calendex, but there’s not nearly as much flipping around the journal.

    • I’m glad that you were able to understand it better, and I greatly appreciate that you’re sticking with what works for you. If it aint broke don’t fix it, right? :)

  • Mikhela K

    When I first started out the Calendex, I didn’t like how it was set up. As a college student, I rely very heavily on knowing what’s going on next week/next month, particularly with assignments. Because of that, it became a bigger chore than it’s worth, flipping around from page to page trying to figure out what was going on. But I found a doctoring that works for me (although you gave me an idea on how to make it even better).

    I got my idea from Ryder’s suggestion of using two spreads for future logs. My first spread is my calendex, where I write A-Z in different colors, and a red dot for any assignment due. The very next spread is left completely open for a list of details. Flipping between two spreads is something I can do. However, my detail page is a severe waste of space, and I hardly need to look more than six months ahead, so I think I’m going to use your idea of a six month calendex on one side, but have my detail page on the other.

    As for my college assignments, I made a separate spread with a 3-month calendex, my weekly class schedule, and an assignment list on the right side of the spread.

    Overall, my modded calendex has been working REALLY well for me. Thanks for alerting me to the calendex! :)

    • This sounds awesome! I’d love to see pics if you’re inclined to share :)

  • Being a very visual person, and taking stupid meds that muck up my memory, I love this system, but I need the visualization of the date/time/event in the future log so I can “see” the whole month at a time. Seeing all those events on the month in square format and not knowing what they all are, would cause me a lot of stress, because I would be overwhelmed by the number of items. Looking at them in list form and seeing that one is just a vet appointment, or a haircut, or coffee with a friend (well, I wish.. I miss coffee so much).. wouldn’t stress me out as much, because those aren’t big ticket items. I do LOVE however, the set-up of this last “trial” you did with shorter months. I like the right page. I think I might incorporate that into my future planning, and do the 3 month future log like I have been doing, and instead of the the brain dump on the other side, which has been useful.. putting this future log for the rest of the year.. because sometimes i need to go further than 3 mos. Also, I can just put my brain dump somewhere else. Brilliant. I’m going to try it in my next BUJO.. which looks like it might be May at this point, and see how it goes. <3

    • It’s definitely not for everyone, but I love that you were still able to get something out of it, Beth! :)

  • Thank you so much for sharing this Calendex Method! I had seen it around, but could never understand the functionality of it until you made this post! Although, the my current life situation doesn’t accommodate the calendex method. As a college student, I have many things going on during one day and need to know exactly what those things are without having to flip and find the page I wrote it on. However, I will defiantly keep this bullet journal hack in my toolbox just in case I feel like trying it out! Thank you again for sharing this with us!

  • Wendy Swank

    I haven’t used the calendex system, but the list type version sounds interesting. Rather than just marking the month and then putting the date with the event, what about putting the date under the month. That way if you are setting up a new event, you can quickly see what else is happening that day by looking down the month column and seeing what else is on the same date without having to look at the column beside it. You can just continue adding events since there is no restriction of date order or anything. I would then move the events to my monthly or weekly (whichever I’m using) when I make that spread. Does this sound logical and workable?

    • It definitely sounds logical, Wendy! I say give it a whirl. If it doesn’t end up working, you can just turn the page and move on :)

  • Angela Steinkamp

    On the Calendex/Alastair hybrid, how frequently do you make a new spread? At the end of each month or the end of the 4 months? I could imagine by the time you got to June (in your example above) that you might start wishing for the next four months in the Calendex view.

    I learned about you from your Q&A with Brian Goulet, and though I only got to watch half of it so far, I’m really impressed. If I can get organized with any of the methods the way you present them, then I might be the one sending that email saying you’ve changed my life. I’m so bad at planning. :(

    • My plan is to create a new one when I start setting more and more appointments for the given month, if that makes sense? I haven’t implemented this yet (will do in my next notebook), but I imagine it will be around the 3-month mark.

  • I love how fun and colorful this is! I feel like with any content editorial planner or calendar that when it involves marketing it should be creative and fun. After all, marketing is an art. I am definitely going to have to check out Calendex! Thanks so much for sharing!

    • You’re welcome, Natasha! It takes some getting used to the method, but now that I have, I love it!

  • Starchix

    So interesting! And I love the look of your Calendex — the idea really appeals to me, in theory. But after thinking about it, I am going to wait on creating one for now. I’ve only been bullet journaling for a week now, and loving every bloomin’ minute of it. But I am realizing that I am firmly ensconced in the standard monthly calendar model I have used for decades. I am a teacher, and currently am on the board of our state teachers’ association, and I have to schedule at least a year in advance. I have tried weekly appointment books, and linear calendars a la calendex, but my brain just doesn’t grok anything half as well as ye olde monthly calendars with the little boxes to write stuff in. Sigh. I can just about handle flipping forward a page or two to the next month, but if I have to find an index page and decipher all those little boxes with numbers and colors, I know I won’t last.

    A la Ryder’s original BJ system, I followed my Index pages with a Future Log, and I can already see I am ignoring it completely in favor of my big, separate calendar book. So you are right — this system seems infinitely variable and customizable — and it is so wonderful to see what you have done with it, and hear what others are doing. I feel like, even in my own different choices, I am affirmed! And I just can’t tell you how much better organized I feel (and am), and how much I am getting done, with my BJ so far. BJ is the cat’s meow for me!

    • No worries whatsoever! The thing I love about the Bullet Journal is that it is highly customizable. You can make it work for you no matter what your needs are. I’m just glad that you’re using it and loving it :)

      • Starchix

        Actually, one of the things I was most interested in, in your several original posts about bullet journaling, was seeing that you had several different notebooks. I always seem to have multiple notebooks. I can just call my calendar a ‘notebook’ too and it’s all proper. Thanks again, I am really enjoying your posts, your spirit of adventure and fun, and your willingness to share and encourage others.

  • Mara Tamaradactyl Jacobs

    What would recommend for someone who gets their work schedule on a weekly basis? Should I do a weekly spread? Or should I do one as well as these?

    • Hi Mara! I would probably recommend having a weekly spread where you log your work schedule. Is your work schedule consistent each week? Maybe on your Calendex you could just have a colored dot to signify that you work that day? Ultimately it’s up to you though to find a system that works perfectly for your particular situation.

  • Pingback: How I use my bullet journal for work – The Delightful Planner()

  • Pingback: Bullet Journal 101: The Key()

  • Liz Christman

    Wow! You have the best birthday ever!

  • Pingback: Bullet Journal 101 – The Future Log()

  • Dub

    Having used a A5 size BuJo for a few years now – I decided to try a few new layouts and new methods. At first I thought this method was a bit cumbersome, but I forced myself to try it and I have to say it pretty effective. I especially like your color mod, which is probably a major reason it is working for me – I like to be able to see at a glance what’s going on. Being dyslectic, the color really helps me out.

    I do have a question that I just haven’t seen an answer to (could be I overlooked it). The first part of this year am I trying using a Pocket sized Moleskine. Being that is small, I am going to need to migrate out of it soon. And thus the question:
    How do you migrate to a new notebook with a Calendex? Example: say you are an average user and it is November. You write down an appointment on page 196 of your journal for January 14th. What is the (best) method for moving those details into your new journal?
    And thank you for all the info!

    • Thanks Dub! The color mod has been a life saver for me… it’s really what made it all click.

      I’m still playing around with ideas on how to migrate to a new notebook with the Calendex. My initial thoughts are that once I start creating events for future months that I know will be in a new notebook, I would start listing those on their own spread that I can then easily copy to a new book without having to flip to multiple pages.

      I’ll be moving to a new notebook soon, so I plan to do a full migration post on how I handle the move.

  • Amanda Lopez-Acosta

    Are you still using this now that you are using GTD?

  • Amanda Lopez-Acosta

    Are you still using this now that you are using GTD?

  • Pingback: 7 inspirujących twórców bullet journal – AG Words and Crafts()

  • Tilly TW

    I think this is a great idea, my question is what do you do when you start a new bullet journal, because if you just listed all your upcoming events the numbers would all be on the same page making it difficult to see one easily at a glance? Thanks for the great summary! :)

  • Pingback: Future Log : Bullet Journal Détails #1 - Violette Factory()

  • Pingback: Setting Up Your Bullet Journal In An Arc Notebook - Sarie Cherries()

  • Pingback: Filofax Bullet Journal: Planning & Set-up | Boho Berry()

  • What do you do when there’s more than one appointment or task on the same day?

  • Pingback: My Bullet Journal (Part 1) | Kai's Life()

  • Pingback: Configurar tu Bullet Journal - Estudio AVELLANA()

  • Pingback: Future Log Inspiration - Bullet Journal()

  • Pingback: My Bullet Journal: Two Week Review – My Blue Heaven In The 'Burbs()

  • Pingback: New Year, New Journal, New Intro!()

  • Pingback: Moving into My New Bullet Journal | Boho Berry()

  • Pingback: Bullet Journal: My Daily Planning Routine | Boho Berry()

  • Pingback: Bullet Journal Update | Boho Berry()

  • Pingback: Moving into my Filofax Bullet Journal! | Boho Berry()

  • Pingback: How to Easily Start a Bullet Journal as a Busy Mom | Woman in Charge()

  • Tausha Mace

    Thank you for this post…it is a great idea. Do you also use a monthly spread or can you just go by this?

  • Pingback: Bullet Journal: My Daily Planning Routine - Hairstyles for girls in 2017()