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