I have a bipolar brain. Being bipolar presents a lot of challenges, and one of them is disorganization. Taking medications helps reduce the intensity of the highs and lows, but they do not entirely go away. The unpredictable nature of when these highs and lows happen almost always puts a wrench in my very well-laid-out plans. Hence, the chaos.
I needed to take control of my symptoms before it takes control of me. To aid with this, I’ve decided I need to develop a system to organize my life and put guardrails around me so I can recover quickly whenever the symptoms arise.
Hence, the rise of the Bullet Journal.
Why I Love My Bullet Journal
The Bullet Journal Method¹ is the only method that worked for me year after year. I’ve tried using Remember the Milk, Trello, and countless other task management platforms, but I keep returning to my bullet journal.
My bullet journal is flexible enough to go as fast as I want or as slow as I need to be intentional.
Having a bullet journal also serves as a creative outlet for when I do feel very artistic. Mind you, I can’t draw or do calligraphy, so my creations are just a bunch of doodles. Despite this, it still feels good to create something that makes sense to me.
And one last thing, my bullet journal is very adaptive and resilient in the face of mistakes or “ooooopsies.”
What is the Bullet Journal Method?
The Bullet Journal Method is a DIY planner that can handle appointments, tasks, and projects. It also functions as logbook to keep track of things for posterity or habit development. To boot, it can also serve as a sketchbook for my doodles and notes.
I didn’t invent the thing. Ryder Carroll did.
To learn more about the Bullet Journal Method, go to the source by visiting https://bulletjournal.com.
My Bullet Journal: An inside look
Note: I use dummy data for privacy reasons.
The first page is nothing special. I make notes of when I start and end.
Perhaps the most important page is the contact page in case I lose the book.
I make an effort to start each day with gratitude. On these pages, I list the people and things I am most grateful for.
This is the future log. It contains a space for me to write whatever I need to get done in the near future.
Shit happens. And when they do, having cash on hand helps from turning an incident into an emergency. On these pages, I use a rocket ship and a simple box to visualize my savings account and emergency fund.
I keep track of things that need to be paid at different times of the year.
For regular bills, I use this page.
For projects (things that consist of two or more tasks), I use a page like the above to breakdown and visualize the project into tasks or milestones.
I’m not limited to any image. I can draw or doodle whatever comes to mind.
As long as you have fun with it.
On this page, I collect things or ideas that pertain to whatever I feel like.
This is where I track my ever-changing moods. You can something like this to log and keep track of whatever is important to you.
This is another example.
I like to have some routine, but not schedules. On this page, I list the things that need to get done every day and track them daily.
Sometimes, I just need to unload. I do it here on the page above.
The heart of my bullet journal. This is where I list tasks, events, and notes.
The index page is where I keep track of where something is located in the book. Unlike a table of contents, it is not linear.
My bullet journal helped me stop smoking, get financially stable, reduce stress, and be intentional with my time.
While one might say that creating and maintaining the bullet journal is time-consuming, I think it’s worth it. I have enjoyed doodling on notebooks and I look forward to setting up a new notebook each time.
It’s relaxing, at least for me.
That’s it for today. Thank you for reading.
You can buy the bullet journal notebook on Amazon if you’re interested about purchasing my bullet journal (blank of course).
If you’d like to talk about bullet journals, you can connect with me on LinkedIn.