Getting a Handle on My Crazy with Bullet Journal Therapy

If I spoke to a psychiatrist, I imagine I’d be diagnosed as having Attention Defecit Hyperactivity Disorder. I have all the signs of disorganization and distraction that come with my hormonal fog and chronic pain.

I am constantly busy “getting things done” only to find that I haven’t completed anything. I’m great at getting things going, but I distract easily and forget what I’m working on. I think a part of me believes I’m multi-tasking, but I can’t really call it tasking if I never complete a task.

I don’t subscribe to the same views as many in the field of medicine in that I consider ADHD a symptom, not a disorder, and the cause can be so many different possible things that you can’t just treat with a drug. In my case, I’m pushing through my hormone and pain treatments, and I look for ways to organize my life to help me get things done.

The Simple Battle Plan

weekly plannerA battle plan is a strategy that is planned out to accomplish a particular goal. It’s commonly used in government and military lingo as simply meaning the targeted actions that are going to be completed in a particular period of time.

I’ve been personally using the “battle plan system” for decades as a means for organizing my thoughts, by writing down everything I want to get done in a particular week and on each individual day. Day by day, I would cross off things I got done and transfer things I couldn’t get done to the new day. At the end of a week, I’d refresh with a new plan for the new week, and start again day by day.

I don’t know at what point, but I realized recently my organization actions had fallen out and I had stopped using a battle plan to organize my days and weeks. It dawned on me, I was going crazy trying to get things done while achieving nothing. I had all these thoughts running around in my head all the time. I couldn’t sleep. I was literally going crazy.

At around the same time, my mother invited me into her bullet journaling group on Facebook, and I discovered a new and addicting way to battle plan that is helping take the crazy away.

How to Start a Bullet Journal

So, the actual term Bullet Journal (BuJo for short) is a registered trademark. It is a system that was created by digital product designer, Ryder Carroll. He has been generous in his allowance for it to become a sort of “household name” for a concept that people can be creative with and talk about.

If you really want to learn how to make a bullet journal, or follow the official Bullet Journal system as it was originally created, you should visit his website at

The basic idea of the system is to have an all-year planner that is updated daily, weekly, and monthly to keep track of completed actions, move forward actions that are not completed, and further organize any projects or ideas.

The idea is to take your life from this chaos:


To something more like this:


The Benefits of Bullet Journaling

bullet-journal-budgetOnce you learn the basic concept of bullet journaling, you can apply it to a ton of different situations or projects in your life. It gives you a master tool to actually reach goals that are set, or maybe even adjust goals to make them more realistic. People are keeping all sorts of bullet journals related to topics like dieting or food, health, school or college classes, business, and pretty much anything.

period tracker

exercise planner

Bullet Journal for Budgeting

Figuring out how to use a bullet journal to budget is a popular topic right now. Well, when is money not a hot topic?

A couple decades ago, before the electronic funds age, people used to keep these things called check ledgers. My mom still keeps one, I imagine a lot of Baby Boomers do. I never do, and I know a lot of people my age and younger who don’t. With all the electronic subscriptions these days, who can keep track of everything?

I’ve noted some inventive ways people are integrating their expenses, creating a sort of bullet journal finance tracker. Keeping track of monthly expenses and all those pesky subscriptions alone, helps ensure I’m not spending more than my paycheck and keeps me from adding further expenses without fitting it into my budget.

The Best Bullet Journal for…

The best bullet journal is going to be different depending on what you want to do with it. More experienced bullet journalists usually prefer a blank slate book that they can decorate as they like. It becomes a creative outlet and something the brings focus and fun to the day. Starting out, I would recommend the one provided by the creator of Bullet Journaling as it has graphics printed in it to help guide you.

Important features to look for are:

  • Thick, sturdy pages that ink will not soak through
  • Quality, hard cover, so it can last all year traveling with you
  • A book that opens and lies flat

Other than these qualities, the type of book you get will be based on personal preference. I’ve listed here the two most popular, the first being the original Bullet Journal, and the second being the perfect blank slate.

The Bullet Journal – great for beginners

Popular Blank Journal – for endless creativity

Bullet Journal Accessories

There are specific tools that are popular when decorating or filling in a bullet journal. Stencils and special pens have been created, along with the ever popular washi tape and stickers. Anything you can do to make this a fun game as, after all, life should be a fun game.

I’ve listed here the most popular and affordable bullet journal accessories for the most creative of journalists. Click on any item below to view it on Amazon.

How Do YOU BuJo?

As a new bullet journalist, I find myself wandering through Pinterest and Instagram looking for ideas. I’d love to see any designs that you’d like to share as well.

I welcome you to comment below and let me know how you can or do use bullet journaling to take the crazy out of your life.

2 Replies on “Getting a Handle on My Crazy with Bullet Journal Therapy

  1. This looks like a great idea for my crazy life. I definitely need something that helps me get more focused and organized. I really like the idea of breaking your life down into goals and steps that make you more efficient. I see the physical bullet journal, but do they offer a digital version?

    1. Hi, JD. Thanks for visiting. I haven’t yet seen a digital version, although I’m going to bet one exists. I’ll see if I can find one for you. Generally the people I know who BuJo really love the calmness that sitting down and physically writing can bring, especially if you go the creative route. But I will let you know what I find! 

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