How planners help my bipolar disorder




Since starting medication for my bipolar disorder (especially Seroquel) I found it difficult to remember things I had planned on doing or even events others have reminded me about. I constantly would forget what days I had to work, doctor’s appointments and even things like when my children would be staying after school.

That all changed when my wife who is a self-proclaimed planner addict forced me one day at Michael’s to purchase a Big Happy Planner. I was resistant because my wife watches a lot a YouTube videos and they always address their audience is ladies and I noticed the same thing about the various Facebook groups. It didn’t help matters that the covers seemed “unmanly” to me.

After I got home with my new planner I started to search the web about planners and the first thing I searched for were guys who use these types of planners. Unfortunately, the only postings I really came across were from women in planner groups saying they wished they could get their husbands to use these planners.

Begrudgingly, I started to use my planner because after all, I spent my hard earned money on this thing. As time went by I found it was able to help improve my quality of life reminding me of important events and even basic self-care things those of us with mental illnesses tend to forget.

I also found I love to decorate my planner with stickers. Most of the stickers I use are self-made and my wife cuts them out using her Silhouette Cameo which is one of her two cutting machines she bought for planning (as a said before planner nerd). Here is an example of a random week when I first started out. Eventually, I did get better at this.


Example of big happy planner layout

Planning my days and even weeks out in advance really helps me a lot to stay focused. I can’t describe the pleasure I get from marking something that I completed off in my planner.

I also take advantage of the note field in the planner to write encouraging messages to myself, post different funny stickers and even just take random notes I need to refer to during the week on multiple days.

One thing eventually that I couldn’t overlook any longer is how much I hated my stock cover for this planner. As you can see even covering up most of it was stickers still didn’t help.

My wife encouraged me to purchase a new cover from one of the people she follows on Instagram. I looked through the page and purchased one that I liked. Here is a photo of my current cover and information about the person who created it:

My cover says “You can’t fix stupid but you can sedate it” and I purchased it from Stylish Planners. (I’m not receiving anything from this endorsement. I just enjoy their work.)

Here is a link to their Instagram

Here is a link to their Etsy shop

If your medication is giving you issues remembering things I highly recommend getting yourself a planner. If you don’t like the Big Happy Planner there are other versions such as the classic and mini versions. There also is a high and planner if you’re serious about using one called the ErinCondren life planner. It is a lot nicer but it is a lot more expensive.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this post.

1 thought on “How planners help my bipolar disorder

  1. I love using planners to help remember things since I started using medication for my mental illness. I started off with a regular happy planner and now I have three planners my favorite of which is the many happy planner. It’s easier to carry and keep track of my major day-to-day obligations.

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