Using a planner can be an effective way for individuals with ADHD to stay organised and on top of tasks and commitments. Here are some tips on how to use a planner to stay organised with ADHD:
Choose a planner that works for you
There are many different types of planners available, so it's important to choose one that fits your needs and preferences. Consider factors such as size, layout, flexibility and style when choosing a planner.
Dyslexic Dayna and Socolo have collaborated to make a neurodivergent-friendly planner. Check it out here to see if it would work for you.
Write down everything
It's important to record all tasks and commitments in your planner, including appointments, errands, and even small tasks. This can help ensure that you don't forget anything and can keep track of your schedule.
Use different colours
Using different colours to code tasks and commitments can help you visually organise your planner and make it easier to see what needs to be done. This can also help to break up task lists so longer ones do not feel overwhelming.
For example, you could use one colour for appointments and another colour for errands.
Use stickers and other visual aids
Stickers and other visual aids can be a fun and effective way to add visual interest to your planner, make tasks and commitments stand out, and gamify your schedule.
Socolo offers a colourful range of planner stickers specifically designed to be used as visual cues.
Review your planner regularly
It's important to review your planner regularly to ensure that you are on track and have not missed any tasks or commitments. If you are starting to feel overwhelmed, start looking at what tasks you can eliminate or move to other days.
It can be overwhelming and confusing when we have many days of unfinished tasks. Create a system where you place unfinished tasks on new upcoming days, and cross them off completely on the days that have past. This way, you are can treat the task as a new task, rather than keep your head in the past and get bogged down with feelings of having many unfinished tasks on the go.
Know that you can not ruin. your planner
Time and time again, I hear how people will consider their planner ruined because they did not use it for a month. Your planner is not ruined. Just pick up where you left off. You can always use those unused pages for notes, brainstorming or sketching, or don't use them at all. It's okay.
Dyslexic Dayna and Socolo have created an undated planner for this reason. The flexibility allows you to start and stop using the planner as and when you see fit. There is no such thing as a wasted month in an undated planner.
By using a planner and incorporating these tips, individuals with ADHD can stay organised and on top of tasks and commitments. A planner can be a valuable tool for helping to manage ADHD symptoms and improve productivity.Resources:
"The Benefits of Using a Planner for ADHD" by Joanne Demarco (Psychology Today, 2018)
"How to Use a Planner Effectively with ADHD" by Heidi L. Swank, PhD (Psychology Today, 2018)
"The Importance of Visual Aids for ADHD Students" by Amanda D. Smith (The OT Toolbox, 2017)
"10 Tips for Creating an ADHD-Friendly Study Space" by Marydee Sklar (Psychology Today, 2016)
"The Benefits of Using Color-Coded Materials for ADHD" by Linda L. Smith and Stephen J. Monsell (Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 1995)