Unlock Your Productivity with The Right ADHD Planner

October 30, 2021

ADHD minds often struggle with short-term and material organization. For children, organizational problems manifest themselves in a school setting such as forgetting to do their homework. For adults with ADHD, the organizational problems present themselves as procrastination and missed work deadlines.

ADHD medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment can only help reduce symptoms of hyperactivity, inattentiveness, and impulsivity but will not assist you with time management, organization skills, home, and work management, planning, and the like. So how do we address this issue? By teaching ADHD mind systems that can help them navigate and possibly improve their life skills.

A planning system, and an effective one at that, is the best approach to the seemingly never-ending organizational problem. A planner system is a planning tool that helps ADHD brains:

  • Improve on time management
  • Stay organized at home and work
  • Perform daily tasks effectively

ADHD Planner: Digital vs Paper

A planner system may be electronic or paper that can help your working memory.

Digital planner

Apps and time management software are a fast and effective way to address the challenge of time management, productivity, and creativity that most ADHD minds face.

If you are a lover of electronics, then a digital planner is the way to go. It is an effective planning system that eliminates the fear of misplacing a physical planner.

An added advantage of a digital planning system is the fact that you can access your to-do lists from different devices such as your home and work computers.

For instance, you can access the tasks icon on a google account either on your phone or laptop. Here, you can add tasks and give them a name, a date, a piece of contact information (if there are other people involved in your project), and set a reminder so you won't forget your schedule for the week. You can also plan your weekly layout of tasks and meal planning if you are having a hard time deciding what to eat for the day.

Paper planner

Your typical pencil and paper planner pad. It allows you to jot down daily tasks or commitments that you need to be attended to in the future; such as appointments, events, and anniversaries.

Writing down your to-do lists on the blank pages of your planner proves to be very effective for ADHD minds as it helps them internalize and prioritize information in a meaningful way.

Research has proven that writing down your agenda for the day makes you feel more engaged in the task at hand and as a result, it improves your productivity and helps you not forget important appointments.

Nothing beats the pleasure derived from putting down your thoughts, goals, and achievements on paper. If this is you, then this is the best planner for you.

  • Paper planners help clear the mind by allowing one to put down all their worries and thoughts on paper.
  • A daily planner comes in handy as a reminder that allows you to manage your time towards achieving a certain goal. You can set reminders for home and work such as entering dates for important meetings at work or dates to check your car oil at home.

Tips on what to include in your daily planner

  • Daily tasks and goals-for an ADHD mind, where to start with a planner can prove to be quite a daunting task. My advice is to start with tasks you need to be accomplished for the day.it could be as easy as” take out the trash” or “clean the dishes”.
  • Important dates-a daily planner will always have a section where you can key in dates like birthdays, anniversaries, doctor's appointments, and so on. the dates will always serve as a reminder and allow you to plan.
  • Ideas-ideas for an ADHD brain seem to come by a lot especially at the wrong moment causing a few distractions. Writing them down in your daily planner allows you to revisit them later as opposed to doing away with them.
  • Motivational quotes-we all need a little motivation in our life to keep us going. Use your paper planner to write down quotes that lift your spirits and review them anytime you feel down.

There is no limit to what you can include in a daily planner. start by setting the goals and work towards accomplishing them. Always make a point of looking at your paper planner daily; that way you have a clear picture of what your day looks like and as a reminder to achieve set goals.

For those fast ADHD brains, get them a school planner. This has been shown to improve their overall school performance, boost self-esteem, and also as a life skill as they progress into adulthood.

  • Avoid bulky planners that may be difficult for them to carry around. choose one with a spiral binding that way you do not have to worry about note pages falling out.
  • Advice your child to keep their daily planner within reach.
  • Offer a step by step guidance on what to write down, when, and why
  • Talk to the teacher to act as a planner coach for your child. Let your child write down assignments and have the teacher confirm before they leave class.

Bullet journaling for ADHD minds

An example of an effective paper planner is a bullet journal. This is a diary, planner, note pad that helps people to stay focused organized, and meet their goals. It is a sure method that helps keep track of your daily schedule, work projects, or social activities. The entries are tagged with bullet points and graphics which can be a great help on your working memory. It encompasses an index at the front page where you organize what you put in your "little book". According to Ryder Carroll, inventor of the bullet journal,” The bullet journal is an analog system designed to track the past, organize the present, and plan for the future.”

For an ADHD mind, organizing and planning is everything. A bulleting journal does exactly that. It helps you remember what needs to be done for the day to future events. Noting down what needs to be done can help with staying productive and focused on important tasks and avoiding analysis paralysis. The number of thoughts running through an ADHD brain are numerous:

  • a bullet journal provides room to store your new thoughts and revisit old ones
  • It allows for creativity, especially where structure does not sit well with an ADHD brain
  • the journal has a very flexible layout as one can add anything to it including drawings.
  • you can keep it as simple and fun or as complex as you want to

Is an ADHD coach worth it?

People with ADHD often than not find themselves struggling with certain tasks such as completing assignments, responding to emails, attending to daily tasks, or adhering to instructions. We all have goals in life we want to achieve but the problem comes in when we don’t know how to get there. Not all ADHD minds encounter this problem but for those who do, then an ADHD coach can aid in offering support. An ADHD coach is a life coach trained purposely to help ADHD minds(young and old alike)to better manage their lives. They create step-by-step structures that ADHD clients can follow through. A coach will tackle matters that have to do with

  • Planning
  • Goal development
  • Social skills
  • Time management
  • Motivation…. the list is endless.

They can set realistic goals and the coach can offer non-judgmental support, and suggestions on how to tackle challenging tasks, hold them accountable on set goals and set reminders by conducting regular follow-ups either through phone calls or meetings.

How to choose the right ADHD coach

  • Identify your needs - what do you hope to gain from coaching? Do you have a specific field that you need help with maybe budget planning, relationships problems, or just personal well-being?
  • Begin an actual search - currently, there is no existing regulating body that certifies ADHD coaches but some organizations such as the ADHD Coaches Organization (ACO) or The Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA) provide a directory to conduct your search.
  • Do an interview - ask to talk to former clients as a reference point.
  • Make sure you hire a coach that specializes in ADHD
  • Get started - once you have identified the right coach, let them know the issue you want to be addressed, and together put down a detailed step-by-step plan on how you can achieve your future goals.

In Conclusion, why ADHD Minds need Planners

ADHD brains thrive from instant gratification, this explains why we can start and drop tasks very fast if they don't interest us. We struggle with completing assignments and meeting deadlines that could cost us our jobs or even relationships. An effective planner system with 

the right ADHD coach can help improve the lives of individuals living with ADHD. It affords them skills for better living that medication cannot provide. skills such as time management, planning, and organization that are paramount in everyday life.

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Disclaimer: This article is for educational purposes only. If you are experiencing symptoms of ADHD, it’s best to see a professional for a diagnosis.

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