I was recently diagnosed with ADHD and it explains a lot about how my brain actually works and why I feel the need to be hyper-organized and depend on about six-ish planners to keep everything in my life straight and on track. Of course, that is how my ADHD works and I get not everyone has the same symptoms, degree of symptoms, or “hacks” to remember everything.
I have a system that mostly works for me (no system is fail-proof).
One day last week, I impulsively searched “best planners for ADHD” and started looking through the lists. I then had the brilliant idea that I would buy ALL THE planners, review them, use them, and let you know if I thought they were useful for my ADHD brain. Maybe I’d find something that works great with my system and maybe I’d help someone else find their unicorn planner.
A little about me and my ADHD. I am combined type, hyperactive. Most of my hyperactivity is in my brain per the psychologist I saw. My brain never stops. Although I also have problems sitting still and getting restless easily. As a kid, I did tend to be quite active and was called hyper or too much often. I interrupted adults all the time because if I didn’t say what came into my head I would forget it.
Without medication, my brain has about 32847 tabs open at once.
I have a hard time completing goals. I can set goals like everyone else. I can start them but then I fizzle out unless there is some consequence (like getting in trouble at work). Over the years I’ve tried setting personal SMART goals and various systems and I always start out strong but never finish. I struggle to break down the big goals into smaller tasks. I recently picked up my MakseLife Companion notebooks and have been working to stick with them. It’s a challenge but I’ve made it part of my Sunday planning routine.
I have trouble focusing on one task. I am that person that will start washing dishes, remember the towels need to go in the dryer, move the towels, then be like oh yah, I need to clean the bathroom and head to the bathroom and start on that, and when I go to grab the glass cleaner from the kitchen remember that I was washing dishes.
If I’m watching TV I’m probably reading, scrolling social media, or writing. I can’t just watch TV. I like having things in piles on my desk or tables because if I put them in drawers I forget to use whatever it is. Clear or open storage containers work best.
And yes, I thought this was how everyone was. I never realized my brain was so different!
After years of being yelled at for interrupting, I eventually learned to keep quiet. Mostly. I learned to not be so loud. I often would sit on my hands and bounce my legs to prevent my mouth from blurting things out. I created a lot of masks and workarounds. I really thought everyone else did the same thing.
While researching ADHD, I realized I am more impulsive than I thought. I have ruined friendships because I would blurt something out without thinking about it. I buy things (hello ADHD planners) because I get a wild idea! After my dad died, I bought a lot of things without really thinking and created a lot of credit card debt. I have shame around that but I am working hard to pay it all off and not create new debt. Everything I buy now gets paid for immediately.
So that is a bit about me and my ADHD. I could probably write a lot more. Somewhere I have a notebook where I wrote down every symptom I identified with while researching ADHD in women. I wanted to have all my ducks in a row when I talked to my doctor. Turns out I gave her the assessment I took, she reviewed it, asked a couple of follow-up questions, and was like yup, you have ADHD.
Now back to the planners for ADHD. I plan to do a review for planners recommended for those with ADHD doing first impressions and thoughts. Then I may use them for a while and weigh back in with if my opinion changed if the planner helped or not etc. I will also discuss important points like stickers and what pens work best in the planners.
I have about half a dozen planners now and a bunch saved on my Amazon list wish to do this later. All but one are undated so I can use them any time. I may also give some away after testing. So stay tuned for that if you are interested (because I don’t really need MORE planners so I’d like them to go to a good home).
I also have a couple of specialized journals on pre-order. So once those arrive I will do the same with those. I ordered The Hero’s Journal and The Anti-Planner, which were both recommendations on How to ADHD.
Here are the articles I used to choose the planners. I picked the ones most applicable to me (I’m not a student) and that I felt were more like planners. There was one that seemed to be a workbook from the Amazon read first and not what I was looking for in this project.
What planners have you seen recommended for ADHD that you’d like to see reviewed? Let me know in the comments and if it’s not one I already have on my list I will add it!
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