Reply To: How to maintain a Planner/Calendar/To Do List?

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Hi Penny,

I have ADD-inattentive type too. I have tried all kind of different agendas too for around 20 years, paper and electronic ones. I have read about habits and time management in all kind of books, magazines, websites, etc. So, at least on my experience, I have never found something that works permanently. Having said that, there are a few tips I can share with you:

1. For taking notes and to-do lists: Although I forget to look at my agenda daily, I still use one to keep everything that I have to do, shopping lists, notes about calls, appointments, accounts numbers, anything really. This has worked wonderfully because I know that I will probably will find the information I need in one place. This agenda is the size of a medium notebook and I have tried many many many different models and sizes through the years, taking a lot of time to pick the right one until I found the most functional one (and cute). I cannot always find the exact model every year, but I already know what to look for. So, you can try a few until you find the one that works best for you. I ended up picking the size of a notebook because it has to be big enough so I do not forget it easily, and small enough that I can put it in my purse, so I don’t leave it at places. And of course I forget to write things in there, but when I remember I just add them. And my to-do lists that are never ending will get crossed out eventually when I review them. I put all my to-do lists there. I make a list for everything.

2. For appointments (after trying a variety of different apps): I use the Calendar from my iPhone. Although it is not perfect, I just put there every appointment I can as soon as i get it. And I make sure to put the address right away and the 2 alarms that come with it. Sometimes, I take the time to add appointments to the agenda too, but the important part is that I have it on my phone that I carry everywhere.

3. For reminders (I also tried many apps), I use what I consider the best APP EVER: “Alarmed”, which unfortunately, last time I checked is only for iPhones :-(. This one FREE App, has so many options to set alarms, and it will nag you (if you want) until you mark it as completed. It is marvelous because i forget what I am doing at anytime, and this app will keep me on track of all the important things. So, if it is something that I have to remember on a specific day like fasting before a blood test next day or just remembering to get the dog out every 4 hours, or pick up my daughter from school every day, or taking my pills, or taking the trash out. I can set the exact reminder I need that will repeat the times I need and that will nag me until I do it if necessary. It also has all kind of sounds, so you can pick sounds that will really get your attention, which I need. For example to take my dog out, I have a barking dog ;->

These 3 things have worked best for me, the trick is setting the appointments and reminders right away when they are fresh on your memory with as much details as you can, otherwise you might never get what the alarm was for when you see it.

One last thing, I use these things and they work best when I am taking ADD medication or when I have slept well or when I am focused on what I am doing, but many times they don’t work because I left the phone somewhere or the agenda at home or a combination of forgetting, procrastinating or being tired. Just don’t beat yourself about it. Learn to get over it as fast as you can and just keep looking forward, and know that there are things you are doing that are great/right/perfect.

Good luck and keep asking questions and trying new methods that will help you with your ADD, you never know what will work for you.

La Princesa del Llano

Never stop trying to learn