Reply To: I am a writer and researcher with ADD. Any advice on how to organize my thoughts

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#196622
saram
Participant

I love I’m @kmcw’s idea above, and having devices like iPads and phones that can take pictures of good arrangements is brilliant. I never saw the point of outlines growing up, it seemed tedious, and while teachers often talked about them and suggested them, I was never forced to make one. Not until I was nearly done with college did I get how helpful this would have been. Even more so for my adhd brain that has so many ideas and see so many connections that I can’t always keep track of them all, or can forget 10 great ideas that I wanted to address or investigate while I hyperfocus on the one I’m writing about now. Now that I teach writing, I make my students slow down and go through the process. Go online and search for “essay graphic organizer” (or be more specific, and put in persuasive essay graphic organizer or whatever kind of writing you are working on) and you will find some good ones. Start with a simple one, even if it looks a little juvenile. Much like sticky notes, lists, or a visual timer, or the great note card idea above, it can help to get your ideas into a visual plan to keep you on track as you write. And then you can permit yourself to change it, add to it, or pursue an interesting tangent because you can always come back to your “road map”. Before long, you’ll likely develop your own template personalized to your specific writing style, but even simple high school style ones will work well to help map out your chapters or arguments.