Getting a To Do List Created with One Method

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    • #87933

      Hi Everyone!! I am hoping someone can help me. I am extremely embarrassed with regular people because they don’t get how my (our) brains work.

      I need to start doing a to do list. But, as you all know (hopefully), you start one method, then go to another, than another then you start doing something on the to do list rather than actually making the list. Then you think you are wasting your time making one, then you forget to do things…..etc, etc.

      I am actually really old school and like writing things down. But, then I find that I lose my list or misplace it. So I want an electronic. But for some reason it doesn’t feel as comfortable. I really hope someone who reads this knows exactly how I am feeling and I am not alone with this. This is actually my very first post and I am really embarrassed and scared but am telling myself I with others who get it……

      Getting back on track… do you guys and ladies organize? I feel like I just need to put my foot down and say no to myself with writing things out. I have thought about typing my big (everything I have to do) on the computer on something like Trello or something where I can always get it no matter where I am. And then maybe writing out the tasks for the day or the next few hours of work on paper.

      Please help me! I am trying to launch a fitness brand/ digital studio for workouts while being a fitness manager AND doing group fitness and personal training too. I know I am trying to do too much.

      Also, if anyone has recommendations for a life coach who preferably has ADHD who could help me, I would love that. I live in Boston, MA. I know Dr. Edward Hallowell is in Sudbury but he is really really expensive and sorta out of my way. Any and all help is welcomed. Also, if someone knows of an adult ADHD support group in the Boston area, please let me know! I am really looking forward to hearing back from people and not feeling like I am complete crazy (I tend to feel that way since I am so all over the place)

      Stay positive everyone!! This website and forum is quite literally the best thing I have found in my life. ADHD is beautiful, but I get it. SUPER FRUSTRATING!!

    • #87938

      Anything new, like moving from pen/paper to digital device is going to feel really awkward at first. There are brain-level physical reasons for this; the simple explanation is that new neural pathways must be created (we call them habits), and that takes about 30 to 60 days with daily, focused, and intentional practice. Not something our ADHD brains are prone to, but certainly capable of (especially when properly treated).

      In terms of apps that help with task management, I’m certainly on that journey myself. I have been looking at Trello, but I find myself unable to decide how to best organize it to fit my needs. So far, I just use the plain-old to-do list app that came with my phone (an iPhone). That seems to work for the important things, but some of the lists just grow and grow with things I simply don’t have time to do, and then that overwhelms me and makes me not want to use to-do lists.

      There are a few articles on this site regarding apps the help organize life, etc. Search around.

      Any life coach/therapist/consultant etc. that’s worth employing will be expensive, but there are different levels of expensive. I think there is a directory on this site, which someone else might be able to provide a link to.

      • #87944

        Thanks for your input! I actually have never successfully made a to do list and actually kept it and used it for like even a week. So, what are your “rules” maybe you have made for yourself on making one? Maybe I just need to be more disciplined about it. I will definitely look around on the site.

        I agree with you about quality will be expensive. I would love to meet Dr. Hallowell because he is like my god. But he costs like 400/session then doesn’t take insurance. It’s crazy expensive. I will definitely look around this site though.

        If anyone else has any input or suggested articles to read, I am all ears.

      • #88026

        Right now my only rule is, if I think of it, and can’t do it right now, make a to-do. I also have a few different categories, like “today,” “work stuff,” “home stuff,” and “interesting ideas.”

        So far, only the “today” list is useful. The others are just too long. Basically a place to put stuff so I don’t clutter the “today” list. 🙂

      • #88027

        Thank you so much for your help! I’m assuming you have to force yourself to stop jumping around and say, no this will help you just stay with it? I find that’s my problem. But maybe your method of do something, if something pops up that isn’t more important just write it down.

      • #87969

        Your description of the struggle to find a method to organize fits me to a tee! I’ve tried a few different apps on my phone because I almost always have it on me (except recently I’ve been misplacing it more – God help me!!!). I’m currently using Google Keep. I like it because once you start a note you can click on the microphone and create/add to your list. I remember things while in my car and add it before I forget it. You can set a reminder on the phone to look at it to review (to keep me from “losing” the note). I sync it with Google Drive so I can access from anywhere. It’s not perfect, but what is? It took a little while to get used to it. When I had a little free time I played with it to see how it worked. Hope this helps!

      • #88028

        Oh I’ve never heard of google keeps! I’m definitely going to check this out!! Thanks!!

    • #87970

      I forgot one thing. When you click on the microphone to speak, speak deliberately and enunciate well or what comes out may not make any sense!

    • #88021

      Still npoy perfect work on a farm so often have trouble seeing screen in light of losing the to do list. Right now have the main lists office /farm . errands in office on paper then take camera photos to take with me

    • #88022

      Still not perfect I work on a farm so often have trouble seeing screen in light of losing the to do list. Right now have the main lists office /farm . errands in office on paper then take camera photos to take with me

    • #88173

      Good grief, briannebfitness! Reading your post was a little bit spooky for me because it was the equivalent to holding up a mirror to my own organisational skills. Now… Where to begin…

      The bouncing all over the place with organisational methods I completely relate to. I get super excited when I think I’ve finally found ‘the one’. I then get super bored with it. Followed by super frustrated with it (because it’s not ‘intuitive’ enough to work like I think). Then I finally abandon it to continue the search. This makes me super annoyed/angry with myself because I think ‘surely you can have enough ‘discipline’ to make it work this time!!!

      For the record… I have tried Smartsheet, Wrike, Asana, Trello,, Google Keep, Google Tasks, Outlook tasks and a whole lot of others I can’t even remember right now. I am currently back to using Trello because I like it’s simplicity and flexibility. I can make multiple lists and drag and drop tasks between lists.

      While I too like the pen and paper (it’s very satisfying ticking the list off for sure) the list needs to be in a digital medium because paper lists always get too overwhelming to manage as the list grows with every ‘thought bubble’ about what I’d like to do in my ‘ideal world’.

      Having a drag and drop method helps prioritise things. Sometimes, once I’ve sorted out the day’s priorities I’ll actually write that list out so that I can ‘cross it off’. (Bit of a double up but satisfying.)

      My suggestion would be to not make too many lists. I used to try and be super duper organised by categorising absolutely everything but then I just lost track of the tasks.

      In terms of a life coach. Check out Chuck Shultz from He’s in Illinois. We have sessions via Zoom Meetings (I’m in Western Australia). I have a session with Chuck every 3-4 weeks and he’s changed my life. He’s been my coach now for about 5 years.

      Finally… (Before I’squirrel off’ in another direction 🙂 what I have recently done that has made the biggest difference in my life is this.. I’ve quite simply accepted that there are ‘costs’ that come with having an ADHD brain. Those costs include the frustration of disorganization, inattentiveness, and inability to complete many things. HOWEVER… Never forget the brilliance of your ADHD brain. It’s ability to hyperfocus, never get bored (for long) and it’s amazing power to see things in a whole other perspective is quite astounding. Not to mention just how much we can actually get done in a day!!! You should never ever be embarrassed. I think I’d be more embarrassed if I was just the ‘regular person’ you speak of 🙂

      I wish you well on your journey and hope my thoughts have been helpful.

    • #88205
      Penny Williams

      My first boss in the corporate world had a to-do notebook. It was a full-size spiral notebook like students use. She had it on her person at all times. When she arrived at a meeting, she opened it up and laid it on the table in front of her. When in her office, it was always open on her desk. That and her day planner were always in her hand or in front of her. They were her compass. (This was the mid 90s when we didn’t have smartphones.)

      Here’s how she used the notebook — it was essentially one long running to-do list. She wrote each item on a new line, at the end of the list. When something was completed she marked a lone all the way across it (not just a check-mark in front of it). When it was time to turn a page, she copied every outstanding to-do item from the prior page onto the new page so every item still to do was always visible.

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

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