View Full Version : ADD Hacks for academic success?

02-19-15, 08:25 PM
It's been about 20 years since I've been in school (I know: I am OLD! :lol:). After all that time it looks like I'll be going to grad school next Fall to do a PhD. I really want to get myself all set up so I can hit the ground running.

With ADD, I figure it would be good for me to look into the following:

-note-taking approaches and software

-detailed scheduling and time management software (Ugh! Ugh! Noooo!)

-writing software that offers some visual interface for structuring big research papers, etc.

I use a mac.

For note taking, I've been reading about mind mapping and it seems pretty cool. Do any of you use mind mapping software? Which ones?

Time management. Blech. Tell me what software I need. I hate it already, but yeah I need help with time management more than with anything else. :mad:

Writing software…ultimately I may need to write up final drafts in the boring usual word processor because: references and bibliographies. But during the creative process it might be helpful to try some alternatives that offer more ADD-friendly interfaces. I have something called WriteItNow that is pretty cool (though I'm not entirely sure I trust its backup process to a huge project; need to look into that more). Do any of you like a particular writing composition software for this?

So that's my post. Thanks for any knowledge you decide to share and maybe the crowd sourcing on this might also be useful to other people too along the way.

02-19-15, 10:07 PM
For time management and task organisation I can't recommend enough a website called kanbanflow. I don't have time to go into details so please just google it. It's helped me more than anything else, except for medication, and I'll be forever grateful to stevuke for introducing me to it.

For writing, the biggest piece of advice I can give you is to use a reference manager..right from day one of your PhD and to enter each and every paper that you read or plan to read. I write in ms word so I used endnote, which I quite like but there are lots of them out there. If you write in latex you can use jabref for example. It doesn't matter just make sure that you do use some sort if reference manager.

Also, most journals make their own templates available and that really helps as well. The ones that I've seen are always in latex and word but maybe that's subject specific.

I also used ms office s onenote heavily, which is a sort of electronic lab book. I wrote down all my thoughts and more importantly all details of experimental results (eg in my case, all the scripts I wrote, their inputs and the directory paths of the scripts and their respective results). I don't remember anything so without that I would have been absolutely screwed.

Another thing that really helps me is to have a single notebook that I take to every meeting and I note down absolutely everything. Before that I always made notes on loose pieces of paper and invariably lost them.

02-19-15, 10:08 PM
hey there,

i don't have any great technology advice, though i did manage to get a doctorate and i would strongly suggest you register with student services/disabilities, but for some tech specific suggestions you could also look at the "tech solutions" sub forum in treatments: that's not restricted to academics and i can see why you wanted your thread in adult education, but it might offer some additional perspectives if you look through threads there, too. for example, tyger started a thread that you might want to take a look at as it concerns software used for writing research papers:

02-19-15, 11:40 PM
Thanks, everyone. I'm checking out kanbanflow now and it's cool. Someone else recommended that to me too. Looks amazing for organizing projects, and I'm going to try it for a while. It doesn't seem to have a scheduling element to it though.

02-20-15, 02:08 PM
Being friends with colleagues who are the opposite of ADHD. Especially when working on group-projects.

02-21-15, 09:41 PM
You might want to check out also, for scheduling and planning.