View Full Version : Day planner or phone?

03-06-17, 11:02 AM
Hi guys!
I'm wondering what y'all think would be a better idea for reminders, schedules, etc... I have tried different things with my iPhone including "notes ", "reminders"and the calendar that has sound reminders. I have tried numerous apps for reminders and nothing has helped me! I have not tried a real day planner because I'm not going to spend that money for a good one if it doesn't work. So I'm just wondering what has worked for you guys?? Thanks so much!!! ~~Tamye

Little Missy
03-06-17, 02:15 PM
If I started planning that is all that I'd do. Like I need another job. Lots of people here use them though!

03-06-17, 02:48 PM
There are two kinds of planning systems: "works for you" and "doesn't work for you". Nothing else matters. Try it out - if it works, you're done.

There are traps that ADHDers often fall into. One of the main ones is system modifications. Find something that's good enough, and then stop looking for anything better.

03-06-17, 03:29 PM
Thanks guys! All I do know is that the phone thing doesn't work. A woman I work with has a husband with ADD and she says that Post It notes work for him. I hate that I just think of things I should do and then completely forget what I thought. I get nothing done in my house! I sit on the couch and try to watch tv. Oh well I'll shut up I know y'all know what I'm talking about......Tamye

03-06-17, 03:37 PM
Do you have a printer or can get access to one? There are calenders/planners online for free you can print out to save money if you want.

But I agree with dvd, you can't know if a planner is going to work for you or not unless you try it yourself.

03-06-17, 04:32 PM
Post its work horrible for me. But that's me, not you.

03-06-17, 04:54 PM
Here's a trick:
Put small whiteboards on The door of several rooms in the house along with a little dry erase marker. Then when you are in a room and something pops into your mind that you should write down, like a shopping list item or a meeting, write it down immediately onto the whiteboard.

At the end of the day make it a habit to go around to each room door and read what you wrote on the whiteboard and add that information to other lists etc/Setting alarms etc.

Not sure how helpful that would be but it might help a little.

03-06-17, 05:03 PM
The phone works a treat for me because it means nothing additional to carry, and when needed I can use alarms, etc.

That said, I donít use anything fancy in terms of apps or anything too shiny or feature-laden...I just need a to-do list to keep me reminded and focused.

Paper of any kind...forget it. :doh:


03-07-17, 08:36 PM
After trying multiple different things I have settled on two things

1. A calendar app for my phone where I can enter appointments and set multiple alarms (1 week ahead, a couple days ahead, 1 day ahead, then at various points during the day leading up to the appointment.) Before this I would miss or be late to more than half my appointments.
After using the calendar with alarms I miss only 1 or 2 appointments a year and am usually only a little late for some of my appointments.

2. Notecards in my shirt pocket where I keep some lists (a grocery list), a to do list which has only the must do items on it. If it is before an appointment I write a list of things I want to make sure I remember to ask the doctor.

I tried all sorts of other things and found if I make to do lists for more than a day or two at a time it becomes intimidating or as time goes by it becomes my did not do list and is then depressing every time I would look at it. I tried a notebook but it had the same effect on me of my did not do list.

But, what works for me may not work for you. Try different solutions and see if they work or not.

03-07-17, 10:31 PM
I can definitely see the psychological benefit of a to-do list that goes in the trash fairly often and is replaced by a new one, even if some of the same things are on the new one.

Plans for projects with steps to them might need to be laid out on another page, or on some device.

For me, ADHD includes not being able to keep a multi-step project in my head - I forget which steps are needed, or the order they need to go in, or which ones I've already done.

03-08-17, 04:27 AM
I have a color coded handwritten list on a legal pad, at work; I've tried using my phone but if it's not in my own writing and I cant SEE it constantly, it just doesnt work for me.
I put reminders for some specific things in my Outlook calendar.

For errands I use index cards and I have a little notepad for grocery lists.

psot-its no, i will inevitably throw them away becauas i only use them for instructions on a stack of documents, etc. (something that requires signature, for example).

03-10-17, 08:39 PM
One of the challenges for people with ADHD is that the first 1,000 times we use a planner, yes we are going to fail. Of course! ... We have ADHD and part of planning skill is knowing what to plan, how much to plan, developing a routine for checking the plan, etc ...

One of the key tasks in cognitive therapy for ADHD is confronting the feeling of hopeless that is based on real failure in the past.

The bottom line is that just because you failed in the past doesn't mean you will fail the next time.

Also, it's easy to get into an either-or framework ... are you sure there weren't some periods during which you were good at using the planner? Are you sure you didn't make progress over time?

Another way to say this is that you really want to just use the planner A LITTLE BETTER this time. That's reasonable.

And you just have to do trial and error. I am a teacher, and since I got diagnosed with ADHD, I'm always noticing the strategies of my students who are highly organized. I would say 80 percent of these folks use written planners--and that's despite the fact that they are from the digitally-obsessed generation. But you really have to experiment ... The first key step in using a planner is to CONSULT the planner. That's best done in a set pattern or routine ...

Good luck.


03-10-17, 09:00 PM
Have you looked into the alexa things from amazon? The idea of being able to say 'add this to my calendar' or being able to make a list as you think of it seems really cool. I think there must be a way to link that to your computer so you can see the list or print it for going to the store or if you need a visual of what you've got planned.

04-07-17, 07:55 AM
Google Calendar has been a life-saver for me as far as keeping track of things date-wise and since I have it on my phone it's always with me. I miss far less things by using it, and I rarely take appointment cards anymore from doctors, etc. because I just lose them anyway. I make sure I do not leave or hang up till I've entered the appointment. I can color-code it whatever way I like and I can sync it so it's accessible on computer or other devices (though I rarely use anything but my phone).

I also have Google Keep on my phone. It's like a collection of sticky notes, so you can jot down many different lists or whatever you want to remember. When you're done with a note you can delete it (I often forget to delete them, though, which is important so you don't have too many to go through). You can also pin notes to the top that you always want super handy, and you can color-code the notes to help find them. The only problem I have with this is remembering to look at it - I'm about 60/40 at that so far but it's better than all the little pieces of paper lying about that I never look at.

Other things I do:

-I have bath crayons in the shower and write/draw on the wall when ideas or important things come to me in the shower. I use this most days. When I get out of the shower, I take a photo on my phone of what I've written/drawn. I keep a washcloth in the shower for erasing items next time I'm in the shower once I get around to finishing the item.

-I have a voice recorder on my phone for when I think of things while I'm driving. I use this a lot - I sometimes forget to listen to it - I might remember 50% of the time. I'm also bad about remembering to delete the recordings when I'm done with them.

This all sounds like I'm very organized - I'm not at all, even with all of this. And I still have a daily habit of writing notes to myself on copier paper at work instead of remembering to put it in the notebook I bought for that purpose, which leaves me with a bunch of papers all over. But I'd be far worse without the above apps. I have a Galaxy Note with the S pen so that I can draw and write notes to myself but after all these years of having it, I still forget to use it.

04-07-17, 11:37 AM
I use a day planner, it's not perfect but it works good enough for me.

04-07-17, 01:46 PM
No system of any kind is going to be perfect.

I think many of us ADHDers find that for us even the best most complete systems, the foolproof types with every need taken care of and every wish made possible, end up being inconsistent and inadequate.

Not to put too fine a point on it, it's our fault. OK, fault is the wrong word, fault is actually nowhere to be found here - but it sure isn't the fault of whatever excellent system we might be using.

Old-fashioned computer slang has PEBKAC (translation: Problem Exists Between Keyboard And Chair) :) - that's certainly me. :o

For people with ADHD, there's a lot to be said IMO in favour of any planning system that works "just OK" and is also extremely simple, with the fewest possible things to tweak and the fewest possible ways to fail.

Then again, maybe that applies more to me than to a group of people.