Master Your ADHD: The Top Digital Planner built with ADHD brains in mind

Estimated reading time: 13 minutes

Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder affecting focus, coordination of thoughts, process information, or controlling impulses. While common in childhood ADHD is often detected in adults and can cause difficulty with daytime activities as well as careers. The impact to one’s career can be overwhelming, lonely, and difficult to navigate as many adults with ADHD do not feel safe to share their challenges with their managers due to workplace culture or stigma.

Increased awareness about the symptoms of ADHD has resulted in a 4-fold increase in the number of ADHD diagnoses among adults. This means there’s a world within the current workforce that finds traditional productivity experiences challenging and we are often working harder to maintain the same level as our peers while we struggle with time management.

For someone with ADHD, finding the motivation to do engage our brain in certain tasks is hard. ADHD impacts executive function and the ability to stay motivated. The impact of this hurdle can vary from forgetting to take out the trash, from forgetting to pay bills, to even being unable to maintain a consistent job. And it’s likely that we’re missing deadlines in the process.

Fortunately, there are tools to help those of us with an ADHD brain — so that we can better stay focused, organized, and to support our working memory for those really important tasks.

In this article, we’ll discuss some of the challenges that you might experience with ADHD, why they might lead you to using a planner as a solution and about the digital planner built specifically as an adhd planner.

First, why would someone need an ADHD planner?

This is because ADHD can make it difficult to plan tasks, hard to prioritize and organize to do lists, and can make it feel overwhelming to engage in anything deemed a mundane activity. People with ADHD can also experience “time blindness.”

Time blindness occurs when you get completely lost in an activity and don’t realize how much time has passed. For me, more recently, you’ll see this occur when I start playing candy crush before I head to bed and then suddenly, it’s 2 am and I have to be up at 6. For others, this might look like always being late to appointments. Or working long hours.

Whether you find that your need for improved planning is due to time blindness, general executive function challenges, or even analysis paralysis, a planner is a tool to help you stay on top of the things you need to do and to help you better plan your time. The important thing is to find the right planner and the best planner for your needs.

Using a planner to organize your ADHD brain

If your life seems chaotic with ADHD, one of the biggest things you can do is to create a habit of getting organized with the help of a planner.

One type that is frequently recommended are paper planners. People will often refer to the tactile experience of using a pen and paper and writing out a schedule and to do list. Traditional planners may also appeal to individuals because it’s believed that physically crossing off a to do list is easier and better and thus tapping into our human tendency of completion bias (the act of selecting easier tasks in order to promote dopamine while avoiding more time consuming tasks).

As someone, though, with ADHD… I’ve tried so many planners and find that they often simply do not stick. I find they get started and I either, 1. lose them, 2. use it for three days, convince my brain I’m doing awesome, and then lose tracking of doing it again. or 3. buy it because it’s pretty and never open it. It ends up being an expensive habit.

Try customizable digital planners for ADHD

Often, the right planner for ADHD is one that travels easily with you. A digital planner can offer a new level of flexibility as they can be customizable and you can tailor it into becoming your perfect planner.

Using a digital planner can be a game-changer for individuals with ADHD, though. Creating a system like approach to productivity and managing daily tasks more effectively. To optimize its benefits, here are a few key strategies.

First, keep it simple and clutter-free by focusing on essential tasks and events, avoiding overwhelming yourself with unnecessary details.

Utilize color-coding and categories to visually organize information, making it easier to distinguish between different aspects of your life.

Set reminders and alarms for important deadlines, appointments, and activities to ensure nothing slips your mind. Organize your calendars as you plan for the next day.

Regularly review and update your planner, breaking down larger tasks into smaller, more manageable steps.

Embrace the flexibility of digital planners to adjust schedules as needed without the hassle of crossing out or erasing. Most importantly, be compassionate with yourself if you miss a task or experience a setback. A digital planner can serve as your reliable ADHD companion, helping you stay on track and gain a sense of accomplishment in your daily endeavors.

Why not a paper planner?

A regular planner does not offer the important flexibility needed to reorganize and easily prioritize tasks. It is hard to customize and there may be pages that you do not need that may be distracting.

While traditionalists may argue for the charm of flipping through physical pages, there’s no denying the numerous advantages that digital planners offer.

Firstly, digital planners are easy to access anywhere, anytime, making it effortless to stay organized on the go. Secondly, digital planners allow for seamless integration with other tools, like Google calendar and task managers, streamlining your workflow and ensuring no important dates or tasks slip through the cracks.

Additionally, digital planners often offer the freedom to customize layouts, colors, and even add multimedia elements, turning them into dynamic and interactive organizational hubs.

Lastly, let’s not ignore the eco-friendly aspect – opting for a digital planner means contributing to a greener planet by reducing waste with the paper pages.

How Daily Planners for ADHD can Improve Daily Life

A well-developed plan can help a person with ADHD improve their lives. Daily planners can significantly improve life for individuals with ADHD by providing structure, organization, and a sense of control over their responsibilities and activities during the week.

With ADHD often causing challenges in maintaining focus and memory, a daily planner becomes a reliable external aid, acting as a visual guide to keep track of tasks, your calendar, appointments and deadlines.

The act of jotting down and planning daily activities helps to reduce anxiety and overwhelm, as individuals can prioritize tasks and set achievable goals.

Color-coding and categorizing entries provide clarity, making it easier to comprehend and manage various aspects of life.

Regularly using a planner fosters better time management and builds a routine, assisting in forming positive habits and reducing impulsivity.

Furthermore, digital planners offer the advantage of keeping up with our brain, enabling quick adjustments to accommodate unexpected changes throughout the calendar. Overall, a daily planner becomes an empowering system for those with ADHD, promoting productivity, boosting self-confidence, and ultimately enhancing their overall quality of life.

More than a Digital Planner: Leantime is a work management app & time management tool built for people with ADHD by people with ADHD

If you’re currently looking for a planner for adhd, we’re going to suggest something a bit out of the box compared to other planners.

Leantime is a project management system built for ADHD by experienced project managers with ADHD. Though considered a project management system, the tool offers a unique approach to digital planning and time management — allowing you to reap the benefits of traditional digital planners while also improving our natural intrinsic motivation.

Building features based on scientific approaches to increasing dopamine, eliminating task paralysis, and to boost the drive in our brain, Leantime offers a new approach to work management apps, organizing your calendar and to traditional paper planners. Here are some of the ways Leantime stands out as one of the best adhd planners.

Visualize your process – a home page with custom calendar & task view

A calendar layout to remind you of weekly task and events

Mapping out your week on a calendar can help decrease stress around uncertainty and help give you a point of commitment to the plans you have for during the week.

Stress free workflows

The other apps out there require you to think about how you want to set up your work, to map that out, but as someone with ADHD… many of those apps create a feeling of overwhelm as I just want to get working and not have to spend time thinking about how to organize my weekly productivity schedule and layout my specific tasks.

Even list out and tag subtasks as part of breaking the tasks into smaller and more manageable activities.

Goals promote dopamine

Dopamine is secreted on the way to a goal — so as we see progress, anticipate, or even envision achieving the goal… we can secrete dopamine. Dopamine is the hormone that promotes us to be more engaged and that increases motivation.

By showcasing goal progress on multiple levels, the dopamine boost increases the drive needed to finish and complete the work that we’ve decided, planned for, and created a schedule for.

High level goals

If you’re working with a team, or yourself, Leantime views strategy as the high level vision to what we are working towards accomplishing — discovering the why, the what, the how, and the purpose.

At the strategy feature level, you are able to write out specific “anchors” or focus areas to help you better manage your to do lists, goals, and prioritize life. The title here, “Customer” can be named to whatever focus area you are wanting to impact. The system, however, will create a default layout of focus areas that are most common in business.

Multiple views to accommodate all types of brains

Leantime makes to do lists personal by offering three types of views — so whether you prefer a traditional to do list, a kanban view, or even viewing tasks on a table format, there’s an option for you.

There are also multiple places to view tasks over a calendar, export to ics for your personal calendar, or even view on a home dashboard view.

Time blocking and time tracking

Unlike traditional paper planners, here you’d have the ability to time box and track time directly from the tasks. If you’re running a business, this is great for billing for your clients and also takes a more pomodoro like approach to your week.

Milestones as groups of To Dos.

Taking a gantt chart approach with milestones, you can create a visual representation of things you’d like to accomplish and the associated tasks to get there.

Easy note taking with Docs

Using AI to make the work less boring

Personalized Story Time

Mapping out the “why” of what we’re doing is really important for those of us with ADHD brains. Our brains, though, are often needing the next exciting thing — and unfortunately, the “why” of many tasks can be boring, dry, and once you know… you know.

With AI Story time, like an epic game montage, the AI will take the project information and write a personalized story in a special voice tone.

The goal of this feature is to encourage our working memory to have better recall of the purpose, why, what, and even the how of what we’re working towards.

Status Updates & a Status Report

Whether you’re working with a company, team, or working on your own individual projects… we see AI as an accountability partner, a personal project manager, and a path to making more engaging.

Traditionally, collecting status updates is something thought of for project managers, program managers, or for folks needing to update stakeholders. For someone planning the day to day with ADHD, you can use the AI to stay accountable.

In this case, you’ll set the timeframe (think weekly, bi-weekly or otherwise) that you want to compile a report and when you need to give a status update. As you update your tasks, the AI will compile a status report of all that you’ve done and you can use this report to

  1. See your progress
  2. Get a summary and assessment of what you’ve accomplished and where you were blocked
  3. Have a built in level of accountability

Because the AI will compile it in a specific format, it’s got the feeling of taking a quiz to see how the AI reports out how you’ve done. If you are working with a team, it is a great way to make sure everyone is on the same page.

Personalized AI Coach

Your personalized AI coach exists for several reasons.

  1. As humans, we often remember things we didn’t finish or do well… and we forget the things we did do and did do well.
  2. We forget the value we bring to the things we’re doing

Using a principle called variable rewards, the AI harnesses the element of surprise combined with the acknowledgement and recognition of everything you’ve been accomplishing over the entire year and time you’ve been tracking. They’ve got multiple voice tones again here as well.

Having a planner for ADHD.

Whether you are using the system as a daily planner, creating and tracking events of the week, or time blocking your tasks, a planner is an essential part of managing ADHD. An electronic planner offers a unique feature set and increased flexibility while a more traditional planner can give you a more tactile experience with the presence of physical pages.

As you find the best planner for your needs, be sure to give yourself the space and patience as you navigate the set up, get acclimated to the routine and as you navigate managing your ADHD in the workplace.

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Gloria Folaron is the CEO and founder of Leantime. A Nurse first, she describes herself as an original non-project manager. Being diagnosed with ADHD later in life, she has hands on experience in navigating the world of project and product management and staying organized with ADHD.

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