22 Apr What is an ADHD Planner? 5 Tips for Students with ADHD
WHAT IS AN ADHD PLANNER?
Pick up your planner! Sticking to routines can be exhausting for a person with ADHD. And being a school student, you need strategies to get good grades. A study published (in 2019) in the Journal of Learning Disabilities showed how a daily planner improved academic performance in young adults with ADHD.
Using a planner specifically designed for ADHD can help prioritize tasks, maintain a routine, and have more productive study sessions. An ADHD planner is based on creating an all-in-one space that doesn’t burden the working memory.
The less going on, the better.
Nevertheless, the elements of an ADHD planner can be subjective. Some people prefer simple spreads, while others like decorated pages. So let’s have a look at how planners for ADHD can be different compared to regular ones.
What is an ADHD planner?
We all know what regular planners look like. They are known for dealing with organization, time management, and task completion. But an ADHD planner differs in some ways in addition to keeping these needs in mind:
➡ Visual aids
Visual aids allow students with ADHD to understand information better. Some examples of these graphic cues are:
- Color coding
- Pie charts
Using the above can help summarize important facts. For example, people with ADHD, whose primary method is visual learning, will benefit the most from a graphically inclined ADHD planner.
➡ More space for detailed schedules
An ADHD planner would focus on keeping track of all schedules. So even if a student uses it, scheduling and assigning time blocks for school and personal life helps maintain a balanced lifestyle.
Similarly, keeping ideas and thoughts in one place would benefit greatly. An all-in-one ADHD planner would allow the individual to record everything inside one notebook. So it is unnecessary to go back and forth or switch between planners – a good way to tackle poor attention and memory.
➡ Assigning priority to every task
Prioritizing tasks becomes essential whether you have a few or just a few. An ideal ADHD planner would most likely include the following:
- Daily priority list
- Weekly goal tracker
- High-priority tasks
➡ Being flexible
An ADHD planner must provide flexibility. It means maintaining space for schedule or event changes. This feature is good for ADHDers who struggle with impulsivity or plan instability.
What are Some Advantages of an ADHD Planner?
Looking at an ADHD planner sums up its advantages. However, there’s more to it than simple time management and task organization. Below are some other benefits students can get from keeping such a planner.
A good ADHD planner for students will help you achieve the following:
- More balanced outlook toward mind, body, and spirit
- Lower anxiety and stress levels due to better time tracking
- Assigning time slots to tasks and personal goals
- Keep track of details such as appointments, jobs, and deadlines
- Increase in self-awareness
An ADHD planner can help you become more aware of behavioral patterns. It can also provide a better picture of the areas you struggle with. These results and processes can be useful to share with a mental health professional and self-assess your overall functioning.
How to Choose an ADHD Planner
The best ADHD planner will suit your individual needs.
Now that we know what an ADHD planner is, what type should you get? The classic split is choosing between paper and pencil or a planning app.
Paper Planner vs. Digital ADHD Planning Apps
Paper and pencil may be a clear winner. Studies have shown that writing by hand is a better experience. You’re more likely to remember important details and facts if everything is handwritten.
Imperfect Inspiration is one of those companies that provide you with many formats of planners for people with ADHD or those who get distracted easily. You can choose from digital downloads, printables, or even reusable products. They are simple and minimalistic spreads; different options are available for tracking monthly habits, weekly planning, daily planning, and even sheets for students.
You can also go for bounded journals with many options. An all-encompassing product is this Smart Self-Care planner. It is an undated planner (so no pressure!) with stickers to make journaling more fun. While it has weekly and monthly planning, the product’s space for writing down gratitude and tracking productivity sets it apart.
On the other hand, digital apps are easily accessible. The biggest takeaway is that you don’t have to carry the planner all the time physically. You can even upgrade or pay to unlock premium features like extra journal pages or templates. Some of the best planning apps are:
- Simplemind Pro
- Brain Focus
While these apps work great, all of them are designed for different purposes. That said, having many apps can be a distraction. And even unnecessary features within a single application can take away concentration and put pressure on filling in everything.
So Sunsama is an all-rounder in this regard. It focuses on to-do lists and gives a unified planner view. It is designed specifically for people with ADHD; you can have a bird’s eye view of all your tasks and calendar, along with auto-scheduling.
Weekly, monthly, and yearly spreads are all useful. Both the paper and digital methods can be handy. So assess your personal needs for picking an ADHD planner.
5 ADHD Planner Tips to Make the Most of Your Days
Simply having a planner is not enough. It requires commitment and personalization.
➡ Make a note of important contacts.
- Note down the contact details of your parents, friends, and your mental health professional (if you have one).
➡ Carry your planner everywhere.
- Immediately record any ideas or new tasks.
- Check-in on your planner as a reminder for daily and weekly tasks.
- Reference it whenever your schedule slips away.
➡ Figure out how to fill in your planner.
- Develop a routine or keep a hard time filling your planner.
- You can keep separate times to review the day or the week.
➡ Keep it all in one place.
- Avoid spreading your plans in multiple planners or loose pages.
- Use a binding ribbon or bulldog clips to add extra sheets to your planner.
➡ Don’t be afraid to personalize.
- Use fictional cues to play out
- Add color-coding stickers to identify sections and create categories
Takeaway: Pick an ADHD Planner and Personalize It
ADHD planners for students can help manage life and school at home. It is a powerful tool for organization, time management, and prioritizing tasks. Your stress and anxiety levels can reduce as you regain control of your life.
Remember to pick between a paper planner and a digital app. Compare the pros and cons, then select the one that suits your needs better. Please don’t rush into filling in immediately; take a moment to personalize the planner and establish a routine to go through it.
With time, you will find it easier to be consistent. Contact a mental health professional if you find your symptoms hard to manage while using a planner.
Check Our Our Other Blogs:
Latest posts by Craig Selinger (see all)
- Transition Strategies for Students with ADHD - June 7, 2023
- Navigating the SAT in 2023-2024: A Comprehensive Guide to Success - June 5, 2023
- Are ADHD and ADD the Same Thing? - June 3, 2023