Design your life: ADHD planner

If you’ve been a follower of my other blog, Uncouth Herbalista, you may have read a bit about the daily life with my ADHD teenager.

Today, though, we’re delving into #lifehacks for the ADHD minded. This will be useful if you’ve had any of the following:

  • Every single assignment book or day planner ever owned by the ADHDer has been lost within the first week of obtaining it. Every. Single. One.
  • You’ve realized that day planners are crazy expensive. Particularly the ones that are super custom. I refuse to spend over $10 on something that will probably be buried under a pile of papers in a locker or desk.
  • ADD/ADHD specific planners are pretty much non-existent or too complex. Too complex = not gonna use it = lose it within first week. (See first bullet point)

So since the ADHD-centric day planners are either non-existent, crazy expensive or too complex, what do you do? Enter: make your own! Or have a designer make one. Or order this one here. I make it so easy.

We’ve struggled for many, many years to find the best way for our son to get assignments written down, finished and turned in. [My goodness…Turn. It. In… for the love.] So this year I designed a board that chunked categories into manageable sections and thought we’d give it a try. A few customized tweaks like adding in sports goals and things he’s happy or upset about and we may have hit on a way that works. It’s large and visual so he can see his progress, what is still due and his goals on a daily basis.

This board is 38″ x 25″, laminated cardstock, divided into chunked categories. For him we have: Start here (brain dump station), Due this week, Due this month, Ultimate goals, Chores, Sports, Friend Stuff, Things I’m happy about, Things I’m upset about, Goals I’ve met and HELP! Want it? Download it for free right now below!

Each box is differentiated by color to attract the eye (ensure it’s looked at daily) and help organize the brain into sections. He uses either color coordinating post-its or basic yellow, he’s good with either, but your needs may differ. You choose what works best.

Utilizing post-its is a super easy way to write things down while being very specific yet very concise and they can be moved from Start Here to Due this week or anywhere else. But when he returns to school after this pandemic heyday of virtual hot mess that we’re calling school, we needed a way to get assignments from school to the board. So, I designed this quick and easy day planner to hold mini post-its so he can jot down his assignments in a few words and physically transfer that to his board when he gets home. All printed here for a few bucks.

First item needed: A clean design. No flashy pictures, no distracting text that could may spin one’s brain off onto a tangent of who knows what. Just what it is, in black and white. “Day Planner”. It is what it is, right?

Second item needed: a clean, simple area to do exactly what needs to be done: WRITE DOWN ASSIGNMENTS. The inside cover consists of a place to adhere mini post-it pads to so they’re always within reach. No digging through bookbags or losing them whoknowswhere. The large area to place all the posts its allows for the randomness that is ADD/ADHD. Scribble it down, slap it in the box. Done. No checking boxes, no number systems, just write and stick. Two steps.

The few small lines at the bottom are there for anything that may pop up: questions, appointments, or just a note that says “I need help in…” wherever.

Third item needed: pages that may be used on whatever day they need to be used. Our son had a bad habit of just flipping to any part of his planner and writing things down. So he would have assignments written on dates that they weren’t even due! This All Month/All Day calendar at the top of each page can easily be circled for any day of any month. Then, if a day is missed, an entire page of the planner is not wasted by having a specific date pre-printed on it.

Need this planner too? Download the files below and then click here to get it printed! There are two files: one is the cover and one is the inside pages. This planner is 45 pages, 2 up, front and back, 11″ x 8.5″ with room for a 1/2″ coil binding.

Comment below and let me know how this system works out for you!