I'm going to share five ADHD hacks with you in the form of resources that I have discovered, for the most part since I started my podcast, that have changed my productivity professionally and personally.
Well, I say five. This blog is going to give you a sneak peek into three ADHD hacks, and then you’ll be so intrigued you want to listen to the full podcast for the other two. I promise!
And I'm going to try not to get into all kinds of details because I know you will tune out.
Instead, I'm going to try to just cut to the chase and tell you why these resources or hacks make a difference to my brain and why I think they'll make a big difference to your ADHD brain.
So let me start by giving you a quick rundown of the ADHD resources:
Stickies for Mac.
The bear app.
Chrome app called tab resize.
If you’re in a hurry, this blog will give you a low down on the top three. Then, if you find yourself with a little more time, tune into my podcast on episode 58 for the full ADHD app review.
My Favourite ADHD Hacks
1. Stickies for Mac.
Okay, so let's talk about number one, stickies for the Mac. There is a similar app for Windows, and I think it's called sticky notes.
I suspect that 90% of post-it note addicts have ADHD. I try hard to keep my physical desk space clean because cluttered work environments equal a cluttered brain.
But no matter how hard I tried, I would constantly end up with a desk full of post-it notes by the end of the day.
And some of these post-it notes. I mean, they would stay there for weeks. And so I thought, why don't I get an app that puts my post-it notes on my desktop screen? Brilliant, huh?
So I started doing all this research, looking into all these post-it note-type applications. And I have two criteria for all applications:
Number one, it has to be completely intuitive and easy.
And number two is I need there to be a fast in and out, or I just won't use it. For example, planners, I cannot use a physical planner because it takes too long to find the month and then find the week and then find the day.
So my planner, as you all know, is a one-page planner, eight and a half by eleven, folded in half. And it's on cardstock because it's easy to get in and out.
How Stickies App works
If you go to that little search icon at the top right-hand side of your computer, it looks like a little magnifying glass. I didn't know this, but you can search for anything on your computer.
So if you type stickies into that little search icon, the app pops right up. And it is super intuitive and easy to get in and out of. (Or on windows computers, use the search bar in the bottom left and look for the built-in sticky notes app!).
On the stickies app, you can:
save group multiple photos
So they're yellow, just like post-it notes. And you can float a note on top of everything if it's essential. It's awesome.
Easy to find
Now, I'm going to tell you that we are creatures of habit. And that means that if we have post-it notes, physical post-it notes and pens or pencils on our desks, we'll continue to revert to physical post-it notes and get them off our desks.
And every once in a while, when someone is talking, and I can't get to the sticky notes app quickly enough, or I forget about it. I will grab a post-it note if I need to write something down fast.
But once I'm done, I will always transfer that information to that sticky note on my desktop. This is the thing, though, I have made it a habit to open up stickies when I sit at my computer.
But even if I didn't, it helps to calm my brain down not to have all these yellow post-it note reminders all over my desk. Every couple of weeks, I'll go in, clean them out, and discover how much I got done.
2. Multiple desktops.
You know what your desktop is, right? It's on your computer. It's the first thing that you see. It's the screen you save stuff to if you're anything like me, right? So it gets pretty crowded and messy.
And often, I'm working on an application or creating a document in Google Docs, or I'm on the web. And suddenly, I can't find my file; I can't find my paper; where did that webpage go?
Whatever it is, I can't find it. Because I usually have so much crap open, that's all on top of each other. And I'm scared to close these windows because then I will forget that I need to buy that thing on Amazon or read that article; you got me, right?
How to access multiple desktops
If you're on a MacBook or a Mac desktop to write, press the f3 key on your keyboard. And you will discover that the Mac has multiple desktops.
This multiple desktop is also so helpful because, for example, you can create a desktop that's a personal desktop. And then, you can create a desktop for your primary business.
And then you can create a third desktop that, let's say, you've got an online side business, and maybe a fourth desktop for, you know, things that relate to your kids.
3. The bear app.
This is the best app if you are sick and tired of losing everything.
I have used the bear app every day since my first podcast mention. And I have converted so many people to bear because I can't stop raving about it.
Even my very linear-brained husband he's a banker, so he's super linear-brained, right? He got so sick of me talking about it and telling him you had to try it that he finally did. And in December, he couldn't stop talking about it either. So he's moved everything over to bear as well.
Okay, yeah, no, that's not true. I do still lose things.
You can have a black theme, a white piece, or a solarized theme, which is cream and colour; I use the white theme; I always like things as light and bright as possible.
And the way my brain works simple, beautiful, good design; it just calms my brain down when things are cluttered; when there's poor design, it makes me focus on the clutter and the poor design. So I'm not even paying attention to what I should be paying attention to.
One of the main reasons I love bears is I can tag everything. Apple notes use folders, and often I have trouble finding things because one message could be in several folders, so I can't remember where I put it.
Now I just tag my notes. And it's so much easier to find anything. So let's say I create a note. And I don't know; it's about podcast ideas. And so I add these podcast ideas to a note.
And by the way, I can do this on my phone; I can do it on my Apple watch; I can do it on my MacBook and iPad; they all speak. I can do it anywhere.
Works for nonlinear brain
For example, let's say that I'm thinking of a podcast episode on RSD or emotional dysregulation, and all of these things kind of an overlap, right?
Certainly, RSD and emotional dysregulation do. So if I were an Apple Notes, I would have to figure out which file Am I going to put it in? Do I create a file on podcast ideas and topics? Do I create a file on RSD? or emotional dysregulation? I mean, what I want is I want three separate files so that I can find them when I need them. Right?
A neurotypical brain person will probably listen to this and think, What the hell is she talking
about? But if you have a nonlinear brain, I think you'll know exactly what I'm talking about.
It's almost like that kind of feeling my way through life. If I have to figure out what file something is in, I almost have to get into my body first. And then that leads me to how I felt when I organize the file, which then takes me to the correct file name. It sounds crazy.
But that's how my brain works. And that's the beauty of Bear. There are no files, I type out my note and I hashtag it.
Now on Bear, anything I want to remember, my son tells me about something
he'd love to have. I put it in bear under his name and hashtag gifts. And six months later, when his birthday comes, I have a list of things that he would actually really like, I'm not just you know, running through the store just buying anything because I need a birthday gift there.
But you could use it to member anything:
read lists of books,
a restaurant that I heard about that special coconut water that I saw on Shark Tank that I wanted to try,
basic words that I use all the time that I just cannot remember,
a photo of their business card
Intrigued by these ADHD hacks? There’s two more to discover in my podcast Episode 58, and believe me when I say I have left the best until last!