Top 3 things every brain needs?

Top 3 things every brain needs?

  1. Notebook

  2. Fidget toy

  3. Electronic Calendar

  1. Timer
  2. Noise canceling headphones
  3. Sticky notes
  1. List of Daily Actionable Tasks that can be completed within the day and thus satisfyingly checked off throughout the day. (usual disclaimer to make a schedule your assistant - not your tyrant, and thus push incomplete tasks to the next day as needed)

List of tasks? I got a buncha those, umm … you need any? I have so many extra lists of tasks, most of them daily and actionable, that I never get around to doing, I figure maybe someone else can use one or more of my lists. I sure as heck don’t use them, though I do seem to write lots of them …


I have a question. How do you make yourself actually use your calendar? I’m always putting things in my calendar but once I’ve put something in I never look at it again. Regular tasks become ignorable and I never look ahead to see what’s coming becoming I’m not reliable enough to put everything in there!


Personally, I match my calendar with something else. So if I have a doctors appointment, I write down the date and when the day comes then I set a remainder a bit before so I can get ready and remember to leave. Or I make something else into a calendar type thing. if I always read my bible in the morning, then I’ll put my list of task next to it so I’ll see it when I’m done!


Good question. I guess I like being organised. I made it so it was exciting to check my calendar. Also I don’t use it for regular tasks. I found that overwhelming and depressing.

Keep it simple.
Only use it for what you need.
Use colours! #Exciting.
Get into the habit of checking it at least once a day.
Replacate the days events into a list app or notebook. #simple

I have a separate list on my phone for regular tasks. Then I have a time block on my calendar for doing regular tasks.


A fair point. A helpful response I could offer to yourself and some of the posts below / future brains in this conversation is the following line I’ve heard from a few sources in my quest so far:

"Use your schedule / routine / task list as a helpful assistant, and never as a tyrannical master"

What this means, simply, is two main things I’ll explain as best as possible:

  • Don’t force yourself to complete everything on your [daily] list! Jessica has some great bujo [bullet journal] videos which go into its benefits for providing ways to ‘push’ uncompleted tasks to the next day/week/etc. such that they’re still written down somewhere. This is the assistant idea: a friendly guide who can help inform what you need to do, remember the tasks you cannot / will not do today, and remember any ideas that pop into our (1,000,000 MPH) brains!

  • Don’t punish yourself if tasks aren’t completed! This is the master idea that we must be careful to avoid: do not punish yourself for not completing the entire list, nor writing every idea down. The goal here is to have a less than perfect assistant you can rely on and consult with most of the time, versus a perfectionist tyrant who insists everything be written down perfectly and all tasks executed in sequence within the timeframe. We’re not robots, after all.

Thus, the main way to approach your schedule, task list, etc. is to pretend that it’s your personal assistant whose job it is to passively suggest all the things you want them to remember and tasks you want them to remind you to do; and to avoid making them approach you as a micromanager straight out of ‘retail job horror stories’ who aggressively insists what things you do/think and when you do/think them.

I hope this helped provide some insights!


The latest (as of today) video by J McCabe at the How2ADHD channel has some recommendations for technology tricks, but the question remains …

I find this cart-before-horse problem exists in all my attempts at planning and scheduling, too. It is probably (certainly!) an ADHD thing … we really like multi-colored lists and various pretty shapes and styles of typeface, and oooh boy oooh BOY do we love checking things off of lists, but … we fail to look at the list.

This of course has something to do with that central concept of WHAT CAPTURES OUR INTEREST. On one hand, there exists somewhere on our desk a long list of things which we want to do, and all of those tasks are already written down. What is that list like? Not very interesting. Doesn’t reach out and grab us and say, “Hey, look at me!” On the other hand, there is a SQUIRREL OUT THE WINDOW wahoo! So, we look at the squirrel, and forget to look at the list. Later, there is a thought in our head, which is an arising notion of a task which we might want to do. This new task has arisen in exactly the way that the squirrel arose. Consequently, we LOOK AT IT, and in a more metaphorical sense we CONSIDER it, roll it over, select a brightly colored pen in which to write it, another color to highlight it, and we put it on a list. Thus the list grows, and all the while we ignore the existence of the list. We conceive only of the tasks individually, we interact with the tasks only in terms of pretty colors and multiple typefaces, we think of them as things which arise of their own accord and capture by their own agency our otherwise inadvertent attention, then we move on from them.

Lists are from the past and sit still as stone. New tasks, like squirrels, leap forward at us to hint at an exciting future. Obviously. :slight_smile:


That was damn poetic!


If it helps - my list is kept very purposely minimalist with black ink, and evolves to be as simple or complex as is needed at the time. It contains as much detail as I find helpful and as my mind is able to consistently at least somewhat make consistent use of. (Heavily blurred out sample attached)!

Basically, as implied before, I offer the following liberation: Take from bujo, GTD, and other models only what you find to be helpful and/or are willing to try out in a special system built by your mind for your mind by your own hand! Especially as ADHD minds are super powered, highly customized vehicles compared with the mass produced economy sedans driven by our neurotypical brother and sister humans.


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Yeah, what we really need is squirrels with post-its on them.


Found it! Well kinda, it’s stickynotes in the shape of a squirrel :sweat_smile:


I need these in my life…

  1. Headphones
  2. A Rocketbook note pad (allows you to upload your notes to a computer!)
  3. Backpack for essentials

Off-topic, but … on the Rocketbook?

Rocketbook looks like a neat enough idea but … can’t I just make my own? It seems that it is a smart and pre-fabricated combination of 1. a bundle of several fairly durable dry-erase sheets of paper-like plastic; which are 2. pre-printed with some icons at the bottom that will cause the smartphone app to recognize which icon you’ve selected, thus causing any scan of that page to go to the proper destination; and 3. assumes you’ll use an erase-able pen (such as the Pilot Frixion). Why wouldn’t I just 1. get me some durable mylar sheets and 2. photocopy any icons that I want onto them and then 3. buy a Frixion at Office Depot? It’s great that they’re re-thinking the notebook, but what exactly is any better about their notebook compared to just a pile of decent dry-erase sheets and a dry-erase pen? I already do the scan-and-upload thing for ALL of my manuscript writing – if I write a new poem, or a short story, in manuscript hand-written form (f.e. on a legal pad), then I just quickly photograph / scan it with my phone (any of a number of apps, including but not limited to Google Docs scanner, or Evernote, or Microsoft OneNote and Office Lens, etc.) and that creates a JPG or a PDF which automatically goes to wherever I select. I guess buying the Rocketbook package would automate it THEIR way instead of ME having to master and micro-manage the automation, and right now I don’t have icon-based auto-destinations (though of course I could; heck, I could use the Rocketbook app for that! couldn’t I?) so it’s looking like there might not be a good reason for the Rocketbook? Or did I miss a concept? Is there effective handwriting-recognition going on here, or something about the QR codes re-surfacing later after the scanning so that they’re better identified by date or author, or anything like that? Thanks, sorry off-topic

What’s a rocketbook?

Well, Luke mentioned it. Look here …

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Ooohhhhh that’s cool!!! I saw the word “rocketbook” the first time but the explanation didn’t register :sweat_smile:

Same here. Looks neat. I like the idea of combining book and online functions. Also, the wipe-and-reuse thing.

Makes me think, though, much like @cliftonprince did: The basic idea is something one can just as well implement oneself, with some in-phone fiddling. I guess the price is for not having to fiddle. (Also for not having had the idea before they did.) Which is totally fair.

I have been experimenting with different kinds of calendar and list-making layouts and, based on that, might feel a little restricted by the amount of templates in the long run. I didn’t find anything about adding custom templates on the site. That’s the one thing that would have me opt for the DIY route. (Okay, and forty bucks is forty bucks.) But it’s a nifty concept - at least for the kind of stuff that you need somewhere that’s not in plain sight on your desk on paper.