ADHD Friendly Apps for Every Day Life

adhd friendly apps

 

We all have our favorite apps for everyday life. These are our trusted resources online that help us each day. I created this list in 2016 which is still valuable today because some actions and apps are timeless.  These apps are available on your devices and your computer which make them so much more useful.

 

To manage your “to do” list and multiple projects at home and work

We all have more to do than time to do it. Having an app to capture projects, tasks, and a long list of “possibilities”  makes it easier to get stuff done. You can break tasks and projects into manageable steps with these apps. Check out Asana, Click Up, or Trello.

  • Asana helps you work with your team or family. You can coordinate and collaborate with your team using boards or lists of actions. It is a workflow that gives you context to your tasks within the projects.
  • Trello is a visual task board with “index cards” for you to view. It’s simple to set up and use. Lists are flexible and can be named with your own context. You can name the lists by the days of the week, the project, or however you think of your tasks or projects.
  • Click Up offers the option to view you in multiple ways. There are many ADHD-friendly features built into Click Up once you are more agile with this app.
  • Evernote is an app standing the test of time. This context-based app lets you create “virtual notebooks” to hold the tasks and projects. It’s the ease of use and versatility make it a long-standing favorite!
  • Notes app is easy to use.

No matter the app, it won’t do the task for you. Getting started might require “warm-up initiation” strategy. However, being organized with your tasks will save you time.

 

To manage your dates and appointments

Having an app at hand on your device or smartphone makes it easy to keep up with appointments and determine dates.

  • Google calendar is easy to use and available to sync with family. You can use several calendars and some can be hidden for only you to view. This calendar is a part of the Google Suite so it works well with Gmail.
  • Calendly helps you schedule time to work and collaborate. You send an invite and your invitee chooses what works best. This app is a great time and email saver too in making it easy to schedule.

Setting reminders and timers help you stay true to your plan. Multiple alarms help you especially transition between time blocks.

 

All those other apps that keep life simple and easy

  • LastPass is the most recommended password keeper.  Just remember one password and all others are accessible.
  • Airline apps help you travel easily. There are new features like baggage tracking, seat choices, and more evolving every time we travel.
  • Dropbox holds your files and pdf documents for easy access no matter your location.
  • iCloud backs up your data on all your devices. Be sure to turn on automated backup each evening when you charge your phone.
  • MileageIQ helps you track your mileage.

We all have favorites! I hope you will share your favorites here too so we can learn what you love and use.

 

 

 

 

How to Use Pre-Decision Making to Streamline Your Day

 

 

Every day is filled with decision after decision. Your day starts with decisions like what to wear. At work, you decide what is your most important task for work to do that day. The day ends with decisions like what’s for dinner. What if you did not have to make so many decisions each day? What if some decisions were already made by you ahead of time?

 

One of the hardest things for people with ADHD is making decisions. There are thousands of decisions to make every day which can lead to feeling overwhelmed. What if, as Bobby Powers says, you only had to make one decision and prevent making all those others? What if the one decision also prevented you from stressing more? That is what is powerful about pre-decision making.

 

What is pre-decision making?

A pre-decision is making a decision made before the decision is needed in a certain circumstance, based on ethics, principles, and goals. That decision can be brought about by a series of unfortunate events (not wearing matching shoes to work because you are deciding between two pairs) to goals (eating healthier so not stopping for fast food).

 

What can pre-decision making apply to?

Each of us has different goals we are working on and these goals require in-the-moment decisions to keep. Here are some examples you might think about for your pre-decisions.

  • Deciding to get more steps in daily, you park farther away in the parking lot.
  • Getting more meals ready for dinner, you choose to have breakfast for dinner each Friday night.
  • Making it easier to get out the door on time, you choose your attire for the night, set up lunch prep, or make coffee at night before bed.
  • Getting a good night’s rest, you charge your cell phone and devices in the kitchen in the common charging spot.

Some people might call these rules, routines, or principles to live by. In all these cases decisions were made ahead of time to meet the desired outcome.

 

How do you make a good pre-decision?

Start by thinking about which decisions you make daily over and over. Which decisions are overwhelming you? Where could you simplify life or meet a goal with a pre-decision? Now you have a motivation and a “why” behind your decision. Keep it simple with this if/then statement. Because I want to (accomplish this goal), if (specific situation happens) then I am going to (pre-determined decision.)

The pre-decision starts as soon as possible. Post this where you can see it. Share your pre-decision with others so they know why and what your decision will be. While you may not always follow your pre-decision, be sure to keep it as much as possible and more than not. If you find you are breaking it repeatedly, start with a different pre-decision that reinforces this same goal.

 

What pre-decisions will do is save you time, energy, money, and most especially stress. If you find yourself making the same small or large decisions over and over, it is time for pre-decisionmaking.

 

 

How to Build A New Habit (when consistency is so hard)

how to build a new habit

 

Habits and routines are the building blocks of life. Our lifestyle is all the habits we do each day. What if you thought of your new habit as just one new daily lifestyle change that you do over and over? Here are 7 strategies to build your new habit and successfully keep these habits going, especially if you are challenged with ADHD.

 

Know your Why

Before you even thought of the new habit, you already knew your “why” to make it a habit. It came from a place of frustration and at the same time empowerment. Having that “why” in front of you every day will help you see the change that you want. Your why can be any powerful statement. Make it visual so that every day you see your motivation.

 

Hold your Focus

Changing only one habit at a time creates success. Too many changes, just like too many decisions, keeps you from being aware of your new habit. Make that one new habit the one and only, most interesting, and more valuable change you are making. Keep to one change to your lifestyle to make that change stick.

 

Be specific

Make your habit as specific as possible to avoid decision making. That habit is a defined action. Instead of a habit of getting a better night’s sleep, make your habit getting in bed at 11 pm or placing your technology devices in their chargers at 10 pm. Decide on these actions before putting your habit into place. By processing the steps and the anchor to your new habit, you eliminate decisions at the time.

 

Use Micro-steps

According to Thrive Global, we undermine new habits by not starting small enough. Micro-steps, small, incremental, science-backed actions can have both immediate and long-lasting benefits to the way we live our lives. a micro-step is the smallest action you would take to accomplish a goal. If you want to eat healthier and lose weight, add in one vegetable at each meal. It could be carrot sticks that are pre-cut from your grocery store. That small action is going to make a big difference over time.

 

Make it easy

Whenever there is an obstacle or an extra step, your new habit is blocked. Make your new habit easy by thinking through the obstacles. Then add in what makes it easy to accomplish. If losing weight is your goal, a new habit of walking more would help you reach your goal. If you keep your sneakers in your car, you are likely to take a walk right after work. If you have to go home to change, you might not take a walk.

 

Keep track

Since habits are a series of single actions, tracking keeps you moving forward. Rather than break the chain of success, you are motivated to keep going forward. Gather data as you track. There are many apps for this. Just like our smart watches and 10k steps, we want to know our daily success.

 

Keep it realistic

Keep your perfectionism in check and keep your new habit in sight. Use the first days of your new habit to learn more about your and your habit. What worked and what didn’t? What does success look like this week and next?

 

Changing and sticking with a habit can be done with ADHD friendly strategies that work with how you think and how you get things done. Remember that new habits are a work in progress. If something does not go as you planned, start again with a new actionable behavior.

Virtual Organizing Series: Get Organized Today!

Get Organized TODAY!

 

Overwhelmed and paralyzed by clutter? Too many decisions about what to keep and not sure where to keep it? Join Certified Professional Organizer Ellen Delap in a 3 session virtual series Get Organized Today. Ellen will share tips on decluttering, creating a home for all your stuff, and how to keep your spaces maintained.

The Virtual Series meets on Tuesdays from 12 -1 pm, June 14, 21, and 28.

  • The fee to attend all 3 is $100.
  • Sessions are one hour and meetings are virtual on zoom.
  • Sessions include instructional time and Q&A.
  • Limited to 10 members.

Session 1 Declutter your space

Struggling to get started? Not sure what to keep? Postponing your organizing? Get answers to your questions on decluttering your stuff & get started on your project today.

Session 2 Create a home base

To prevent clutter, everything needs a home base. Learn basic concepts of organizing and move forward with your organizing project.

Session 3 Maintain an organized space

You have tried before and now you want to be sure your space stays organized. Learn routines that keep your space well organized.

 

Register by June 1st

Questions and Registration

281-360-3928,

edelap@professional-organizer.com

 

This series is a fundraiser for ADDA-SR
www.adda-sr.org

Honored by NAPO Founders’ Award

 

At our annual National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) Conference, I was honored with the Founders’ Award.

The Founders’ Award is presented to a NAPO member, or a group of NAPO members acting in concert, for outstanding innovation, inspiration, and creativity both within, and outside of, the field of professional organizing and productivity consulting. The vote of NAPO professional members determines the winner of this prestigious award.

The NAPO Founders’ Award is evidence that your peers admire and respect your professionalism and achievements, and are proud to say that you are a member of our association. What an honor!

What was the first thing that crossed your mind when your name was announced as the winner of The Founders’ Award?

 I have been thinking about our founders this week with the passing of Ann Gambrell. NAPO is a remarkable legacy from our founders. They have been truly instrumental in changing the lives of millions of people with NAPO’s impact.

The announcement of my name was a surprise. I am honored and grateful to be among the 5 women nominated this year, who do remarkable things in our industry. There are so many innovative, inspiring, and creative people in our association, and I love the spirit of our industry.

 

What does receiving this award mean to you?

 Receiving this award is a pinnacle of success. I am passionate about our industry because we make a difference in others’ lives. This award is for all of us who make a difference, both in our client work and as leaders, and recognizes all the successes we achieve.

 

What prompted you to start your business?

In 2000, I read an article about NAPO in the Houston Chronicle. I knew in my heart that this is where I belonged. Over the years, I have been a part of my clients’ successes as they struggled with organization and productivity. My work is as much about empowering people as it is about simplifying.

What was your biggest fear of going into business for yourself? And what are you most proud of?

While not necessarily out of fear, but more a sense of overwhelm, I have reached out as needed during a project or building my business, to others in my chapter and our association to work together. I truly consider myself a team player.

I am most proud of building a solid, thriving business over 20 years that gives me multiple opportunities to do what I love, and spend time with those I love.

 

What has been your most gratifying NAPO experience?

 It has been truly gratifying to have been in every leadership position in my NAPO work. From being Conference Chair, Membership Chair, and Education Advisory Chair, to President, we are building a culture of gratitude, inclusion, ability, and collaboration in all the work we do at NAPO. NAPO is all about connecting and supporting each other in all ways, whether volunteering or running our businesses.

 

 

How to Get Unstuck (and stop procrastinating)

how to get unstuck

 

No matter the project, we all get stuck at some time. That might be procrastination to start a project or getting stuck midway. Here are ADHD-friendly ways to help you move forward with any task or project.

 

Make it fun

As Mary Poppins says, in every job there must be done there is an element of fun. Be creative and use a playlist matching your energy to your music to energize and interest you. Make your task a game with “beat the timer.” Track your progress with a chart or checklist. The more fun something is, the more likely you are going to make it happen.

 

Establish Micro-Steps

According to Thrive Global, being productive is “less about giant leaps and more about small steps” called micro-steps. Determine the smallest, or minimum, next step you can take to keep momentum going. It is about moving the needle just a little bit.

 

Set milestones

Milestones give you a deadline and a detail for your work. You can establish these milestones with a chart, a date in your planner, or a detail or of the task itself. Be specific and actionable about your milestone so you know you have finished. Each milestone you accomplish, whether it is a quantity of time or a detail of the project gives you confidence you are moving forward and assures you of completion.

 

Let’s get physical

Getting a drink of water or taking a 5 minute walk outside can get you moving forward. These physical activities and self care give you a short break to refresh. You will think more clearly and be ready to resume your task.

 

Talk it out

Determining a process or making a decision can be best accomplished by talking it out with a friend or colleague. Talking through a task or project with someone can give you a new perspective and new strategy to go about that activity. Look for a processing partner who has a skill in that area or has successfully accomplished this task.

 

Get focused

Distractions keep us from getting started and moving forward. Eliminate technology distractions by silencing notifications. Do a brain dump and write a out your internal thoughts and distractions to focus on the task at hand. Use a time block to keep focused on just this task or project to keep on track.

 

No matter if it is about starting or completing a task or project, have handy your list of what works for you to get unstuck.

 

How to Organize Your Kitchen (and get dinner on the table)

how to organize your kitchen

 

Kitchens are the heart of our home. We gather, connect and entertain here. Big or small kitchen, getting and staying organized is important for all of us. You might have a small pantry, narrow drawers, lack storage or have a lot of dishes. There is a lot to store including small appliances, dinnerware, cookware, “tupperware” and serving pieces. There are also those tricky items like cuttings board, and baking sheets that need to be stored. Keeping your kitchen items accessible and organized makes it easy to make meals and spend time together. These strategies are smart ways to make this space more user friendly.

 

Declutter your counter tops

Exactly what is stacking up on your counter tops? Likely it is technology and papers. Set up a command center on a transit way wall to be sure your counters stay clear. If backpacks are in your kitchen, add a landing strip to your entry area. And what about technology and your common charging spot? Gather these items in a location that makes it easy to keep devices charging and counter tops clear. A clear counter area makes your kitchen feel inviting and ready to cook.

 

Organize your kitchen cabinets

Follow this step by step process for organizing your kitchen cabinets (and your kitchen drawers too.)

  • Empty cabinets onto the counters in your kitchen. As you empty, sort your items into categories. Group items by use such as drinking, eating, or serving. Categorizing and grouping items used together make your space more efficient.
  • Decide what to declutter and what to donate. That may depend on how many items match, how many items you need of one category or how well used the item is. Give yourself permission to let go of more, rather than less.  Donate those items right away.
  • Determine the best location to store items by their use. Pots and pans should be by the stove, while plastic storage should be by the sink and refrigerator. If you want your kids to access these, be sure items are stored low.
  • Add shelf inserts and any other storage solutions to make it easy to access items and put them away after use.

Edit inside your kitchen drawers

  • Once done decluttering,  your kitchen drawers may need an additional round of editing.  Think about which tools are multi-purpose and more functional.  Group together tools that are used for baking, barbeque, garnishing, and grating. This last pass helps you keep only what you use and need.
  • There are many different drawer dividers that keep these spaces organized. Standard silverware trays are great for flatware. For drawers with a variety of tool sizes and dimensions, adjustable drawer dividers keep order intact.

 

Assess your small appliances

Small appliances have gained great popularity with Keurigs and Kitchen Aids. Placing these under cabinets where you can create a “zone” helps, such as the coffee area or baking corner.  Most cooks love showing off these appliances despite being counter top hogs.

 

The best maintenance tip for a kitchen is having a great dishwasher routine and coordinated chore chart. When you pair the timing for dish washing overnight, kitchens stay organized and tidy all day long.

 

 

 

How to Organize Your Bedroom (for a great night’s rest)

how to organize your bedroom

 

Your bedroom is more than a place to sleep. It is where you begin the day and end the day intentionally. It is where you take time for your self care and your preparation for work and family. It is your personal space to keep what is precious to you. This spot is restorative in an uncertain time. However, your bedroom might have turned into a storage space. It may be stuffed with papers, clothes, technology, returns, Amazon boxes and more.  Check out these tips to return to rest and relaxation in your bedroom.

 

Categorize

Typical organizing wisdom says to declutter first. In a small space with many different items, start by categorizing. This strategy will give you an idea of what you have and how much of each category. You may be surprised by what you have! Your categories could include jewelry, shoes, clean clothes, laundry to do, technology, papers, as well as returns and recycling. Making categories first gives you the opportunity to determine what to keep in your bedroom and what can be stored elsewhere.

 

Declutter

Even with the best of storage, it is important to edit and declutter. Make decisions based on what you love and what you use. If you have difficulty, use the tournament method to decide between two items at a time. How many you keep in the end of any item is determined by you, rather than a set quantity.

 

Organize

In a space with multiple uses like your bedroom, you can organize with zones. These are specific areas that you do different activities. For getting ready for the day, designate a vanity in your room or in the bathroom. Cluster items that you use like make up, hair accessories and jewelry in this area.  For night time, group items on your night stand or headboard for use getting ready for sleep. That might be glasses, books, and lotions. Move around your bedroom organizing zone by zone.

 

Maximize

Use of organizing products that add storage make better use of the space. Think about the best way for you to use existing storage and add more as needed. That includes storage on the back of doors and in dressers.

 

Decorate

Your space should be a reflection of what you love. Include what brings you joy in your décor, color palette, textiles and sounds. A beautiful space reminds you to make your bed every day and keep your space organized.

 

Keep in mind what you do every day in your bedroom to maintain it. Have adequate trash and laundry storage for these weekly routines. Be sure to give yourself time daily for resetting like putting away clothes and straightening your space. Give yourself the gift of intentional organizing and your bedroom will always be a spot for slumber and serenity.

How to Organize Your Garage (and park your car inside)

how to organize your garage

 

With spring is here now is the time to tackle the garage. Organizing the garage can be a giant project, but you will be giddy when your garage is clean and organized and you can easily park your car and find gardening tools, bikes, and other items you use in warmer weather.  Use these 6 steps to organize your garage this spring.

 

1. Make a Game Plan: Planning ahead makes every tasks easier. Write down what you want to accomplish in the garage and how you plan to accomplish it. What are my goals? How will things be stored? Will I use boxes or bins? Where will things be stored? Will I need to invest in a storage system?  When will I do this work? How will items be donated? How will heavy trash be picked up? Be practical and keep the end in mind in planning your project.

2. Enlist Help: Working as a team makes everything easier. It can be you and your family, you and a team of teens, or you and your paid helpers. Your team helps you decide what to toss out, helps you move large and heavy items around, and offer perspectives on how to best store and organize things. A team also makes the work more fun!

3. Move Everything Out: Plan to move everything out of the garage. You can use your lawn blower to blow out all the cobwebs and dust that have accumulated. This gives you a fresh start to your project.

4. Sort & Toss: As you are moving items out, determine what you will be decluttering and letting go.  Deciding what to keep and what to toss is usually the most difficult part. Decisions can be based on how often an item is used or if it is broken or unusable. Items can be donated that are still working to local philanthropies. Consider placing items that are to be given away on the curb depending on rules in your neighborhood or listing free items on local social media sites. Be sure your plan and timeline align for trash pick up.

5: Categorize: Once you’re left with your “keep” pile items, it’s time to group like items together. Some typical garage storage categories include:

  • Landscaping and yard tools
  • Power tools and repair tools
  • Automotive items
  • Holiday decorations
  • Sports gear
  • Children’s outdoor toys

Items that should not be kept in the garage are technology or photos. These deteriorate with non-climate controlled conditions.

6. Store:  Plastic bins are best for stacking and durability. Use clear bins so you can see what is in each. Add labels to the bins to be specific.

Choose a specially designed tool box for your tools. With drawers, you can categorize your tools. Label each drawer to know what is stored inside.

Instead of stacking bins and other items on the floor in the corner, take advantage of the vertical space your garage has to offer. Sturdy shelves with ample durability, large hooks, and ceiling racks are great for storing and hanging everything up off the floor, creating a clean, organized look and opening up floor space.

Place items back in the garage with an eye toward frequency of use. More frequently used items should be stored in a visible area and within easy reach. Less frequently used and seasonal items should be stored out of the way. Kids bikes and riding toys should be to the front of the garage, near the garage door.

 

Look back on your project and the work you have accomplished each day as you pull your car into your newly organized space.

10 Day Spring Organizing Challenge

Start any day you like this spring with this 10 day organizing challenge! Here are 10 days of challenges to organize your home, office and life!