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3 tools I use to get stuff out of my head, so I don’t forget

The key to not forgetting is getting stuff out of your head.

One thing about having ADHD is that you always have something in your head. The problem is that it’s not always the same thing; there’s always something new popping up. 

This is why people with ADHD have such poor working memory. Ideas or tasks quickly get pushed out by other thoughts. So they forget.

The key to managing forgetfulness is to take the ideas you want to keep and get them out of your head.

To do this, I use three apps: a notes app for ideas or things I want to keep track of, a reminders app for tasks I need to accomplish, and a clock app for tracking timed tasks. But you don’t need to use your phone; you could easily use a planner or even an empty notebook (such as a Bullet Journal).

Notes app

The notes app is super handy for keeping track of poetry ideas, assignments from meetings, goals, grocery lists, what I’m going to make for supper, and things I want to bring up when I meet with someone. So, when I’m in the shower and I get a brilliant idea, I just reach for my phone on the counter and quickly jot something in my notes app. Otherwise, I’d forget it by the time I returned to the bedroom.

Reminders app

The reminders app helps me organize my tasks into days. Each day, I review the list of tasks for that day, checking them off as I complete them, or transferring recurring tasks to the next day when I complete them. I can also organize them by the order I’ll do them that day, which makes it less likely for me to forget to do something. So, if I’m out walking my dog and I remember that I have to buy shirts on Saturday for our two middle children for their rock camp, I can add a task to my Saturday list, freeing up my mind for the next message coming down the pike.

Clock app

I use the clock app for all my timed tasks, such as kneading dough for 10 minutes, switching the laundry in 45 minutes, or baking granola for 20 minutes. Using a clock app means I don’t have to remember to check the time or wonder how long the bread has been in the oven. Because if I was relying on my mind, it’d be off attending to the next task that popped up, and before I’d know it, the time would’ve elapsed and something will have burned or broke.

Remember: The key to not forgetting is getting stuff out of your head.

That’s how I get stuff out of my head. How do you get stuff out of your head? Let me know in the comments.

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By Kim Siever

I live in Lethbridge with my spouse and 5 of our 6 children. I’m a writer, focusing on political news, social issues, and the occasional poem. My politics are radically left. I recently finished writing a book debunking several capitalism myths. My newest book writing project is on the labour history of Lethbridge.

I’m also dichotomally Mormon. And I’m a functional vegetarian: I have a blog post about that somewhere around here. My pronouns are he/him, and I’m queer.

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