Just about every new client asks me, “What’s the best calendar for someone with ADD?” My answer is always the same: “The one you use!”
Specifically what kind of calendar you use is much, much less important than most people realize. I’ve been coaching individuals with ADHD for almost a decade now, and it’s been my experience that our focus on finding “the right” calendar to work for us is often a big part of what’s getting in our way!
The behaviors associated with using a calendar effectively are far more important than what kind of calendar with which we use those behaviors.
Whether it’s electronic or paper, week-at-a-glance or daily view is much less important than creating the consistent habits of those 3 behaviors that are essential to ADHD-Friendly Calendar Management:
- Consistently putting all time commitments and appointments in the calendar;
- Consistently having the calendar with you at all times to record those commitments as they arise; and
- Reviewing the calendar on a daily (or more frequent) basis to stay in front of those commitments.
If any one of these three behaviors slip, your calendar management will fall apart. Period. Regardless of the kind of calendar you are using.
My recommendation to clients is always to use what you have—don’t go spend your valuable time and money trying to find some fantastic calendar at the beginning. Grab what you already have or pick up the most inexpensive calendar you can and focus on the behaviors for several months until they feel really solidly entrenched, and you feel the calendar really benefiting you.
Once the behaviors are solid habits, then spend a little time thinking about your preferences. Would it be nice to be able to set different alarms for appointment reminders? Would a smaller calendar be easier for you to carry with you consistently? Would you like to be able to share your calendar electronically, or would you benefit from the act of writing things into a calendar using pen and paper? Again, these are just preferences, and you can’t know what works best for you until you have really solid behaviors around managing the calendar. .
And those solid calendar behaviors can be transferred to virtually ANY kind, form or format of calendar. They will become the lifelong skills that enable you to be the master of your own time, and experience the sense of peace that comes from that mastery.