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Why the Bullet Journal is the Best Planner for ADHD Brains

05 Dec

Why the Bullet Journal is the Best Planner for ADHD Brains

Posted By: 
Kaitlyn Guay

The holidays are screaming in, and soon you’ll find yourself counting down the seconds on New Year’s Eve, exhilarated to start 2018 with a fresh mind and big goals. You buy your new planner and start off strong, determined to make this year’s resolutions stick. But did you know most resolutions are abandoned by February? This applies to everyone, but especially for our online high school students with ADHD, finding the right planner can be a monumental game-changer when it comes to staying focused and keeping that New Years momentum. Christina Starr from the hilarious and informative channel @HowtoADHD gives some insight into why the bullet journal is the best planner for ADHD brains.

Starr lays out why having the right planner is so important: “Here’s the ADHD conundrum: to stay organized and on task, we need structure because that’s not how our brains naturally work. But, then we reject that structure because THAT’S NOT HOW OUR BRAINS NATURALLY WORK!”

So why can’t you just buy a planner at Staples and be done with it? Starr says, “Planners are structured consistently, predictably, logically, sequentially, neuro-typically. And that’s not how we work.” The bullet journal system is flexible, comprehensive, structured, simple, and adaptable. It gives the freedom of a notebook while providing the structure of a planner. All you need is a notebook and a pen!

Here’s three simple reasons why the bullet journal can especially help students whose brains move faster than normal.

  1. Pen and paper help with memory encoding. You’re more likely to remember things you write by hand.

  2. It’s not online. No more distractions!

  3. It lasts. All your brilliant thoughts? All in one place.

Intrigued? Starr share with us four key aspects of bullet journaling that really helps students with ADHD.

1. The Index. When setting up your bullet journal, you’ll make an index at the front. The index gives you the freedom to create a list of your favorite ice cream flavors on the next blank page in your notebook, and then be able to find it again when you’re pondering the merits of Rocky Road over Mint Chocolate Chip.

2. The Symbol Key. Speedy brains often use shorthand systems to help get information down quickly. The only problem is when-- in your speediness-- you forget your own shorthand! The Symbol Key is a page where you write down your personal shorthand system to re-use and refer to.

3. The Layout. According to Star, having a flexible Yearly/Monthly/Daily layout provides “natural visual limits of time.” It helps humming brains better see just how much time they really have to accomplish x,y, and z.

4. Migration. Migration, according to Starr, is probably the most valuable tool for ADHD brains, because it helps you weed out what’s really important. If you find yourself handwriting the same to-do over and over because you keep pushing it off, eventually you’ll begin to question just how important it really is. This helps simplify your life as you get a visual look at what your priorities really are.

We hope you found this information helpful! If you did, consider sharing it with someone who might also benefit. For students here at CMASAS, forming a strong identity and breaking the mold to design a personalized educational path can be daunting at first, but implementing systems like these that support the process can be a huge milestone toward growing that unique genius.