Memory and Organization Tools

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ADD freeSources Newsletter: August 2019

Remembering What You Want

This month we feature ADHD: 20 Tools to Enhance your Memory. Our thanks to the award-winning blogger and ADHD coach Marla Cummins for sharing these many useful tips. Minimize your frustration with these core strategies that you can learn to use on your own.

Short term (working) memory, as well as long term memory, is often weak in adults with ADHD. You may not hold information long enough to follow through on it. Because you do not hold onto information long enough it also does not enter your long term memory.
Even if you do capture that memory, you may have difficulty remembering your intention to do something in the future or have difficulty recalling information.” Memory is just one Executive Function, but it affects how effective your other efforts will be at planning and propelling actions. A few tips to keep your life in orders include:

  1. Write it down. (On a notepad, planner and/or calendar.)
  2. Use apps to manage your to-do lists.
  3. Develop a new strategy by tying it to another habit…
Get Organized

We also have  9 Ways to Get Organized with Minimal Effort by professional organizer Donna Smallin Kuper. She says, “If you want a cleaner, happier home, stop wishing you had a magic wand and become the magic wand!” You can’t go wrong if you follow these basic strategies.

  1. Start somewhere, anywhere.
  2. Break large projects into mini-projects.
  3. De-clutter in short bursts.
  4. Stop fighting with your stuff.
  5. Use apps
  6. Act as if you are organized.
  7. Let go of perfect. (Done is good enough.)
  8. Practice gratitude.
  9. Get support – Join Donna’s Unclutter Facebook page for free organizing support!

One thing I’ve found helpful is to not expect everything to work right from the beginning or fail. At a matter of fact, I assume that something will go wrong. (Either in starting the new habit or keeping it useful over time.)Then I try to identify just what did or did not happen that got in the way. Where did my bag of tricks fail me? Only by knowing where my sticking points are can I know what tactics to try the next time.

Lately, I have not been using my calendar and planning system despite a long period of success. Many areas of my life and work have been on hold for the last two months and I was getting quite frustrated with myself.

Finally, I realized that my new computer setup, using a monitor and keyboard connected to my laptop, meant that I no longer had room for my planner on the right-hand side of my desk. I couldn’t easily jot things down as they came to mind, plan the day, or keep track of my schedule.

Eureka! A little rearranging made space my space for my planner again. And it worked! I’m back on track. At least until the next time things go awry. Meanwhile, I keep trying.

Take care of yourself,

Joan Riley Jager


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“Image courtesy of Gualberto107/” – Modified on

Change your Habits book cover by Sue West from Amazon –