How I (re)Discovered the Best Tool I Have for Coping with ADHD
I am an idea machine.
I laugh when I get the spam emails promising yet another course in “how to be more creative.” How is that a problem? I can come up with a dozen ideas for articles, games, stories, projects, you name it, all before my morning coffee is done.
Just one problem: I can’t remember them.
Not in my head, at least. Especially when they’re mixed in with things I need to do, books I want to read, appointments I want to keep, or other administrivia of my life.
“Just capture it in your phone notes app,” is the common wisdom. Which usually goes something like this:
- Hey, I’ve got a great idea!
- Pull out the phone.
- See the notifications on the Home Screen.
- Tap one, putatively to unlock the phone, but that takes me to the app that posted the notification.
- Maybe that requires a reply or an acknowledgement; it also makes me wonder what else have I missed?
- A ridiculously easy swipe down on the screen shows all the other notifications, each of which loops back to #5.
- Any of the number of other app icons on my phone — designed to be eye-catching and fingertip-attracting — might also end up getting in the way of what I actually pulled my phone out to do, which is
- To pull up one of a bajillion note-taking apps and actually write down what the original idea was…assuming I can remember it.
Eight steps to catch an idea, on a device where companies have literally spent millions of dollars designing user-interfaces that will catch my attention.
And that’s when the voice in my head says “Why don’t you just…”
Maybe you’re saying it too. “Real first-world problem, Gray. Just stop getting distracted by the shiny icons and beepy notifications and get on with your life.”
You don’t have to say it — I’ve said it to myself, for years. Decades. I just need to buckle down, focus, be disciplined, get serious, or that…