Honey do list method that is working for us.

As a pro organizer, I have tried and purchased just about every kind of planner, listmaker, PDA etc. I have learned even for us "normals" it really has to fit your way of doing and thinking and you HAVE to use it consistently. It takes a lot of trial and error to find one that you will use and love.

I use the GTD method, I have modified it a bit for my life, since it really is designed for professionals, not SAHMS.  I use it because I have to run my house and life like a business. WE owned a business until a few months ago, so to juggle all that I had to have a system like GTD.

For my ADHD hubby, it is simply too complex, has too many steps, tools ,choices and requires daily implementation and a weekly review, which is impossible for him. It is not easy for even "normals" to use and implement. Just look online and see the huge amount of topics on it.

I bought him a moleskin because he likes cool stuff, and for a while he wrote stuff in it and used it as a planner. Eventually he used it to replace his wallet. He hates wallets, so I was okay with that. I have tried using the whiteboard on the fridge, notes on the front door,bathroom mirror, bought him expensive planners, pda's, 3 x 5 cards, All to no avail.

Then I found IT. A simple system created by an ADHD coach. Here is the link( I have approval from ADMIN) will say, it is simple, costs very little, we had the stuff, so no cost to us. It works with the whole Now/Not now mentality that is mentioned in one of the posts.

I was delirious with joy the first couple of days, when I saw that it worked. HE used it with no problem. Completed his errands, and home tasks without being reminded. JOY JOY JOY!

At our 15 minute meeting at night we discuss what needs doing, he writes them down and voila, he DOES them. He takes each errand task(NEXT ACTION) and places them in his moleskin. AT our end of the day meeting he hands me the completed ones.

All these tasks are noted in our joint journal/planner so if he were to lose one, we still know what it was.

Yes, it requires joint involvement, and consistency. This is where we understand as a couple our strengths and weakness come into play. I am the strong one in regards to consistency and planners, so I have no problem helping him meet this goal. He is the strong one when it comes to planning EVENTs, vacations etc. so it works for us.

It takes very little time and effort compared to everything else we have tried. Ultimately accepting his disability means accepting that some effort will be required on my part to help him maintain any system in the beginning. The easier it is, the sooner he can do it on his own.

I tweaked it a tiny bit from the example on the site because a traditional to do list is hard to complete for most people the way they are often written. I have been training him to think of things as NEXT actions and how to break things down. So his to do's are often very easy and quick to do since he has already thought out the steps and doesn't go into overwhelm or avoidance.

Also on this system are recurring tasks, like  take trashbag to bin on porch. 

WE discussed habits and how he has been able to maintain good habits, like tossing his stuff and mail into the entry basket. So he can learn good habits and be consistent. I am feeling very hopeful and will post updates on this.

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:hgEuVB4VO7QJ:www.da...

Please, what is a moleskin?

Maybe this sounds dumb. The only moleskin I know of is a sort of soft sticky fabric that my mother used to stick on her corns. You say this is helpful to your husband, so I'm trying to imagine how that could organize anything.

Sorry to sound dumb, I just don't know what you're talking about.

Could it help my husband not lose his glasses? That is a huge issue for us right now. If my husband's boss finds out he is driving without his glasses, he'll get fired! Help!

Moleskin

I didn't know what a moleskin was either, until I read a lot of GTD stuff. It is simply a small planner notebook manufactured by Moleskine Srl. Apparently legendary amongst artists and writers.

There are many kinds, generally they have a pocket in the back and is held closed by an elastic band. They make an assortment of covers for these, some to hold ipads/iphones and some that can hold other things, which may work for your husband. I will tell you they are not cheap. The covers tend to be pretty pricey. We paid about 15 dollars for his notebook ,which is not much bigger than his palm.

I would buy another in a heartbeat because they are durable, attractive, feel nice, and small, so portable and he can slip it in a jacket pocket etc. and he just loves his. He doesn't have a cover for his, (yet)he does slip his glasses through the elastic when he is out and about and doesn't want to lose them.

He keeps cards, notes,cash and heaven knows what else in his.

The most amazing thing to me is he has NEVER lost or misplaced it in the almost three years he's had it.

I don't know if this would help your husband, or if a  clip on belt, glasses holder might be a better option for his particular needs. If he wanted a combo wallet, glasses holder, A moleskin cover for a notebook designed to hold more items might be an option.

Tweaks on the To do list

If you've gone to the link and read the how to create the system, it may help to follow what I'm going to share.

We used a pocket folder in a bright color instead of a manila folder.

We use two colors of post-it's more would be too overwhelming.

One color is for Errands, the other color is Home

We wrote Now on the right side, Not now on the left

We keep the post it's pads and a sharpie in the pockets.

The post it's are lined up two columns per side. One column for Errands(green post-it's) One column for home, yellow post-its.

ON the pockets themselves on the right are Daily Recurring tasks  ONE post-it. They are not removed.

Things like Take out trash, make bed etc.

We keep weekly Recurring tasks that are on post-its in the left side pockets until needed and then put on the right side pocket on the day it is due to be done.

If I need things from the store I stick a note with the items on it on the Errand side. I am VERY specific on that list-brand ,size, how many and alternates if not available.

We try to batch errands on a post-it, if they are connected, otherwise one per post-it.

It may seem like a waste of post-its, but to me it is worth it because it is working. They are cheap at the dollar store so I bought a bunch of them there some time ago.

I'll try to clarify how we break up the tasks.

The first post-it may say, Call hardware store, ask if they have xyz,blue with yellow stripes.

The next post it, may say Go to xyz hardware store, buy xxx. blue with yellow stripes. Do not pay more than xx dollars. Use coupon.

The next post it may say. Put xxx from hardware store on my craft desk.

holy moly he follows the instructions. As you can see, the steps get it done from A to final destination.

Another example

It may say Take car to STEVE. Have him look at the radiator.

The next may say Call me with estimate.

At that point,  if I approve the repair,I wait while he gets his moleskin and a pen out. He takes a post-it and writes down, put receipt for car repair in the glove compartment.

On the HOME side

Collect water jugs from kitchen.

Refill with water.

Put them on white shelves in garage.

Meeting with (me) at 7. pm for daily review.

Get cleaning cloths and foam cleaner from cleaning closet. Clean car seat.

Most of the time, I can put up to three connected tasks on a post it.

We chose to keep this folder on the dining table, open. It made me antsy at first, since I don't like anything on surfaces and it detracts slightly from a neat appearance(to me anyway) but that is hardly a price to pay for the results.

He passes the table a lot so he sees it. It might be the colors or the fact that it is so THERE in contrast to before when the table was always clear. Most of his tasks are done right when he gets home, so we established that his daily chores are an extension of his WORKDAY and job. He is not "home" technically until his job is over. Once he realized his daily tasks rarely took more than fifteen minutes, He was okay with that.

Topaz- re tweaks

Nice system, Topaz.  Does your husband follow it ?!?  He must be pretty easy going most of the time.  My husband would never do that.  I am going to look it up, though; maybe try it with my daughter (not ADD, just needs a little support learning how to organize; don't we all?).  Thanks.

revelation -re tweaks

It sounds way more complex than it is. It really is simple, and yes he absolutely follows it. I couldn't believe it at first either. :) I am hopeful because when new habits and tools  are simple, we work together, and consistency in follow up, it sticks.

I guess it's like I said in another post I believe an ADHDer is an individual first and ADHD second. Some symptoms are worse in one than another and some symptoms are nonexistent. Personality, past experiences, upbringing all have a part in how they turn out ultimately I suppose. 

Mine is very, very laid back, and even if he does get angry,or upset, he gets over it fast, and poof it never happened. I am saddened by the posts where I read about the cruel things some spouses have to endure, even if they are unintentional or part of the ADHD response.

He is a rare one. He has integrity, and certain values are carved in stone. He was a youth pastor for a while, and an amazing one. His parents divorce destroyed him and he vowed he would never ,ever cheat on a woman. He kept that vow.

In my marriage it is more like being married to a big innocent 4 year old. I know he loves me without question, he tries to show me love with extravagant gifts and surprises. I've learned if something he does makes me happy and cheerful and content, he is very happy and forgive the analogy, but he is like a big rambunctious puppy. Delighted when I am pleased and forlorn when I am not.

The problem comes with his sense of time. I'll never understand it. It truly is now or not now. Weeks may go by before he realizes we have not been intimate. Months go by before he realizes he hasn't said or done anything relationship wise. Then contrite he goes all out.

He tries so hard sometimes and it's a 2 steps forward 10 steps back life.  Sorry for rambling, my mind is a bit shaky. There are police at my son's school, rumors of a school shooting threat. I'll be back soon.

I had been looking for this -

I had been looking for this - or a version very similar that I had seen about 5 years ago. I read it in a book...article...but lost it. This I think would work for my DH. At least I am hopeful.

I use Flylady for the house, but he never seems to be on board with that system. Maybe becuase I flutter instead of Fly really well :)

As for the dining room table....We have a problem putting papers...etc on our main counter. So I put a vase of flowers - simple gerbers and it helps it look attractive. Maybe you won't notice the folder as much if you are wowed at the flowers. :) I keep cheap ones at the farmers market for trader joes.

Thanks for posting.

Marisa

looking for:

I never could get hubby to get on board with Flylady. I personally do not like her system, but it works well for a whole lot of people. I won't reveal my identity but I helped create some of the forms in The Easy Organizer on GETORGANIZEDNOW.com. You won't find me credited for them. Done anonymously. I have my own system. I'm going to get some seasonal flowers and decor and put them on the table. Thanks for the suggestion. I usually don't put ANYTHING on tables.

Here is how I got him onboard with Flylady

we made it a competition :)  Every few months my mom and I do a FlyLady competition between our houses.  We assigned the jobs point values and I made a spreadsheet for all the categories (ie Sink, Hot Spots, etc).  Hubby works like crazy to make sure that we win lol  He generally doesn't get anything for the win either, because loser takes winner to lunch and he usually isn't able to come.

 

I don't do FlyLady all the time, and I can't stand her emails all coming to my inbox, but every few months I feel following it for a month or two is a good idea.

Going to mention this list to hubby!

I am intrigued.  We have both been trying to use the GTD method for.... well getting things done,  and I know what you mean about really having to keep with it.  Since our biggest ADD-related issue seems to be that things fall through the cracks of hubby's life and *plans*, I like the idea for him of fully capturing what comes in though in practice it isn't happening that well.  The hardest part to implement seems to be the weekly review!  So necessary and yet such a desire to punt it from the weekend plans.

Anyway I am curious if you husband is at all a techie guy.  I ask because my husband is digital all the way.  We've tried Palm, Windows Mobile, and now he is about 5 days into doing his organizing with his new Android phone.  We put the same GTD app on both his phone and my tablet/reader but aren't really using them yet.

Just wondering if you got a techie to use this post it system.  I think this could work really well for the house-type things (he seems to organize the out of the house type things pretty well now) because he'd only have to think about them when he is home, we could both add to them, and he would get the joy of watching them disappear when completed.

Hi - I have another question.

Hi - I have another question. You put the weekly reoccurring items in the left hand pocket. Do you take them out the day before. It seems that they would not be seen.

 

Also you never remove the daily ones on the right hand side? You don't just keep rewrittting them. I think my husband would need the satisfaction of having cleaned off the right side.

 

How many daily tasks does he has. Weekly?

 

Marisa

 

Re: another question

If you go to the link, check out the way it's done and tweak per your needs. These are just things that seem to work for us.

Yes, I do take them out the day before. I know they are there and since we have to pull the blank post-its out, each day we see them as well. We have meeting every night after dinner and if we know that things will be crazy busy or something we will take them out sooner.

For example On Sundays I follow a Sunday checklist( I can share this also if anyone is interested. It really is helpful for an ADHD household believe me) and one of the things is to take out those tasks. if Sunday is a holiday or he is working and we have to miss a meeting I go ahead and take them out Saturday.

The recurring daily ones on the right hand side are not taken off. Since they are on the pocket part, it doesn't seem to bother my hubby as long as the ones above on the white part of the folder are gone.

He only has 4 daily tasks that take about a total of 15 minutes. It is only one post it. I'm thinking about putting those tasks on a 3 x5 and clipping it to the front of the pocket so when he is done he can flip it. So the whole right side has a "completed" feeling.

Weekly he only has 4 also.

I can post a pic of this folder later as my profile pic if anyone would like me to do so.

LInk?

The link in your original post doesn't work on my computer - I just get: page not found.

Is there another way to access this?

re: link.

Apparently she has changed her website this week, and the article is in her newsletter archives. Let me look around and see if I can find a way to access that particular article.

Thanks you guys

Thanks for that, I really did want to look at it some.

I figured out the site moved

I figured out the site moved and did some googling to find what you just posted. I was thinking maybe you bought her book. With Flylady I already have the decluttering and room rescues under control. I need ...wellll...this folder idea. Topaz you seem like a born organized. I wish I was...being able to create the forms. I will check out that website you mentioned. 

I found a folder in our cupboard and we already have the small colored post its. 

For general information my husband does not do well with monthly calendars. My husband came home from office depot with a large (like 18" wide and 12" high) weekly pad. Across the top it has mon, tue, wed, thurs, fri, sat-sun. In the left corner it has week of empty space. Then belwo on the left side it has spaces to write 4 peoples name. Which works since there are 4 of us. There are large blocks to write in what you need to do under each day of the week. I write on really basic things like "Watch Miriam" - our daughter - on Tues and Thurs. He will FORGET and make another appt! I like that I can write the kids dr appointments under their name instead of jamming everything onto one square. My husband theoretically usually some of the pages he pinned up by the computer for his school assignments. (He is a full time student.) 

Oh and Topaz I would love a pic.

site moved

OK I'll get the pic up as soon as I can. Been a rough day.  I wasn't born organized  I sort of had to or drown. My mom had emphysema and it fell to me to help rear my brothers and do house stuff and cook from the time I was twelve. I had six children and was  a single mom twice. I joined GON when it first started and sort of helped it grow. I posted A LOT to get help,and by helping others I just absorbed a lot.  Organizing is a LEARNED skill do not let anyone tell you different.

The forms have to be purchased and as helpful as they are, it is a lot of work to fill them out and use them regularly. Honestly there are a lot of good forms for free on the web. Just google home planners to get lots of basic ideas you can do for free, before you purchase anything. The site however is wonderful, lots of helpful people and ideas.

I use a whiteboard on the fridge as a calendar in conjunction with the folder.  Note I said "I" you would think as often as he opens the fridge, but he doesn't "see" it. So I note dates and appointments on post-its in the folder works for him.

 

Pic

I'll be posting a pic here sometime today. sorry it's just been a rough couple of days. thanks

re list

My husband is a techie to a degree. He prefers Blackberry. He is still using this system to my utter shock and has kept up with it. It works great for home, and he also enjoys tossing each post-it when complete. We check it off the master list as well which is very motivating. In spite of our other issues, (In house separation ) he still keeps up with the list, we meet every day to go over tasks.

He noticed that he didn't have very many tasks recently because he had been completing the backlog. That is encouraging for him and motivates him to continue.

It is hard for my husband to "capture" everything so our 15 minutes(usually immediately after dinner) helps. I ask him to mentally walk through his day and try to remember anything he might not have noted in his moleskin. That seems to help and far less falls through the cracks.

Since his moleskin is with him all the time, he finds it easier to jot a quick note on a post-it than to skim through and find the page where a task or thought might go.  He is a pen fanatic and buys new cool pens all the time. He never could find a system or calendar app that worked for him on his phone, he much preferred to play games or play with fun apps.

As far as the weekly review. We found it best to do those as part of our 15 minute meeting on Fridays, only extending the meeting longer to do so. He didn't like to spend his days off doing anything so mundane. HTH