Find Your Own ND System This Spooky Season
There are so many systems offered to those under the neurodiversity umbrella to help us stay on track of things: from bullet journals to calendar apps. Usually we are recommended tools from neurotypicals who just don’t quite get how we work. So, in this post, Marina, a wonderfully kind autistic individual, shows their own personal neurodiverse ways of staying organised and on track. She also offers suggestions and a download for others to try too. They highlight the importance, of finding your own systems, things that work for you individually, ultimately noting that there isn’t a right way to do all of this and that that is okay.
Over the years, I’ve realized that planners don’t help me because the information is inside a book. If I don’t open it, it practically doesn’t exist. If I misplace it or forget to use it one day, it’s difficult to get back in the habit of using it.
So… here are the systems that work for me!
I have two whiteboards in my flat.
One is in the hallway, so my flatmate and I can put our schedules on it. It helps us remind each other about events and know when the other person will be out or busy. I use a green marker and she uses a red marker.
The second whiteboard is the most important. It’s in my room and it keeps track of my week.
It’s split into 5 sections:
1 – Week
- I have the days of the week with numbers listed and I write the main event of the day
- Updates Sunday night
2 – Today
- Day and number
- The day’s schedule in detail
- Daily to-do
- Dinner ideas
- Updates every night
3 – Weekly/Long-Term To-Do
- Write the deadline!
4 – Morning Routine
- Sometimes I get stuck in the mornings, and it helps to know what I’m meant to do next
5 – Notes/Reminders
- Anything that will make me happy
- General reminders
I got this cheap calendar and have it tacked to my bookshelf. All important events are added here, and I cross off the day once it’s over.
Daily Routine and Habit Trackers
Guide to this chart:
It’s split into Morning, Study, Other, and Night. Each table is 7 days’ worth.
The idea is that I may not do every single activity every day, but throughout the week I want to do them most days and I want to keep track of it. I struggle with maintaining a strict routine but there are things that I want to make sure I do.
Morning and Night are routine trackers. I can make sure I took my medications, brushed my teeth, did all the important tasks. Sometimes I forget, or I do things in the wrong order. It’s helped me to have it written out and be able to cross it off.
Study and Other are habit trackers. I don’t need to do every activity every day, but I like to make sure I’ve done them all at least twice throughout the week.
The Other (aka free time) section also serves to give me ideas for times I am bored and need something to do. I might realize I haven’t played video games in a while, or maybe I spent the whole week playing video games and should maybe pick up a book.
I usually keep this in a poly pocket so I can use a whiteboard marker to cross it off and reuse the same sheet.
I’ve attached an editable word document of mine at the end of the post.
Whenever I notice something isn’t working, I adapt it. It takes time to figure out what you need and what works for your brain, but it’s great to have A System (or several systems). One of my close friends loves to spend a day planning her bullet journal spreads and decorating it. That overwhelms me and I can’t imagine relying on it. My whiteboards stress her out because I have my deadlines right in front of me. Some people love their computer’s calendar, there are loads of apps out there, a regular planner is fantastic for others, etc.
It takes a lot of experimentation to find your own system, so keep at it and do whatever works for you. There isn’t a right way to do it.