I was professionally evaluated last year, at age 45, to have ADD (ADHD without the hyperactivity component – so, basically, ADHD without the fun part ). To say that it has been a seismic and profound revelation is not an understatement. (I should also mention that, for the time being, I have decided to not pursue medication because of some other conflicting medical issues.)
However, it finally makes sense now why, for as long as I’ve been using task management software (which is as long as it has existed), I find myself unable to use the same system for more than about 6 months. Every six months (or less sometimes) I reach a point where I just start feeling constantly overwhelmed every day and I can’t bring myself to continue using said software.
At this point, I have used everything that is well-known and popular. I have full licenses for Omnifocus and Things and have also used Bulletjournalling, index cards, Todoist, Notion, Teuxdeux, Asana and Any.do. I am currently using TickTick.
In case you’re wondering, yes, it is exhausting and time consuming to move all of my tasks into the new system when I reach this point of frustration. But the reward is that I find myself in a very productive mindset for a couple months until I start banging my head against the limitations of said system and/or (more likely) my own brain.
The software I wish I could use the most is Omnifocus. I love how solid and stable it is and how easy it is to automate. I wish I could make Omnifocus work for me. The one feature that I feel like I need that I don’t know how to get around is the need for a daily, accomplishable list. Omnifocus’ infinite hierarchy and transparency into any and all aspects of possible activities I just find intensely overwhelming and I just do not know how to keep it all in check. Whenever I use Omnifocus, I feel like I find myself spending an inordinate amount of time managing omnifocus and not enough time actually getting things done. With Omnifocus, eventually I end up every day feeling like the mountain of what is left to do is amorphous and infinitely expanding and I am just a rat in a wheel.
Bulletjournalling was great at providing this “accomplishable daily list,” however, it also takes a lot of time to do every day (writing everything out by hand) and is very frustrating to use for larger projects with lots of moving parts. With bulletjournalling or index cards, I start to get the sense that balls are getting dropped (which, they are).
Things and TickTick are great at providing this needed daily list, however, Things’ daily list starts getting incredible long and it’s also very difficult to use to manage complex projects and has a number of head-scratching limitations that make it very frustrating to use after a while. I am currently enjoying TickTick, but I’m also finding it pretty ugly and buggy as hell. So, I currently have the dread of feeling like I’m going to have to switch horses mid-race again soon.
All this tirade to ask…are other ADD/ADHD people out there who have found a software-based task management system that brings you peace? Is there any hope? I have considered that my (for the moment necessary) resistance to medication is actually my real problem and the constant software switching is just a symptom.