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I’m Creating a Customized ADHD-Friendly Goal-Setting System in Notion

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I’m on a quest (once again) to create a goal-setting system that will help me continue to build my illustration business. For the past year, I’ve been using Notion – a tool I love and simultaneously find frustrating.

Being an adult with ADHD, I recognize Notion’s potential to help me organize my life, focus and be more productive. However, the task of setting up an effective system is daunting. You have to first figure out the type of productivity system or framework you want to use. Then you must understand the intricacies of Notion well enough to be able to create that system using the app. But as someone with impaired executive functioning, I’m never 100% confident in any system I might set up. Planning and organizing and follow-through aren’t the superpowers of someone with ADHD.

Notion template misadventures

Consequently, in an attempt to find ways to make it work, I’ve turned to Notion templates created by others. Some were beneficial, while others were horrible. Most of them overwhelmed me with unnecessary details, making it a challenge to implement and use them.

After spending hundreds of dollars and countless hours on these templates, I even tried a few that were made by and for people with ADHD. Once again, they were confusing and required me to focus on things that weren’t important to me. So finally, I realize I’m going to have to design and build a Notion setup myself.

Mapping my goals

The silver lining is that I’ve acquired some valuable insights, understanding and knowledge about Notion and what type of productivity system I think will work best for me. And to that end, I’ve decided to adopt a map approach. 

Metaphorically speaking, if I envision my goal-setting system as a map I can zoom out and see the big picture of where I’m heading and want to go. If I zoom in in a little more I can see the progress I’ve made along my route – how far I’ve come and how much further I need to go to reach my destination. And if I zoom all the way in, I can see the detailed turn-by-turn directions that help me get somewhere I have never been before.

I’ve come to realize that my ADHD brain needs this zoom-in, zoom-out approach and flexibility. At least my ADHD brain does.

Sharing my progress

 I plan to document my process on my blog because articulating my thoughts as though I’m teaching someone else provides clarity for me. Even if this blog post remains unread, putting it out there online helps to ensure that the system I create is not only functional, but user-friendly, especially for people with ADHD.

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Hi, I'm Kerry
Hi, I'm Kerry

...of Curiously Designed. This blog documents my journey as I figure out how to finally pursue a long-held dream of being a working illustrator and designer.

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