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ADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life

3.99  ·  Rating Details ·  1,097 Ratings  ·  115 Reviews
A professional organizer and a renowned ADD clinician join forces to present this guide that addresses the unique needs of adults with ADD. It offers organizing advice that ranges from self-help to utilizing the help of nonprofessionals to using professional assistance.
Paperback, 266 pages
Published August 30th 2002 by Brunner-Routledge
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Feb 22, 2008 Leslie added it
Shelves: nonfiction
This remains a slow read, though it isn't the book's fault. The shock of recognition that comes every few pages elicits an emotional response from me, and then I need to put the book down for a few days and read something else.

Update: I seem to have lost the book. And honestly? I think that it's the book's fault. Given the subject matter, there should be a chapter that deals with what to do in this eventuality.

Update the Second: It may be permanently shelved, as just too deflating. Lots of vari
Feb 13, 2011 Marley rated it liked it
This book has some good ideas and helpful suggestions. The authors clearly understand their subject matter. That's why I didn't rate it any lower. However, I am very glad this was not the first book I read on the topic or I think I would be in a state of despair now. The two authors are a counselor and professional organizer. They are not only of the opinion that such services are the best way for someone with ADD to succeed (and they're probably right there), but that such services are the only ...more
Kerry-Anne Gilowey
Oct 02, 2010 Kerry-Anne Gilowey rated it it was amazing
Shelves: productivity
At last, a book that actually demonstrates an understanding of the ADD brain, and gets why normal organising methods just don't work for us. I felt like it was written for me. Uh, probably because it was.

Even the typography and layout is ADD-friendly. It's one of the few books I haven't struggled to stick with - it has large typefaces, clear headings, short sections, and lots of graphical elements. I wish all books looked like this.

I had one lightbulb moment after another while I was reading it.
Oct 21, 2012 Rachel rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people with ADHD
Oddly, I feel the LEAST EFFECTIVE PAGES in this book are in the Foreward, the Preface, the Acknowledgements, and Chapters 1, 2, and 3!!!

Oh, woe to anyone who picks up this book and starts reading from the very beginning!

Thank goodness I didn't do that, or I would have given up and thought the book was just a bunch of platitudes and generalized advice.

Luckily, when I received my copy of this in the mail, I was in the middle of reading another book. So I started this book without intending to star
Jun 16, 2013 gina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, audiobook
This book covers a lot of ground I already knew, but it's very comforting to hear other peoples struggles (way worse than our households!) with keeping on top of things with ADD. There is some good advice in there, and as with any self help book there is some crazy stuff that I thought "who would do that?" but you know, maybe someone else would think that idea was the best!

I...................... do..... have........... to ........... say that ..... the .... narrator............. is un... belie
Apr 18, 2012 Storydrinker rated it really liked it
I totally started somewhere in the middle of the book when I picked it up off the floor and one of the headings caught my eye. Then I went in bits and started to clean as reading the tips triggered a sorting mood. The ones I couldn't work on but look good, I dog-eared the summary pages for later. I also dog-eared the ones that I started, so I have something to remind me that I started to implement whatever and might want to check how that's going.

It is a lot to take in. I definitely recommend st
David Glad
Dec 24, 2012 David Glad rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wont-read-again
Got a hold of this audiobook some time back and figured might as well give a listen.

The way everything is presented just seems as if someone were to give you this, they are probably insulting you or your intelligence. The people featured in the book (first name only, of course) sound fictional and probably are exaggerated composites of people the author knows. The way they are described makes them sound like children who never learned even the most basic discipline, the terminology author uses (
Sep 15, 2011 Emily rated it liked it
Full disclosure: I don't have ADD, but NLD (nonverbal learning disorder). Different name, but I tend to share a lot of ADD traits: Poor executive function, easily distracted, difficulty prioritizing, etc. With me, if it's not written down, it's like it doesn't exist--I'm that person with post-its stuck everywhere. I thought this book was a good overview and I felt like the authors "got me" better than a lot of other organizational experts do. That said, if you've already spent some time seeking ...more
Sep 01, 2010 Pharrisbrown rated it it was amazing
I love this book. LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT!

I recommend this book to almost all of my clients with ADD and even to some who don't but could really use a good book in helping reorganize many aspects of their lives.

How do I love thee?
-Organized in an easy to read format. It acknowledges and accounts for the short attention span and is set up to help keep your attention.
-Summary at the end of each chapter.
-Suggestions in each chapter about improving the selected issue separating the options by th
Apr 16, 2012 Tope rated it it was amazing
Great explanations from real life examples of how ADD/ADHD makes organization and decision-making difficult, and lots of practical tips for managing and working with ADD/ADHD traits to form new habits. I particularly like how the book is laid out to be friendly to the attention challenged reader - concepts and tips are presented in short, telegraphed, and easily digestible sections, and the key points of each chapter are repeated in different ways so they aren't lost. Clearly written and a very ...more
Mar 20, 2011 MissJessie rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: organizationally challenged individuals
Recommended to MissJessie by: Good Reads
I am not ADD but am organizationally frustrated and often can't seem to get it all together in the the life-organization area.

This book has some very helpful ideas to help the organizationally challenged. Much of it is material you have heard before, but the suggestions regarding breaking tasks down into manageable steps were very helpful to me. Also the recommendations regarding the visual cues to tasks (which I had been using in a similar way already) were very helpful.

The book had more space
Jan 03, 2008 Emily rated it it was amazing
Shelves: add
This book is full of fantastic ways to organize your life, particularly if you have ADD. People with ADD often have to use coaches to help get them on track. While I'll almost certainly need a coach in the future, this book helped me organize my life in meaningful ways:
*Banish bureaus. I use a large clothing rack so I can easily see what clothes I have AND they stay ironed.
*Give-away-bag. Use a plastic trash bag to organize clothes you want to give away. Leave them there for 3 months. If you hav
Jun 24, 2017 Carolynn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: organizing, add
All of my life I've tried to "get organized." About 15 years ago I found out I had ADD and began to read about dealing with it. This is one of the few books that introduce solutions that ACTUALLY WORK FOR ME. If you or someone you love has ADD, this book might give the help needed to make daily life easier. Give it a try!
May 22, 2013 Beth rated it it was amazing
Shelves: add-adhd
I had this book in my bag when I was in an ADD support group, and the topic was procrastination. Everyone kept saying, "But how do I do this?! What about this?!" And I pulled out the book and said, "This book totally addresses this and has lots of great ideas." Of course there was the usual response of "But I don't read books!" and someone else suggested the Audiobook. Well, if there's anything I gathered from the other reviews of this book -- DO NOT GET THE AUDIOBOOK.

The print book has -- big
Feb 27, 2014 Heather rated it liked it
A friend who describes himself as ADD recently asked me to help him with a day of housecleaning. I didn't understand how ADD impacted the task, and because I didn't want to ruin the relationship I asked to borrow this book to help me out. After all, I didn't want to accidentally say the wrong thing as I've done in the past with others...! Over the past five years I've also been a fairly avid reader of books on organization, purging, minimalism, hoarding, and the psychology of stuff—I was eager t ...more
Feb 01, 2009 Annette rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone with adhd
Recommended to Annette by: Denni, Stephanie H.
I absolutely LOVE this book!!! I feel like this book was written especially for me. Here are three reasons why I love this book: 1)the large print, 2) short chapters, 3) cute graphics. The best part is, the strategies in this book really work! I have implemented a lot of the ideas in this book and I feel less stressed, less overwhelmed, and more in control of my life!
This is another one of those books that I checked out from the library and then after I read a few chapters I was frustrated that
Nov 25, 2008 Ariane rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who has even WONDERED if they have ADD
I had scoured over a dozen ADD books at the library, took 2 home and this was the best. Easy to read, great techniques and tips. Simple explanations about what kinds of thinking will work well for ADD. Don't know if I have ADD, but enough similarities that made me instantly bond with the reasoning in the book. For anyone who feels like they can never get anything finished, has a multitude of ongoing projects, can't get ahold of daily living tasks, watches too much TV, reads to escape, and food a ...more
Beth A.
Mar 27, 2011 Beth A. rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, health, adhd
This book is very basic and easy to read. Kolberg and Nadeau show a clear understanding of typical ADD behaviors and the problems they lead to in daily life. They present a variety of realistic, concrete suggestions for getting more organized. I preferred the ideas I could do myself; chances that I'm going to hire a professional organizer are zilch.

This book is only for you if you are highly distractible and extremely unorganized. But if you are, it's a must.
Erin Lyndal
Dec 24, 2012 Erin Lyndal rated it liked it
Shelves: own-in-hard-copy
I felt like this book was over-hyped a bit, but that doesn't mean it doesn't have good ideas in it. A lot of this hit home for me, such as the tendency of people with ADD to over-commit, not open mail promptly, stay cluttered, etc. When I remember to implement some of these tips, they can be quite helpful.
Sep 06, 2008 Teju rated it really liked it
I literally have to play the game they suggest to get to work on time. It really works, people are shocked to see me there before the bell rings.

I love this book because I feel like I make sense now and am not quite as weird.
Sep 17, 2016 Mattéa rated it it was amazing
This book offers insightful and ingenious organizational advice useful not only for individuals living with ADD but to everyone. A valuable resource.
May 04, 2017 Audrey rated it really liked it
This is a very practical book for working WITH your ADHD instead of against it. If you have despaired of ever getting yourself organized as an adult with ADHD, this book is for you. Short, actionable chapters that are full of realistic ideas for people who struggle with organizing paper, time, and life in general.
Jun 06, 2017 Evelyn rated it liked it
A lot of this guide is familiar territory to anyone who has considered organization tactics, but I still found reading it a very useful way to regroup. The text and examples are clear. I read it over several weeks so that I could absorb the authors' approach better.
Cathy Allen
For people with ADD, trying harder to do what others do easily is just not a workable strategy. If it was, I would have never run up debt or ruined my credit rating. I would have just paid my bills on time like most people do. But I didn't - I couldn't. Month after month for 20 years I promised myself I would do better next time as I reviewed and paid bills a day or two late, cringed at the huge interest rates, and then packed it all away again for another month. I. Just. Could. Not. Do. Bills. ...more
Jul 28, 2012 Andi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this on Kindle and I think it would be better for adults with ADD to have a physical copy of the book to flip back and forth more easily.

That said, it was a very helpful book. It is well laid out and easy to use. The repetition was helpful, acting as reminders to previous chapters. The regular examples,'Is this your story?' bullet points and Review lists made it very user friendly for someone with ADD.

I live in the UK and this book relates more to USA than the UK, which was a little irri
Beth Ten have
Dec 05, 2015 Beth Ten have rated it really liked it
This is the most helpful book on organization for people with ADD / ADHD that I have read to date, particularly the section on managing paperwork. The system of categorising incoming mail that they recommend helped me a great deal when I was in a position to do it. As long as your husband / wife / partner is supportive and allows you to implement the system, whether they think you "should" be able to manage without it or not, I think many, if not most, people with ADHD will find this book invalu ...more
Sep 12, 2014 Kathy rated it really liked it
(I don't even have a category for this book, oh my).

So, I've never been diagnosed with ADD. I did suspect my darling partner might be diagnosable, but in any case I'm always a sucker for books on organization. Because...look at my desk (well, look at one half of my desk; the other half I carefully cleared off while reading this book). And..not to worry, but yeah, I at least work and live in an atmosphere that is probably increasing any ADD tendencies I might have. Interruptions, multitasking, wh
Sonya Feher
Jun 04, 2009 Sonya Feher rated it it was amazing
I finally found a book that understands why I want to deviate from a schedule the minute I've created it. Instead of some complicated system that makes me feel even less organized, ADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life offers practical advice that's straightforward to implement -- like giving yourself a bedtime. For someone who has struggled with mornings her entire life, this is way beyond practical. Here's my advice though, don't read the book from cover to cover. I was totally overwhelmed b ...more
A.C. Bauch
Even though I've read many adult ADD/ADHD books over the past few years, I really enjoyed this book and feel it could be of great benefit not only to adults with ADD/ADHD, but also to adults who have culturally/societally induced ADD/ADHD--e.g., those who are disorganized, overcommitted, buried under their own clutter, procrastination prone, etc. I appreciate that the authors also made the book's design "ADD-friendly," with large text, lots of headers, end-of-chapter reviews, and so forth. That ...more
Jan 27, 2011 Irene rated it really liked it
I did it! I did it! I finished a book that I was reading for non-recreational purposes!

In all seriousness, I have resisted making any large scale changes to my organizational systems (or lack thereof) until I finished this book so that I could get a bigger picture stuff of where to start and what to focus on. overall I feel like this book will be helpful as a resource in my ongoing quest, but I don't feel like it is going to be the end all be all for me. for one, I have the 2002 edition so the
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“Use Your Stimulation Hunger for Career Advancement Jerry’s need for stimulation, especially in the morning, had led to problems in meeting daily responsibilities. Even at work, Jerry had frequently resorted to surfing the Internet or playing computer games surreptitiously when he became bored with his routine accounting work. A plan that required Jerry to ignore his stimulation hunger could never have worked for long. Instead, Jerry and his therapist developed a plan to use his stimulation hunger to become more successful in his career. Instead of continuing to do the repetitive, uninteresting accounting and tax work that he found so mind-numbing, Jerry went to his supervisor and expressed” 0 likes
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