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ADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  564 ratings  ·  86 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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Organizing from the Inside Out by Julie MorgensternStuff by Randy O. FrostClutter's Last Stand by Don AslettEat That Frog! by Brian TracyEnough Already! by Peter Walsh
Best Organizing Resources
17th out of 63 books — 34 voters
Getting Things Done by David AllenClear Your Clutter with Feng Shui by Karen KingstonIt's All Too Much by Peter WalshADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life by Judith KolbergWhen Organizing Isn't Enough by Julie Morgenstern
Best Organizing Books
4th out of 17 books — 11 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,463)
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Leslie
Feb 15, 2011 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...more
CJ Romberger
One of the problems with ADD books is that the people who purchase them are ADD. :) They don't get read. I've owned this one for awhile. Probably high time I read it, eh?
Kerry-Anne Gilowey
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....more
Marley
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
Storydrinker
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...more
Anya
VERY helpful, although I can't compare to other ADD organizing books or even general ADD help books because this is my first. But what I can say is that normal organizing books for non-ADD people do not work for me because even if they are great for others, they do not account for the difficulties ADDers face. All the difficulties I face were described in this book, even ones I wasn't conscious of until I read them! Not all of the chapters were on problems relevant to me, but I still found it he...more
gina
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...more
Tope
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
Pharrisbrown
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...more
Emily
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
Sonya Feher
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
MissJessie--former librarian
Jul 23, 2011 MissJessie--former librarian rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: organizationally challenged individuals
Recommended to MissJessie--former librarian 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...more
Emily
Jan 03, 2008 Emily rated it 5 of 5 stars
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...more
David Glad
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 (...more
Rachel
Jun 08, 2013 Rachel rated it 3 of 5 stars
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...more
Annette
Jun 17, 2009 Annette rated it 5 of 5 stars
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...more
Ariane
Nov 25, 2008 Ariane rated it 5 of 5 stars
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.
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.
Kathy
(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...more
Heather
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
Erin Lyndal
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.
Teju
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.
Diane
I have lots of books on organizing, and this niche title is a wonderful reference. First, it is written compassionately, with the latest scientific understanding of how a mind works when under the influence of ADD. Second, it offers many suggestions for organizing yourself DESPITE yourself. Most books on clutter and organizing give lots of detailed instructions, which can frustrate and confuse people with ADD. ADD doesn't mean you can't pay attention...on the contrary, hyperfocus is one of the m...more
Andi
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...more
Beth
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...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
Susan
I would really like to see an updated version of this book using more current technologies. (Ie. A palm pilot is mentioned) it is very simple and a book I would only recommend in print form. Some simple ideas that you just haven't thought of are the best. Some very interesting observations.
Sasha
A good book to check out, even for those who (probably) don't have ADD. Even if not everything is useful, there will likely be a few useful ideas. Don't plan to buy, but may get from library again now and then.
Liza
Mar 07, 2014 Liza rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014
Best book on organizing with add that I've come across. Got a lot out of this and will be referring to it again!
Susan Z
One of the best sources for ADHD life hacking. The suggestions I've implemented so far have worked really well, because they make sense to me in a way that traditional organizational strategies just don't. I recommend this to anyone dealing with ADHD, in themselves or in a household member.
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