Resources for academics with ADHD

One struggle being an academic with ADHD is that much of the advice out there is designed for people who are still in school. And since I wasn’t diagnosed until I was on the tenure track, many of the resources and systems I use aren’t ADHD-specific. I’ll write a longer post at some point about my particular system, but here are links I’ve found myself sending to other ADHD academics.

These are tools that have worked for me, at least for a while. Everyone is different, and what works for one person will change over time. Experiment and use the tools/systems that work for you!

Productivity Systems

Getting Things Done: one of the OG productivity systems, designed primarily for business. See this overview from Zen Habits and this one from Robert Talbert.

Zen-to-Done: combines GTD with other systems and habit-building techniques, from Zen Habits

“Trusted system” for storing to-dos

Habitica: gamify your to-do list. This was critical for me in grad school, but I found it too limited later

Bullet Journaling: the original, no-frills version was designed by an ADHDer! Captain Awkward, my favorite advice blogger, has an overview here.

Workflowy: simple nested bullet-pointed lists, with tagging. You can do fancier things but I don’t use any of the plug-ins. I use workflowy currently.


Leechblock: focus-blocker I used in grad school. Firefox only, but there are similar options for Chrome too.

Forest: app and chrome extension that rewards you for staying focused for a period of time.

Clockwork Tomato: The only Pomodoro timer that works for me. Only available on Android.

Toggl tracker: Tracking time helps me stay focused on one thing at a time, and gauge how much time things actually take.

Organization and home

Unfuck Your Habitat (UfYH): the system that finally got me to start cleaning regularly and keeping my space clean for myself

Organizing Solutions for People with ADHD, by Susan Pinsky: how to streamline your physical space to reduce cognitive load. The original version is laughably outdated in places, and you have to be able to ignore her authoritative tone when something won’t work for you. It’s been a goldmine of useful tips for me, personally. Here’s a talk by Pinsky that covers the basics.

ADHD Friendly House Hacks by How to ADHD on YouTube

Other resources and compilations

The National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD): Their Core Curriculum is useful at almost any career stage, and I’ve incorporated aspects of their time management advice into my current productivity system.

ZenHabits GTD resource list

Black Girl, Lost Keys

Twitter folks to follow (or follow their links to find them elsewhere): adhdjesse, cawkward, artists_ali

My favorite fidget toy