know this is an unpopular opinion, and I totally get the allure of all-in-ones, but let me explain...
When I tried to use an all-in-one, I felt even more overwhelmed. There was just too much to take in and the more I tried, the harder it got.
If you feel the same way, this is for you. It's my goal to share why I stopped using them and what works better to empower you to find a solutions that works for you.
Before I go any further, I want to point out that what works for one ADHD'er might not work for another. So if this isn't your thing, no worries.
We may be master-of-all's, but this may not help us in a planner
Have you heard the saying "the master of many is the master of none"? Well, I think it is a saying that rings true for all-in-ones.
Here's what I mean: all-in-ones are great for some things, but bad for others. For example, some might be great for taking notes, and others might be better for managing teams. Because of that, the complexity of smushing everything into one was hugely frustrating and stressful for me!
Most of us get distracted and overwhelmed a lot more than the average person. By having everything centralized (strategies, plans, week-to-week stuff, etc. ), it can get to be too much for most of us pretty fast.
For example, even logging in would stress me out. Seeing everything in one place didn't comfort me. It overwhelmed me! On top of that, I'd almost always get distracted by something unrelated. You know, like designing invoices instead of saving a content idea.
My current approach
Now, I think it's helpful to have more than one place to plan, manage, and organize your business. In other words, I use the right tool for the job. That means various apps, but also paper.
Below is how I separate things now.
- One tool for my MY stuff (content ideas, biz assets, biz wiki)
- Another tool for managing client to do's
- Another tool for invoice and business management
- Another tool for content idea generation
- Another tool for booking appointments and my calendar
Why this works
I'm not going to say that this will work for me forever. Hello... I have ADHD. But it has been something that I've been doing for a while because it works better than the one-size-fits-all approach.
Let me explain why so that you can decide if this might work for you too.
- I no longer get distracted when I add content ideas to my list.
- Now, when I'm working on an invoice or proposal, I'm not distracted or overwhelmed.
- When I make yearly, quarterly, monthly, weekly, or daily plans, it is easier to see the big picture and focus on the tasks and ideas that support it.
- And I love paper plans because I can put it in a frame, hang it on the wall, or put it in a binder.
If you feel like this might work for you, don't feel like you're crazy
Years of untreated ADHD have given me many reasons not to trust myself. Because of this, I tend to find it helpful to be not the only one who does things a certain way. In case you like what I have said, but are uncertain about jumping in just based on our opinions, I wanted to share a few more things with you.
I did a poll on Instagram and the majority of people said they prefer a combination of paper and digital.
About a year ago, I was encouraged to hear that I was not alone in my struggle with an all-in-ones.
This made me realize that we all need to find our own solutions and may need to try a few before finding the right one(s).
If you want to give this a try, here's how you can get started
Oh man, there are thousands of options out there. I bet we all have our favorites.
In case you're overwhelmed about where to start, here's a list of the ones I'm using right now (but don't worry if they're not for you):
- Evernote (for content)
- Trello (for my business wiki)
- Simple Accounting (for invoices)
- Plutio (for big lists)
- Google Drive (for client and product files)
- Microsoft One Drive (for my personal and business related files)
- Google Calendar (for personal and business appointments)
When it comes to planning and strategy, I find paper works pretty well for me. This is why I created everything in my MindFlows ADHD planning bundle which you can check out here.
👉 Now what?
As much as I don't want to bore you by saying it again, it really depends.
If you struggle with an all-in-one planner, give this a try. What have you got to lose? You can use any tools you like (they don't have to match mine) and start right now! And, it's not like you have to figure everything out at once. It took me more than a year to figure it out!
If you're loving your all-in-one, keep using it...but keep this in the back of your mind. best solution today, it may be in the future.this might not be the ideal solution for now, it might be at a later date.