Saturday, March 24, 2007

My No-Cost Personal Assistant: Google Calendar

One problem, which is particularly bad for those with ADD, is losing track of the things you need to do. Perhaps this situation is familiar to you: you need to do thing X, optimally at time Y, but at time Y you can't quite concentrate on or remember thing X.

People with ADD tend to do best in structured environments, where there's an outside mechanism for making sure they do the right thing at the right time. Adults often have to provide this structure for themselves, and adults with ADD do have some effective strategies available.

One thing that has worked very well for me is to use Google Calendar to keep track of appointments, classes, etc. Google Calendar has an amazing (and free!) function where it will send you a text message on your cell phone as a reminder before the event. Every time I mark something in my calendar, I can specify how soon before I'd like to be reminded. When the text message is received on my phone, it beeps discreetly and I get reminded of what to do. For example, I'm reminded 5 minutes before it's time to take my medicine, and maybe 3 hours before a dinner meeting. I turned off email notifications, because I get too many emails as it is.

One note: your cell phone company might charge you for receiving text messages. If you start using this daily like I do, you might want to buy a text messaging package. Cingular (now AT&T), for instance, has 200 messages/month for $5 (+ $0.10 ea. add. message) or $0.15 per message.

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