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  • Writer's pictureYvette E. McDonald, LCSW-QS

Navigating the Mind: Journaling Tips for Individuals with ADHD

Living with ADHD brings unique challenges, but journaling can be a powerful tool to harness creativity, focus, and self-awareness.

Here are some practical tips to make journaling a valuable and enjoyable practice for individuals with ADHD:

  1. Embrace Flexibility: Allow your journaling process to be flexible. There's no need for rigid structures or a set format. Embrace the freedom to jump between thoughts, doodle, or switch topics as your mind flows.

  2. Use Prompts and Lists: Overcome the challenge of a blank page by using prompts or creating lists. Prompts can provide direction, and lists are an effective way to organize thoughts, making the journaling process more structured and engaging.

  3. Short Bursts of Writing: Instead of committing to long writing sessions, opt for short and focused bursts. Set a timer for 5-10 minutes and jot down thoughts, ideas, or reflections. This approach helps maintain attention and prevents overwhelm.

  4. Visual Elements and Mind Maps: Incorporate visual elements into your journal, such as drawings, mind maps, or diagrams. Visual representation can enhance understanding and make the journaling experience more interactive and stimulating. My favorite is Mind Meister. Check it out

  5. Experiment with Tools: Explore various writing tools, such as colored pens, markers, or digital apps. Experimenting with different tools can add a sensory aspect to journaling, making it more engaging for individuals with ADHD. I use an app within my I-Pad called Noteability.

  6. Establish Routine: Set a consistent time for journaling to create a routine. Whether it's in the morning or before bed, a regular journaling habit can provide structure and a sense of stability in the daily routine.

  7. Capture Ideas on the Go: Carry a small notebook or use a note-taking app to capture thoughts and ideas throughout the day. This allows you to harness the creative energy of spontaneous ideas, which can be revisited during dedicated journaling sessions.

  8. Celebrate Achievements: Use your journal to celebrate small victories and achievements. Acknowledging accomplishments, no matter how minor, can provide motivation and positive reinforcement.

  9. Reflect on Challenges: Take a moment to reflect on challenges and obstacles you encounter. Use your journal as a safe space to explore emotions and brainstorm potential solutions. This reflective process can aid in building resilience.

  10. Mindful Breathing Breaks: Integrate short mindful breathing breaks into your journaling routine. This can help reset your focus and bring a sense of calm to the journaling process.

  11. Create the space: Having a designated space for journaling helps make the act of journaling a habit. Have a comfortable, resting and rejuvenating space in which you can allow your mind to free fall into self exploration. Focus music in the background is a great addition. Check out which also works well with the ADHD brain.

Remember, there's no right or wrong way to journal with ADHD. The goal is to make the process work for you, harnessing its therapeutic benefits while accommodating the unique aspects of ADHD.


As a counselor and writer navigating the intricate landscape of neurodiversity with both autism and ADHD, my professional journey is a testament to the strength that comes from embracing diverse perspectives. Through the lens of my own experiences, I strive to illuminate the beauty and resilience inherent in neurodivergent individuals. As a counselor, I am committed to providing a safe and inclusive space, where the nuances of neurodiversity are not just understood but celebrated. In my writing, I aim to bridge gaps in understanding, fostering a broader dialogue that promotes acceptance and appreciation for the rich tapestry of human cognition. My dual roles as a counselor and writer converge in a passion for advocacy, championing the rights and unique strengths of neurodivergent individuals. In every word and session, I aspire to contribute to a world that recognizes and values the diverse ways we experience and navigate the world.


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