The worst part of having ADHD is often feeling overwhelmed. Little things seem to pile up into hills that seem unmanageable. Yet each thing taken on its own is totally and easily accomplished. Yet the feeling of frustration, of not knowing where to begin or whether a dent can be made in the pile, can be paralyzing.

I had a day in which many things became sources of frustration, because I couldn’t control them or change them. I was at the mercy of others, and largely giving up that control was not 100% comfortable for me.

And I know sometimes the best thing is to sit back, make a list, and start somewhere- that this is so much better than running and hiding from the To Do list.

At the Children and Adults with ADHD conference I attended this weekend, a new web app called Skoach can actually help you keep your life straight. It was designed in partnership with Dr. Kathleen Nadeau, a international expert on ADHD, with a special interest in women and girls with ADHD.

Skoach works like almost any other calendar program, but it does a few things differently that make all the difference to those with ADHD.  First of all, it asks you to estimate the time you will need to complete a task- something at which people with ADHD are historically poor at doing.  It also asks you to add subtasks and things you will need to get the task accomplished.

This may seem trivial, but how many times have you planned to do something as simple as make cookies, only to find out you forgot to check to see if all the ingredients were on hand first?  Or start a project, and then realize you have no ink in your printer or paper left?  Skoach helps you keep that information organized, making sure when you start a task, all tools you need are thought out in advance.

Skoach will also take your unassigned to do list items and auto schedule them for you- very handy for me.

I think in the long run, skoach will be more helpful for me by teaching me how to be more methodical and organized in my approach to work and ongoing tasks, in part by the very act of planning things out in advance, and then encouraging execution of the plan.

Skoach is currently in Beta, and there is o charge for signing up and using the service.  I’ll give you more information as time goes on, but this app shows a lot of promise for the ADHD people I know.