Devonthink study and learn with adhd

Hi all, i have playing with zettlesten Arcive to help me better take notes and recall. But doesn’t allow pictures etc. Would Devothink be able to provide me a better experience. Linking, tracking documents study, recall etc. But longer term tool overall …struggle studying as an adult. But the whole zettelkesten method seems to really help. Mind maps don’t cut it, so looking for realistic guidance please ?

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Hi @Scollops, welcome!

It all comes down to your needs. If you just need to hang a painting on the wall, you could use hammer and nail or a drilling machine. With ADHD, perhaps something simpler could be beneficial. For plain old Zettekasten, you could take a look at Bear. It deals very well with pictures and it has fewer distractions.

Now, assuming that you were also to deal with PDFs and other types of files, then, by all means, DEVONthink should be the right tool for you. It does much of what other Zettelkasten tools do and more.

With that said, I am sure others here will have a different take on this. Let us hear what they have to say as well.

Given my very limited knowledge, it depends on whether the challenges are more on organisation or span of concentration. If organisation is the main issue, you probably can’t force yourself to organise by groups or tags in DT.

But you probably can benefit from the excellent search function and see also function in DT: take note in snippets or copy small sections of text from book in snippets, with each snippet focus on one single concept/term/idea (almost like an index card), limit the tagging to a minimal amount, use the search-by-keywords to recall and review all the relevant notes. If academic articles are the primary sources of studying, use see also to find other related materials when you are reviewing one.

For concentration, I think there is no substitute for suitable medication and breakdown learning into shorter sessions.

Great question!

Firstly, I think it’s worth saying that any knowledge management system provides a template that can be tweaked and adjusted to suit your own needs. I have only recently discovered the zettelkasten method, and I am finding it a really flexible system. I had a look at some of the software that is geared specifically towards the method (including Archive), and while they are do a good job of replicating Luhmann’s system, digitally, I couldn’t help feeling that the principles could be applied to a much broader selection of materials and resources, and in other ways that better suited my research interests and materials. This, for me, is where DT comes in.

DT does everything software like the Archive can do, but allows for all manner of material. I think there is also far more scope to develop the system in software like DT, to customise it for the specific kind of work being undertaken. I haven’t had a lot of time to really dive into this too deeply, but I think the metadata possibilities in DT, for instance, and the sophisticated smart search options, have the potential to really support the links and connections between material.

The zettelkasten method is a sustainable approach to information management, and its defining principles (atomicity and connectivity) provide a solid foundation for any number of structural variations. Traditional strategies of, and approaches to, academic research tend to assume neuronormativity, and consequently, the fact that so much software is built around these methods, means that those that don’t fall within certain parameters are significantly disadvantaged. As far as I know, neurodiversity is rarely considered head-on in the design of project/research/knowledge management software not designed with that specific concern in mind, but I think the flexibility, and the customisation options, in DT should be seen as a (perhaps unintended) response to this.

I’d absolutely recommend to stick with the guiding principles of Zettelkasten, and to apply them in DT — but to keep an open mind as to how you apply them.


Hello! I have adhd and I’m wondering how was the product worked for you !

As as adult with ADHD I have found the best thing to help me is medication :slight_smile: