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Tools to Create Effective Routines and Lists


There are so many apps and programs at our disposal to help keep to-do lists in check. We know that students with executive function challenges benefit from routines, and writing them down helps immensely with accountability. Here’s a quick list of some of our favorite options.

Pencil and paper: Classic and effective – writing in planners, marking up calendars, and creating written lists are all straightforward ways for your student to organize and prioritize their tasks and routines. Some of our kinetic learners retain more when they physically write as opposed to when they type.

iPhone Notes: If your student struggles with handwriting or is vehemently opposed to a planner, we suggest using a smartphone app to keep track of their short routine list. The iPhone app “Notes” allows users to create an interactive list and share it via email or text message. It’s easy to store a daily list on this user-friendly app, and our students rarely go without their phones, so it’s wonderfully convenient. Students can check off, highlight, or underline the tasks they complete, and the parent, guardian, mentor, or teacher with access to the note will get a notification that the list has been edited.

Wunderlist: Wunderlist is a Google extension and app that allows for multiple individuals to access the routine list via email; parents, teachers, students, tutors, etc. can see what’s been accomplished each day. Like Notes, this app gives students the opportunity to follow their routine electronically and holds them accountable by having someone else view their progress.

Boomerang: This program is an email extension that allows you to schedule when an email sends. You and your student can create day-specific email lists and then schedule them to hit your student’s inbox each morning. This allows your student to receive their lists in small, manageable doses, and it functions as a useful tool for them to start the day focused with a few tasks to accomplish.

These are just a few of the many resources we test out with our students. Every student responds differently to each tool, and it often takes some trial and error to find the tool that best fits your student!

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