My arsenal dyslexia friendly tools: Part 1 stationery, paper and hardware
Hi, I’ve got a range of tools which I used practically every day to:
- keep myself organised
- low on stress
These are by no means recommendations, but are suggestions of what is out there which will inspire ideas. Some are cheap, others as an investment, but like I say they are suggestions which will hopefully inspire ideas in how you manage your neurodiversity.
Stationery and paper
Organised Mum/Family Planner calendars
These are excellent and great to use to support my working memory. Usual calendars are tricky for me to use as the calendar boxes are too small to write everything in there. However, the organised mum calendars have separate headings and boxes for each day so you can remember who is doing what when.
Post It notes
Where would anyone be without Post it notes or sticky notes? Keep an eye out for cheap stationers. I can pick up blocks of Post-its for 50p on Market stalls or my local shop, so it’s worth keeping an eye out.
I use Post It notes/sticky notes for:
- Writing procedures (each procedure on a post-it), so you can swap things about.
- Mind mapping
- Quick messages
- Reminders on the calendar (supersticky post-its are great for this).
- Planning for the future
Different coloured paper
Great for people who have visual stress and Irlens syndrome, it can be expensive. But if you only need a few pads try auction sites and cheaper stationers. Also it may be worth collaborating with others to buy in bulk.
Thick barrelled pens with rubberised grip
I love these pens as they can be useful for unusual grips when you’re writing, and if you are not keen on your handwriting it can help. You can pick these up from gift shops in museums and art galleries or charity shops. They start at £1 each.
Noise reduction headphones
These are fantastic for filtering out background noise in quiet spaces like libraries. These cost me about £7.00. Look out for the sales in supermarkets.
I use a digital recorder for conferences. It has a number of settings which suit the environment which it’s being recorded. The files can be downloaded onto your PC and you can use open source software called Audacity to clean up any background hiss and any necessary editing. Digital recorders can be about £70.00.
If you are going somewhere unfamiliar and are becoming increasingly anxious about getting lost, use Google Earth to map your way. (see tip: Using Google Earth). Using the visual clues can really help with orienteering in big citys.
Kindle Fire HD
The Kindle Fire HD has really engaged me in how and when I read books.
There is a text to speech facility on this particular product. Also, settings to change font, line spacing and background colour.
- Go to the ‘Books’ section on your Kindle
- When your book has been selected (there are free ones, special offers and library function).
- Press on the centre part of the page
- Go to ‘View’: This will show the settings such as available fonts inc. Helvetica, font size and line spacing
- Go to ‘More Settings’ this includes the text to speech. It says when available, but I have not come across one yet which it cannot do this. Would like to know.
There is a very useful forum on Amazon which gives tips on converting pdfs to kindle books. This is incredible for academic articles and general interest. You will need to set up an email address for your kindle to send the pdfs to be converted. Please go to the forum for more details.