The scheduling app Tiimo has become popular in neurodivergent circles, so I decided to try it out. Basically, what it does is automate your schedule, which is something that can be particularly helpful for people that need routine. I rate it 10/10, even though I had some trouble figuring out how to use it in the beginning.
Note: Tiimo was designed for families with neurodivergent children, and I am not a parent. I cannot speak to how well it works for children, only how much it helped me as a neurodivergent adult.
Here’s a quick run-down on the pros and cons.
- Keeps you on track and provides you with updates on your progress using notifications.
- Extremely customizable and flexible.
- Very visual, including icons, color-coding, and a progress bar for each activity.
- Not particularly expensive for a subscription app at about $30 for an entire year.
- Can be synced with a smart watch.
- Requires lots of set up before use.
What is Tiimo?
Tiimo is a scheduling app built specifically for neurodivergent people, especially autistic or ADHD adults or children. Often, neurodivergent people thrive in routine and experience anxiety without it, but have trouble sticking to a schedule. Tiimo automates the process and reduces friction to help you adhere to the schedule you’ve set up and transition between activities more easily.
To use it, you input your activities (like “Go to the grocery store” or “Biology class”) and then assign them to specific times. You can color-code and select icons for each activity. You can also create “routines,” which are activities in a sequence, to speed up setting up your schedule. Add an activity or a routine to a specific day and then decide if and when you want it to repeat.
Once your schedule is set up, Tiimo will notify you before an activity starts to give you some warning and help you transition. During the activity, it shows a progress bar so you know how much time you have left and when to start cleaning up the Legos, for example.
I absolutely love having a routine. Until Tiimo, my attempts to prioritize and decide on what to do next with my day would often get hijacked by depression and hopelessness, leading me to end up doing nothing. With a routine of my own creation, on the other hand, I don’t have to decide what to do next because it’s the same every day. Even if I don’t follow it exactly (which I never do) Tiimo is still there in my notifications reminding me of my priorities.
When I first downloaded Tiimo, it took me about two hours to figure out how to use the app and then set up my week. (It took some intense Googling to figure out how to delete an activity. In case you’re wondering too, you slide the activity’s box to the left to reveal a trash can icon.) This may seem like quite an investment, but I have found it to be very worth it!
How I Use Tiimo
What does my day look like? As soon as I started using the app, I input my work schedule, which is the same every week but not the same every day. (Luckily, it’s very easy to choose when events repeat!)
Then I put in my morning schedule, which is absolutely crucial because if I forget my morning meds I will be nonfunctional the rest of the day. It also includes leisurely drinking coffee, which starts my morning off on the right note, as well as eating something because I often forget to eat. This repeats every day, but at different times depending on the rest of my schedule.
After work, I spend two hours (yes, two entire hours!) decompressing and/or taking a nap. Work takes a lot out of me as a disabled person, even though my shifts are only four hours. I find that if I don’t do this, I am super out of spoons by the end of the day. After my nap, I do chores, eat dinner, consume media (like watching TV or reading books), and then journal. (That leaves me another two hours before bedtime to scroll TikTok!)
Finally, non-negotiable stuff (like work) is color-coded in blue. Things that I know that are coming up but are deviations from the usual schedule (like doctors’ appointments) are color-coded red.
Tips & Tricks
As I said above, I almost never stick exactly to my routine. However, I still find it helpful, because it reminds me of my priorities. For example, I may eat dinner before I do chores if I’m particularly hungry, but the app still serves its function by reminding me to devote some time to cleaning the house. Instead of scrolling Facebook for hours like I did pre-Tiimo, I am watching the new Voltron.
Something else that I have found very helpful is building extra time into my schedule. Rather than pack my day with activities, I give each activity at least an hour, and I also give myself about four hours a day of doing nothing in particular. (This could be used “productively” or not! It’s my choice!) Don’t set your expectations unrealistically high or you will disappoint yourself. Instead, make sure to “pad” your schedule, especially for those times when the unexpected crops up.
For more information on how Tiimo’s creators recommend you use it, check out this link.