"A game changer for a non-linear thinker - building confidence and reducing anxiety"


Professional photographer, Helen Lord, captures images of nature, like rolling hills and beautiful sunsets, to use as wallpaper in large offices. She says, “It's been proven that nature brings people peace and when you're in the corporate world, now and again you need little micro breaks, and it's not very easy to do that looking at four plain boring office walls. Whereas if you've got a full scene of nature on a wall, you can enjoy the scene and a little meditation, which helps you reset and be more productive.”

As a mature student, Helen first found Inspiration on a university computer while struggling to write an assignment and says: “it was just wow, this is a game changer!” The software would allow her to do what was needed due to how her brain works.

Fast forward to more recent times, and when Helen needed that support again with her professional projects, she asked Access To Work for Inspiration.

When did you receive your diagnoses?

“I was studying English Language & Communications before I was diagnosed with dyslexia; I didn’t know I had it, so it was a big struggle. After I graduated, I became a teacher,” Helen says. “We had somebody coming in talking about dyslexia for our students and I thought, ‘hold on that sounds like me’. And it was at that stage that I finally went for the assessment and sure enough, yes, dyslexia and dyspraxia.”

Picture of Helen Lord

What do you like about Inspiration?

Helen loves having the ability to add colour to her maps, move ideas around and change the size of topics and subheadings. She says, “It's just genius and it helps so much. It’s great being able to flip over to the Outline View from my original map and then being able to complete my work in Word. When I was studying, I would jump around from different bits as ideas flowed and slot them in and then I could flip back to maps and move them around again. I love Inspiration. It's not linear, linear leaves me kind of cold.”

Did you find Inspiration easy to learn how to use?

Helen says Inspiration is very intuitive and because she discovered it by accident, she pretty much taught herself. “There were certain things that I didn't really know how to do, but there was somebody in the library that you could go and see if you had any IT issues, so I got a bit of support that way, and also the help function was handy.”

What challenges have you found that Inspiration has helped you with?

“So many! It's helped me with organisation, which is a big thing. There are times when I've got so much going on in my head, being able to get it all down in a map kind of frees up my mind and I know it's all there. And it helps me with memory. So, there are multi-step things in my business that I only need to do occasionally; in the past, I would have to go back and relearn how to do it which was frustrating. But having Inspiration helps with that. It helps me keep track of projects and time management too; it's saved me a lot of time.”

Helen also says Inspiration has increased her confidence and helped with her anxiety. “Confidence is a big one; stress and anxiety are big ones. It has also reduced the amount of time that I'm doing things and it's meant that I am less likely to procrastinate too, particularly when writing, so I'm more likely to do a written task because I've got Inspiration to start me off. So, it's made me more productive.”

What type of tasks are you using Inspiration for now versus when you were studying?

“When I was studying it was for keeping track of research and helping me to actually write the assignments. And that was basically it. Now it's like the sky's the limit. So, I'm keeping track of when I'm taking photographs, the different settings I need according to the weather conditions or what I’m photographing. So, instead of having to go and research it, I've now got it all saved. So if I know I'm going out to photograph sunsets, I'll go and have a look at the kit that I need, the right settings, and make sure that I've got everything I need.”

Helen has published a book of stunning photos of the Cotswolds and says Inspiration made it possible to get everything crossed off and ready for her book to hit the shelves.

“Tell you what, if I'd known as a child I had dyslexia, dyspraxia, and ADHD, my life would've been totally different. I wouldn't have spent so much of my life worrying and feeling stupid, apologising for myself all the time or trying to hide, and my confidence would've been so much greater, and I would've done so much more. If I'd had the help and the support, then things would've been different, but at least I've got it now.”

Helen uses Inspiration RD, our cloud based solution for access Inspiration 11 through a web browser.

If you would like to learn more about Inspiration, click here, and for more user case studies, click here.

Inspiration is an approved product for Access to Work and the Disabled Student Allowance


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