Coping with Dyslexia and Anxiety Disorder with Inspiration 9: From University to the Workplace

Since 2008, Helen Blundell has been using Inspiration to assist her studies, personal and social life, and career. Helen explains the various ways she utilises Inspiration, and how it has helped her to organise her thoughts with Dyslexia and Anxiety Disorder.

How do you use Inspiration?

“I used it as an undergrad at University of Sheffield, where I studied Biomedical Science. I also used it for planning socials and events, as I was part of the canoe club. Then I was using it to help apply for my PGCE at Sheffield Hallam, apply for different jobs and for mountain rescue. When I was training to become a teacher, I used it to create lesson plans and plan a school trip. Once I did my PGCE, I went on to do a masters at Sheffield Hallam, so I used Inspiration to plan for assignments and to plan for reading.

I now work at Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust and one of the main jobs we’re doing there is community projects on green spaces. Rotherham Council and various agencies are involved and it’s quite complex, so it’s useful to be able to visualise it. Using Inspiration lets me move forward with ideas, otherwise I can end up getting stuck. I can develop ideas, move forward with them and I can present what I’m thinking more easily. Otherwise thoughts can be random, as quite often you start in the middle of an argument or a thought and then realise you haven’t put any context, or any ideas around it. The simplicity of turning it into a Word document can be useful as well.”

What difficulties and challenges has Inspiration helped you to overcome in these different scenarios?

“I’m quite chaotic with my thinking. I had a dyslexia tutor who described it a bit like having a spaghetti brain, which is a bit harsh, but I was fine with that. So, I’ve got a lot of ideas that go around my head quite fast and it’s really good to be able to, either use the rapid fire tool and get all my ideas out, or use links and then move them, change them, or add more. It’s so quick, and I didn’t realise how easy it was to use until I tried different software. I think the smoothness of using Inspiration helps with your thinking flow. Whereas, if you have to stop and think about how to use the software, then you’re not focusing on the task.

It’s helped me focus and get on with things. I’m very good at procrastinating and avoiding stuff. It’s a very easy way for me to get started. It helps me feel like I’ve actually got all my thoughts out. And it helps me organise my thoughts really well.

I think I find it difficult to explain myself a lot of the time. If I had something I needed to back up and have a clearer understanding of, I’d use Inspiration to get all my ideas out. I made a diagram about my disability and it was really useful because it combined dyslexia and my anxiety. I added other aspects and strategies on what works for me, and what doesn’t work. It was cool. It was just a really good way to visualise what’s going on.”

Visual learning is personal to everyone, so how would you describe your diagrams?

“They’re bonkers, is probably the best way to describe them. Which is why I really like the way it moves into text. I create multiple diagrams with lots of joins across them. If you looked at it, you would probably cry. Then, you transfer it into text and think that makes complete sense now.”

Overall, how would you rate Inspiration?

“I can’t think of any problems that I’ve had with it. I like that you can change the colour of the boxes, and stuff like that. I struggle with black on white, my eyes go a bit shaky. So being able to change the colour of the boxes really easily has been really helpful. And it’s simple, yes. I think it’s very obvious how to use it.”

If you would like to learn more about Inspiration 9, click here.