The Role That Apps Can Play in Managing ADHD
About 10 million adults in the U.S. have ADHD. It can cause problems with executive function, making it hard to initiate and prioritize tasks, follow through, remember things, or manage complexity.
We live in a app-rich world and many individuals with ADHD have found success in delegating important memory and productivity tasks to their mobile devices. Apps can be a great equalizer in coping with a world not designed for them.
You can customize most apps with reminders and other features that specifically address areas in which you may need help. However, for an app to work well, it’s important to learn how to use it and use it consistently. It’s worth taking the time to learn how to use an app by either reading articles (e.g., at the app’s site) or watching YouTube tutorials.
It may take awhile to make a habit of using an app, so try dedicating a certain time of day, or multiple times a day, to using your apps. To prevent getting overwhelmed, try adding just one app to your routine at a time.
Popular Productivity Apps for Those with ADHD
Below is a sample of some productivity apps that have proved to be helpful in managing the daily executive executive function challenges.
- Focus@Will – This app uses specially engineered audio in which frequencies similar to the human voice are removed to cut down distractions and help you focus on your current tasks.
- Evernote – Evernote is designed for organizing ideas. You can search, set reminders, save things from the internet, and keep your lists and notes streamlined. It can minimize the distractions that can come when needing to toggle between different lists and apps. Evernote also has the capability to integrate with Google Drive, Gmail, Slack, Outlook, and other popular application tools.
- Asana – Asana works as a virtual “to-do” list. It allows you to not only write down what you need to do but also assign due dates and even add in details. If you’re working with a team, you can assign tasks and track them as your teammates complete the work.
- Mint – This app helps you manage everything about your money in one place and makes it easy to see where it is going. You can manage your checking and savings accounts balances, investments, and debts. The app also alerts you to unusual activity on your accounts, and lets you know if you are paying more for things, such as car insurance, than other people in your geographical area.
- IFTTT – The acronym stands for “if this, then that.” This app lets you create action recipes for doing certain routine taks. For example, “If I star an e-mail in Gmail, add it to my to-do list.”
- Todoist – Todoist is not only good for making lists, taking notes, and organizing your projects, but it also has the option to integrate other apps so that you don’t miss a thing by having your priorities spread across different programs. This way you don’t run the risk of getting distracted and thrown off course as you switch between apps, a common source of distraction for folks with ADHD when working with smartphones.
- Simple Mind Pro – If you are into mind mapping, this is the app for you. It allows you to develop a complex map of your thoughts, ideas, and to-do lists and also lets you upload media like documents and voice memos to go along with your information, create logical branches of related ideas and topics, and be able to retrace your train of thought.
You’ll find more information about these and other apps in the references below.
Today, you can find numerous apps to help with managing virtually any aspect of your life or behavior. Apps can be a good (and inexpensive) adjunct to any other therapy you might be using to manage your ADHD symptoms.