The Smartphone Solution: How to Organize Your ADHD Life

Sixteen creative ways a smartphone or personal data assistant can keep ADHD adults on track and on time.

Adult ADHD: Organization with Gadgets

As the title of Dr. Ned Hallowell's book would suggest, these days, we all seem to be “crazy busy.”

Throw adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD) into the mix -- and staying organized and on track can be a tall order.

A smartphone, like an iPhone or Android, or even an older personal data assistant (PDA), can help. A handheld metal “brain” that stores information, like numbers and addresses, a smartphone also offers a calendar (extra handy for those of us with adult ADD/ADHD!).

Other uses for these ADHD-friendly gadget:

Even the electronic organizer veterans among my clients can learn new tricks to get their lives to run more smoothly. Here are suggestions for using a smartphone to do just that.

Store It in One Spot

1. Jot down the location or the number of your parking space, so you can find your car after a stint at the mall.

2. Store a grocery list on it, and throw out all those little scraps of paper. Add your favorite recipes and note the ingredients needed for each. The super-organized can jot down which aisles their favorite grocery items are in.

3. Input the clothing sizes of all your family members, in case you need to buy a present in a hurry.

4. Jot down driving directions to places you don’t go very often -- the dentist’s office you visit every six months or a new shop you’ve discovered.

More Tips to Streamline Leisure Time

5. Download e-books and digital magazines before going on vacation, instead of packing magazines and books you may lose.

6. Enter a list of your favorite TV shows and set the device to beep a half-hour before they start, so you’ll be ready to watch them -- or to Tivo them to view later.

Never Forget Another Dose

7. Set your smartphone or PDA to beep when it’s time to take your ADD medication.

8. Input a list of the questions you want to ask your doctor at your next visit.

9. List your family members’ medications and dosages, as well as your pharmacy’s phone number.

10. Download games from your computer, to keep yourself (or your children) amused while waiting in line at the doctor’s office or at the bank.

More Tips to Stay on Schedule

11. Keep track of the dates when all of your bills should be mailed, so that they aren’t late (not the dates they are due).

12. Record school schedules, including days off, parent/teacher meetings, and mid-term and final exam dates.

13. Equally important, set a beeping reminder to recharge your overworked smartphone.

Timesavers at Work

14. When you meet someone new, enter his name, a brief description of where you met him, and any important information. Note his job and family details, if you know them.

15. Buy a portable, foldable keyboard, and take notes at a business meeting or in class.

16. Store computer passwords to all of your online accounts (and be sure to password-protect the file!).

More Organizational Tips for ADHD Adults

What to Consider Before You Buy a Smartphone or PDA

ADHD Q&A: Medication and Schedule Reminders

Paper Management: Strategies to Keep Organized at Work

This article appears in the Spring 2009 issue of ADDitude.
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TAGS: ADHD Products, Organization Tips for ADD Adults, ADHD Time Management

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