As an adult with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD), task and time management are challenges for me. Can an app like StayOnTask help me focus and stay on task?
by Stephen Anfield
I have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD), and I have the attention span of a gnat. I’ve tried a number of tools designed for getting things done (GTD), but I’ve never found one that I like. The variety of programs, apps, and gadgets can be downright overwhelming, which is why I don’t use any of them. I know, I know. You’d think this accident-prone, not-so-punctual adult suffering from ADD/ADHD would use something, right? No. So, without being predisposed to other task-management software, I decided to give the Android smartphone app StayOnTask a try to see if it’d help assuage my ADD/ADHD tendencies.
App Overview: StayOnTask is a fairly simple app that does exactly what its name says. The product's website describes it as “a simple, un-intrusive way to improve your focus and get your work done.”
The Good: StayOnTask is extremely simple to use. If you’ve ever explored the many GTD apps available these days, you’re no stranger to the many bells and whistles that most have. If you’ve never used a GTD app, beware. I’ve found that most only add to the distraction and prevent me from getting work done. StayOnTask’s simple user interface is just that -- simple. The app uses a very small amount of memory, so you don’t have to worry about it draining your cell phone battery. I like that.
The Bad: Do not use this app if you share office space. Your coworkers will hate you. I found the chirps -- for reminders -- that go off every few minutes to be somewhat annoying. Remember how you’d crank the handle of a jack-in-the-box and wait in anticipation as the scary clown popped out of the box? That’s how I felt when using this app. I tried focusing on the task I had to get done, but I was more concerned with when the app would chirp reminding me to get the task done.
The Grade: C. The simplicity is great, but the annoyance factor on a scale of 1 to 10 is a 15. I like my coworkers, and I wouldn’t want to distract them with my newfangled app. If there’s another way to remind me to stay on task, I’m all about it. If you work from home, then this app might be just what the doctor ordered.
App Details: For a free download of the StayOnTask app for Android smartphones, visit the StayOnTask AppBrain page.