ADHD Apps & Tools

The Get-Organized Tools You Really Shouldn’t Live Without

We asked our readers: “What ADHD organization tools do you swear by — not at?” And they shared the best high-tech and low-tech solutions that help them everyday.

A planner covered with sticky notes, one of our suggested ADHD organization tools
Planner open to calendar and covered in neon sticky notes and pens belonging to ADHD person

ADDitude asked adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): What are the organization tools or apps that you
swear by — not at? These days, people with ADHD have more high-tech options than they can shake a smartphone at. Here’s what keeps you on top of things.

Evernote, a free cross-platform app, is the best tool of them all. I use it to make to-do lists, store contacts, clip interesting articles, webpages, and design ideas, and scan receipts and paperwork.” -Anne, Canada

Timers galore. I use the alarm and calendar on my cell phone, the oven timer on my stove, and Google Calendar alerts to keep me organized and help me remember everything. ” -Barbara, Kansas

“My favorite ‘gadgets’ are my Google Calendar — and my wife.” -Steve, California

“Gallon-size Ziploc bags — to corral a lot of my stuff.” -Amy, Pennsylvania

[Free Download: 73 ADHD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life Now]

“Hanging files! They transform a tall pile of haphazard paper into an accessible resource.” -An ADDitude Reader

“A PDA (with calendar/alarm functions), used in combination with a whiteboard in the kitchen.” -Gerben, The Netherlands

“A large, plastic, easy-to-erase monthly planner.” -Jason, Connecticut

“A wastebasket. I save so many papers, thinking that I’ll need them some day. By the time I get around to using them, the information is out of date!” -Kathleen, Massachusetts

[33 ADHD-Friendly Ways to Get Organized]

“Pen, paper, and index cards. High tech, eh? When I write something down “my way,” it is in front of me and not “lost” in a gadget. I really need to see things in order to keep on track.” -Katz, Indiana

“My husband can’t live without his watch and Leatherman multi-tool gadget with a built-in keychain. He feels he is equipped to take on the world when he has these.” -Linda, Australia

“A three-way tie between Outlook Calendar, online banking, and my GPS.” -Lisa, New York

Advice from the FlyLady and my ‘blackboard.’ I painted one on my kitchen wall.” -Michelle, Tennessee

“A task-management app called Things. It is easy to use and can be customized to fit anyone’s needs.” -Munro, Utah

“Daytimer + sticky notes + large desk calendar + lists + lists of lists.” -An ADDitude Reader

“My Droid. It houses my calendar (which syncs to my Google account), and has many apps that help with organization. I can store multiple shopping lists, set reminders and alarms, comparison-shop by barcodes, leave myself reminder voice-mail, and text-message myself about things I need for later. I’d be lost without it.” -Rebecca, New Jersey

“See-through plastic boxes!” -Christine, Washington

“Sticky notes. When I make an appointment, I write down the details and I stick it on my desk calendar. The night before an appointment I post the note on the bathroom mirror to remind myself when I wake up.” -An ADDitude Reader

“The iPod Touch is my latest, greatest tool. I just need to figure out how not to lose it.” -Susan, Massachusetts

“My Mead Fat Lil’ Notebook. I use it for my daily to-do list and other brain smatterings.” -Cheryl, Texas

“A whiteboard hanging on the back of my front door. I see it several times a day, including every time I leave my apartment!” -Todd, Mexico

“My old-fashioned Filofax, which contains my weekly and monthly calendars and daily to-dos.” -Loretta, California

“The alarm on my phone. I use different alarm sounds for different tasks. That way, I don’t get bored with a predictable sound, which I seem to tune out after a while.” -Laura, Ohio

[4 Miraculously Motivating Productivity Apps]

4 Related Links

  1. Get a Task/Reminder app called Due (iOS, no sure about Android). When you get the reminder notification, if you swipe it away because now isn’t a good time, it’ll go off again every ten minutes until you say the task is done. Genuinely can’t forget anything with that app. Lifesaver!

  2. I swear by two different tools, one paper and one electronic. The app is called 2Do and the paper diary is the Debden 24 Hour home & Work diary planner journal. I write the detailed task in the app and assign it to a day in my diary to tick off, but you could just use the app. I’ve tried so many options for both tools and these two are just brilliant. Quasi life changing really, as I no longer stress that I’ve forgotten something as the task gets logged straight away for when I have to action it. I get a great sense of satisfaction and accomplishment from keeping on top of my to do’s.

    1. I’m 33 and was only diagnosed a couple months ago, so it’s still early days for me. I use Due mainly. Super quick to add a task. Very simple, no faff. Just open the app, tap + and type the task. I have the default time set to 2 hours. This means when I stick a task in or some kind of reminder, it will automatically remind me in 2 hours. Then when the reminder comes up, and I swipe it away because I’m busy, it will remind me again every 10 minutes until I mark it as done. I use every feature in the app because there aren’t many, but the ones it does have are super useful.

      Having a paper diary or notepad etc is too much for me to remember. Too much of a ‘thing’. I already have my phone with me everyday so I use that, but if anyone has any comments or tips they’ve learnt after their experience with ADHD or how their experience was after being diagnosed later in life, I’d love to hear them.

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