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15 Apps, Tools, and Gadgets for ADHD Brains: Reader Recommendations

We surveyed ADDitude readers about their favorite apps, tools, and strategies to help them manage time, stay productive, and cope with symptoms of ADHD. Here are their choices.

Time Management Tools for ADHD Brains

  • “I’m a fan of The Planner Pad because its layout helps me get my thoughts on paper at the top of the page. Then, those thoughts can be filtered down to the week, the day, and hourly appointments. It’s like it was designed with ADHD in mind.”
  • Ruggie, the alarm clock rug, is the only alarm that gets me up on time. You have to stand on it for a few seconds to turn it off. It is incessant! It won’t turn off for hours if you don’t get out of bed. I’m a notorious snooze-button devotee, but this is snooze-proof.”
  • Trello is the best app for keeping all of my thoughts, projects, deadlines, and commitments organized and fluid. I have standing cards for the days of the week into which I can drag and drop tasks and reminders. It is shareable, and updates in real time across platforms. I can look at my family’s shared boards and get an idea of how everyone is doing, since we all use it to track life tasks.”
  • “Our family uses Cozi. It keeps our calendars and connects everyone in the family. We have different colors to distinguish our schedules. It sends reminders when you ask it to, and you can keep grocery lists. If you’re out of peanut butter, you add it to the list for whoever is at the store next. It’s been extremely helpful for our family.”

[Finally, Apps That Build Productive Habits]

Planning, Prioritization, and Productivity Tools for ADHD Minds

  • “The Apple Reminder app is great because it prompts you to do something as you reach a certain location. I have mine set to remind me not to forget to empty out my trunk whenever I am within 300 meters of my apartment. Very cool!”
  • “I ask Siri or Alexa to add to my calendar and make my to-do list. It takes me forever to do it on my own! I read it with my morning coffee.”
  • “I love my white board! Every evening, I write down my list for the next day. Doing it the night before helps me prioritize without feeling overwhelmed by the impending tasks I need to finish. Then, I just erase each item as I finish. Being able to wipe them off gives me that quick little dopamine hit to keep going!”
  • Wunderlist is great for managing my own to-do list and my husband’s. It lets us ask each other for help with our own lists. We assign each other a nickname in the app, and give each other ‘assignments’ from time to time, when we need help getting something done, a hug, or some attention.”

[8 Paper Planners That Will Change Your Life]

Stress Relief & Sleep for ADHD Minds

  • “I listen to Sleep: Ambient Music Therapy, from the Sound Healing Center. The center has many kinds of relaxation music, but this is the only one that reliably puts me to sleep. I’ve been listening to it every night for close to two years, and have never stayed awake to hear the ending!”
  • “I use a Levoit air purifier to get to sleep. Reducing allergens leads to better sleep, and the white noise helps drown out unwanted noises that can wake me up.”
  • “I love my weighted blanket. It’s comforting, and I sleep deeply when I sleep with it. In cold weather, I add a heating pad.”
  • “Noise-canceling headphones and essential oils are my wind-down combination. I also made a bag of self-soothing items that help me de-stress before bed. My favorites are adult coloring books and Tangle fidget toys.”

Workplace Accommodations for ADHD Minds

  • “I use the camera on my phone to take pictures of phone messages and scribbled notes to myself, since I invariably misplace these scraps of paper, and feel mortified if I am unable to return a call as a result.”
  • “I often sit on an exercise ball or use a fidget cube during meetings. They are particularly helpful when I need to listen. They stimulate me enough to keep me from getting bored, but don’t distract me from what’s being said.”
  • “I have to doodle while I am on the phone. I always carry my Simple Elephant Planner to draw in and keep my hands busy. Chewing gum helps too.”
  • “I use an Elfinbook with Pilot FriXion pens, instead of Post-It notes. Now I have all my reminders in one place and I don’t lose them. I erase them when I am done. There are also unlined pages, which are great for doodling.”
  • “Earbuds and gentle instrumental music help me block out distractions and sensory overstimulation at work.”

To find more reader-recommended products, go to: The ADDitude Store.

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