Gadgets & Gizmos to Keep You Organized
Get organized with these byte-sized electronic devices and keep track of valuable possessions — including your sanity as an adult with ADHD.
A few months back, I wrote about smart alarm clocks that help you get up and out on time each morning. I now realize that that column failed to address one minor problem: You can’t leave the house if you can’t locate your keys, wallet, smartphone, and so on.
Every person with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has had this experience:
On the one day that it’s essential to be on time, you head out the door — early, for once — only to realize you’re missing some critical item. A desperate search ensues, and by the time you find what you’re looking for, you’re hopelessly late.
Good news, fellow ADHD sufferers: There is now a simple (and inexpensive) fix for this vexing problem: tiny battery-powered, radio-controlled homing devices you attach to the items you want to keep track of. Press a button on the locator device, and an alarm sounds on the device you’re looking for.
Recently, I tested several of these devices. Here are my favorites:
Radio Shack’s Find One, Find All Locators come with two locator devices, one designed like a key fob, the other not much bigger than a credit card. These devices each have six numbered, color-coded buttons. Put one device on your keys, one in your wallet. When you press a button, the corresponding device rings like a cell phone (as long as it’s within a 30-foot radius).
I gave the device a workout and found that it was great at finding things in my house, even when said items were hiding under piles of dirty laundry.
Sharper Image’s Now You Can Find It! Ultra 8 Wireless RF Electronic Locator consists of eight colored fobs and a remote. Hook the fobs to the things you can’t leave home without (heck, you can even hook up your TV remote, dog, cat, or small child).
Don’t worry about losing the remote: In addition to being large (about two by five inches), it fits in a magnetic mounting bracket, which you can place on your fridge or file cabinet. If you forget to put the remote back in the bracket, it will beep until you do.
Keeping track of things goes a long way toward preserving your sanity — and boosting your productivity. But there’s more that you can do — many problems you can solve — with pocket-sized electronic devices. Buy a key chain with a built-in clock, timer, and voice recorder. Need to be somewhere soon? Set the timer and record a message for yourself: “Leave for lunch date.” When the alarm sounds, heed the recorded message and be on your way.
Let’s say your problem is keeping track of valuable computer data. I was always e-mailing files between the various computers I used, just to make sure I had the data I needed wherever I happened to be. A huge hassle, to say the least, and, as often as not, I forgot to attach the files before sending the e-mail.
Well, there’s now a wide array of “flash drive” memory storage devices that do double duty as key chains. No larger than a fingernail clipper, these devices can carry a gigabyte of memory or more. Odds are, you won’t need nearly that much data.
Basic 64-megabyte (MB) units can be had for for very little, with 128-MB units starting a bit above the smaller model. The Dane-Elec 16 GB USB 2.0 is available in a variety of colors and comes with a 5-year warranty. This device attaches to a lanyard or keychain, and wouldn’t look bad worn around your neck. (I know, who would have thought of a disk drive attached to one’s neck as looking cool?)
With my trusty new devices, I’m no longer leaving things behind, forgetting files, or showing up late to appointments. (Well, not as late, anyway.) I’m calmer, too. My only fear is that the batteries will run down — or that I will lose my eyeglasses or something else which I neglected to hook up to a locator tag.
Maybe it’s time to consider contact lenses?