ADHD Apps & Tools

The Get-Organized Secret That’s Already in Your Pocket

ADDitude readers sound off on the ADHD tools that work for them — smartphones, apps, and cellphones, oh my! Here’s the tech that makes a difference at home and work.

Woman with ADHD using the tools on her smartphone
Woman with ADHD using her smartphone

For adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), choosing the right tool for task and time management, such as a smartphone, is a critical part of staying organized. Which ones are most effective for adults with ADHD: an Android-friendly device or an iPhone? A smartphone or a digital organizer like the iPod Touch? ADDitude community members share their tips for organizational success.

Adults with ADHD: Will a Smartphone Help You or Not?

“I would suggest getting a smartphone only if you are used to carrying around a cell phone at all times. If you aren’t, then it’s something brand new you’ll need to get used to.” –jannarama

“I tried using a digital organizer, but I could never remember to recharge it. The last time I was faced with asking my husband to re-sync and reload my digital organizer because I had forgotten to, I instead went out and bought a paper planner. I do so much better!” –Wende B.

The Best Smartphones for Adults with ADHD: iPhone, iPod Touch Reviews

“It wasn’t until after I’d started taking ADHD medication that I realized what an amazing helper the iPhone is for a person with ADHD. I put all my upcoming appointments into the calendar with multiple reminders. There’s an application you can get that acts as a shopping list. Plus, there are a lot of free games to download that are perfect for the ADHD brain. I don’t know how I got by without it before!” –ADDled

“I’ve tried Nokia and Android smartphones and the iPhone to keep organized. For me, only my iPhone helps. It provides a seamless sync of iCal, contacts, and the task-management program Things.” –omg_adhd via Twitter

“I wanted to get a digital organizer to help me get my life together and discovered that not only is an iPod touch more fun than a regular smartphone, it is also cheaper! It has a calendar with an alarm system, a notes section, and more. You can also download all sorts of applications (some free, some not) to help you with whatever organization you need. I highly suggest looking into one if you were thinking about getting a regular cell phone or smartphone.” –Katred

The Best Smartphones for Adults with ADHD: Droid Reviews

“My Droid smartphone has alarms, apps to help, and more. I call it my brain and have it with me always.” –Kryistina via Twitter

“Although I admit to having some iPhone envy, my smartphone of choice is the Android Motorola X. I love my Android smartphone; it’s great. I can do anything on that thing short of making coffee and cooking breakfast with it. Now that I think about it, I could use it for cooking breakfast — with a cookbook app! Case in point: There are so many things you can use it for to make life easier. I have linked it up to my Facebook account and downloaded multiple games on it. I use it as a GPS navigator. I use it to find the nearest Redbox video-rental location, or any store I can think of for that matter. It is my window to the world in a lot of ways.” –Ben T.

“Get any phone that runs Android. The widgets make it far and away the best choice for someone with ADHD. I have tried and failed with many different systems for keeping organized. I use Google Tasks, Google Calendar, Gmail, and desktop sticky notes (plus Anki flashcards), and Android keeps everything together magically.” –awaymire

The Best Smartphones for Adults with ADHD: More Smartphone Reviews

“I use a T-Mobile Samsung Vibrant. I just got it and love it. I can access all of my e-mail accounts and can sync my personal calendar to my work Google Calendar.” –Yolanda

“I have had several smartphones (Treo, Blackberry Curve, etc.). I just recently switched to a Nexus family smartphone. It’s a great device with a large, clear screen. The notification bar helps me with reminders, even if I miss or ignore them when they first go off. I can always check the drop-down bar as one central spot to see any alerts, reminders, and alarms.” –mtnman64

“I’ve used a Palm Tungsten E2 PDA for about four years. It’s fabulous, and it has an alarm you can select whenever you enter an appointment. It’s always either in my pocket or on my desk. I store passwords in it as well as a zillion addresses and phone numbers, and I can play solitaire when I’m waiting at the doctor’s office.” –Michael

“I use a Blackberry Curve. It works well with only one exception. I have an urge to be able to actually write things down, not just type on the phone because it takes too long. I have tried other avenues such as the touch screen wing, the dashboard, etc. My issue with the touch screen is that it kept making calls while in my pocket even when it was locked. Nothing really works 100 percent for me yet.” –mjohansing

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