It’s About Time
To do: stay on task and on time. Impossible, you say? Not with these apps that are tailor-made for those with ADHD.
Discourse Talktime Manager
(iOS; $1.99; itunes.apple.com)
If your internal clock didn’t come with batteries, there are apps for that. Discourse is a visual timer that can help users stick to an agenda or make the transition between tasks. It can also help you end a task, activity, or meeting. Discourse displays time as a pie chart that fills up as time elapses. It gives you the ability to visually divide total time into three segments – “Talk Time” (the app was originally designed for lectures and presentations), “Warning Time,” and “Alert Time.” These are displayed in green, yellow, and red, respectively. For ADHDers who don’t respond to the cue after time is up, Discourse continues to count your time, so you know how long it took you to realize that you went over.
Min to Go
(iOS; $1.99; itunes.apple.com)
This timer and alarm has three pre-alarm notifications. While most timers and alarms play lots of sounds, Min to Go will announce, “60 minutes to go,” “15 minutes to go,” and “5 minutes to go.” The minutes-to-go announcement begins with a few pleasant tones, followed by an even more pleasant female voice in reverb. One additional feature: You don’t have to open the app to check on your timer; check the screen that the app is on to see the remaining minutes displayed in a red badge right on the app’s icon. This app is great when you are working in the kitchen, gardening, or doing any project that requires you to move around continuously, as well as to monitor time.
(iOS, PC; $2.99; itunes.apple.com)
Priority Matrix is a powerful task-management tool that is easy to use – a perfect combination for those with ADHD. If you do best when you can see what you need to do, as many ADDers do, this app will work well for you. PM is based on the Steven Covey approach to task management, sorting tasks into one of four quadrants: Critical and Immediate, Critical but not Immediate, Not Critical but Immediate, and Uncategorized. There is no limit to how many subcategories you can create. You can manipulate the size and colors of each section, add icons to tasks, select the percentage of tasks completed, and estimate the amount of effort it will require. You can indicate due dates, start dates, and repeat dates-all with push notifications, and have your dated items e-mailed to you automatically. Bonus for those who live by their tablets and smartphones: The app syncs across devices.
(Android; free; play.google.com/store/apps)
The app is tailor-made for those with ADHD. It tracks daily and recurring tasks and activities, such as cleaning the kitchen, taking medication, and scheduling exercise, so you get into the habit of doing them. This is how it works: Enter your task in the app, set a notification time, and Routinely will remind you to do it. It also allows you to check off the task as you complete it, which always feels good when you have a long to-do list. Routinely uses visual cues to keep you up to date on what you did and did not do. Completed tasks are highlighted in green, tasks you are behind on are yellow, and those you haven’t done in several days are red.