Helpful smartphone apps for people with ADD

A few years ago, I was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). In short, I was thrilled; years of frustration were explained and I got a comprehensive plan for the future. Surprisingly, my smartphone is a part of that plan.

One of the reasons my iPhone is part of my comprehensive ADD plan is because it’s always with me and a lot better at remembering what needs to be done and when than I am on my own. Listed below are some of the apps and other practices that I absolutely depend on to help me focus and get things done. Perhaps they’ll help you or someone you know.

Before I begin, please note that any ADD treatment plan is multi-faceted and individualized, and typically involves input from a trained, experienced professional. This post is presented for your information only and not meant as medical advice. With that said, on to the apps.

Due: I have a terrible time remembering to do those little tasks that must be completed every day. I can write a note to myself, yes, but that’s an incomplete solution. How will I remember to read the list? Most of the time, I don’t. Or I lose the note. Fortunately, the answer is simple; have the list present itself to me at the appropriate time.

Due is that list. It’s a reminder app for iPhone and iPad that’s perfect for quick additions and relentless with the reminders. Due is not a calendar, a GTD solution, or a to-do list. It won’t sort items by context or project. What it does is answer the question, “Will you remind be about ____?” with a resounding “Yes.”

By default, Due pings and produces a dialog box at the designated time and every 60 seconds thereafter until I act upon it by either marking it done or putting it off. Due’s persistence won’t let me forget about the task, so I’m likely to either complete it or delay it if necessary. Also, delaying the deadline doesn’t affect the snooze function. Those pesky but immensely helpful reminders are also pushed ahead.

Evernote: Where Due is my short-term memory, Evernote is for long-term storage. Anything that I don’t need to act upon right away, but might need to refer to in the future, goes into Evernote. I get such a huge sense of relief knowing that I have all that information and, more importantly, that I know where to find it.

MindNode Pro: I’ve written about mind mapping before, as it’s my favorite way to brainstorm. When I get started, ideas just show up for me rapidly and without any organization. A mind map suits this tendency well, as I can just capture these thoughts easily and attach them to other relevant thoughts quickly.

These three apps go a long way to keeping me on top of what I need to do and capture the thoughts I have. Most importantly, they give me the peace of mind that I’m not missing something important, which is such an awful feeling (especially when it’s true). If you know of something else I should check out, let me know in the comments below.

8 Comments for “Helpful smartphone apps for people with ADD”

  1. posted by Judy Daigle on

    Great ideas David, but what about us Android users?

  2. posted by Natalie LeVasseur on

    Can you recommend Android apps? My husband has ADD, too.

  3. posted by [email protected] on

    I have ADHD also but rely on a paper planner. However, I do use my iPhone for reminders, alarms and notes when my planner isn’t handy. I tried going all electronic but it didn’t work for me. I did like Wunderlist and Evernote.

    If you haven’t read Doug Puryear’s book, Your Life Can Be Better, you might want to. It has a lot of very practical strategies for dealing with ADD.

  4. posted by Holly Hendricks on

    When I searched for MindNode Pro, I was redirected to a MindNode site that says “OSX only.” Has the iPhone app been discontinued?

  5. posted by Erin Doland on

    @Judy and Natalie — Evernote works with Android. And I found a Forum discussion that offers up some suggestions for Due-like Android apps: http://forums.androidcentral.c.....alent.html And there is a similar page for MindNode: http://alternativeto.net/softw.....rm=android

    @Holly — It has an iPhone and iPad version. There are tabs for all three on their homepage.

  6. posted by April on

    Is there a free/lite version of Due available? I don’t like to buy apps until I’ve tried them out and am sure I’ll like them. $5 is a lot for an app I might not end up using.

  7. posted by Steve J on

    Another good app for iOS and OS X is “Things”. It uses the “Getting Things Done” method and syncs between devices using the Apple Cloud.

    And sorry, Android users… as far as I know, Things isn’t available on Android.

    Culturedcode dot com

  8. posted by Sabryna on

    I’ve been helped by the Time Timer app on my iPhone and it’s available in multiple platforms: two iOS versions, Android, and a desktop version.

    http://www.timetimer.com/store.....and-mobile

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