Understanding ADHD | About ADHD | ADHD Weekly | Article
The National Resource Center

ADHD Weekly Newsletter

Apps to Help You Get Through the Day

Show of hands: How many of you are carrying a smartphone right now? All of you with your hands up: You’re among the two-thirds of adults in the United States who currently have a smartphone. The number of smartphone users continues to increase and is projected to reach 236.3 million by the end of 2018, with more than two billion smartphone users worldwide.

Apps for your smartphone can be a great resource in helping you manage your ADHD symptoms. We considered two types of apps you’ll find useful, plus three popular apps you might find both useful and interesting. In no particular order:

Useful smartphone applications

There are lots of smartphone apps out there, with more appearing every day. Check out a few to see which works best for your life, with your current phone and email, and which you find the most enjoyable.

Your smartphone calendar can remind you of your obligations: Your smartphone likely came with a calendar function that can be synchronized with your current email service. If your smartphone doesn’t already have one loaded, you can choose from several highly-rated ones in your app store. Popular email systems, including Gmail, Yahoo!, and Outlook, can be connected to your calendar app. Once you’ve entered appointments and events on your email calendar, your smartphone calendar can be set to send you reminders using sounds or vibration to help you stay on track. 

White noise or ambient sounds can improve cognitive performance: Research is showing that listening to moderate white noise can help improve cognitive performance; it had a positive effect on the study participants affected by ADHD (Listen to the noise: noise is beneficial for cognitive performance in ADHD).

There are so many white noise or ambient sounds apps, that picking a favorite can be difficult. There are free and paid options, and many include a wide variety of sounds. Try out a few different ones to find your favorite. You may want to pick two or three free apps for variety, to avoid boredom.

Popular applications

Here are three popular apps we’ve come across recently that you may find helpful. We encourage you to try out the free versions before committing to the paid versions. Although these are among the most popular apps, other choices may include features you prefer. Use these as a starting point in learning about the range of options available.

Evernote: If you struggle to keep papers organized and in one place, Evernote may be a great app for you. It has been around for a long time and shows up in many organizations’ “favorite” lists. It’s a convenient place to store notes, webpages, lists, images, and more. In addition to existing on your smartphone, you can download it to your computer and synchronize your information, keeping your information all in one place until you need it. There are free and paid versions of this app and its related products. You can learn more about Android and Apple options on Evernote’s website

Coach.me: Many adults affected by ADHD opt to work with a coach to help them build skills and develop new habits to manage their symptoms. You can learn more about coaching on our webpage Coaching

This app acts like a “pocket” coach. It offers accountability and on-screen rewards for your achievements to help you develop a new habit. There are groups you can join of like-minded individuals for support. 

It also has the opportunity to find a coach or coaching channel to work with through the app. This is not the same as working in-person with a coach! Some of these coaching channels do have an in-app purchase cost; however, many are free. You can learn more about this app at Coach.me.

30/30: Many people affected by ADHD are good at sprinting in a task but need frequent breaks. This free app makes good use of that trait by letting you set a task timer for anywhere from one minute to a full hour. You choose the best time for you based on your needs. If you find you are distracted after 10 minutes, set the timer for 10 minutes. You can focus for an hour? Set the task timer for an hour. Once it goes off, it starts a second timer for a break before starting your sprint again. You choose the length of the break, just like the length for the task timer. 

The app displays reminders of the time remaining for your current task, and how many minutes you have left in your sprint. You can learn more at 30/30. Unfortunately, it is only available for Apple devices.

This article appeared in ADHD Weekly on March 30, 2017.

Connect with others
Talk to Specialist
Sign up for ADHD Newsletter
NRC Library
Ask the Expert Webcasts
The information provided on this website was supported by Cooperative Agreement Number NU38DD005376 funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the CDC or the Department of Health and Human Services.

Terms of Use