Log in
Adult ADHD Support
3,310 members952 posts

Looking for ADHD Organization Tools - Apps/Software

Hello, I hope all is well! I was wondering if anyone knows of any good organizational tools that would be worth looking into. I've been diagnosed with ADHD for a while and would love to find either a software or application that I can use to stay organized. Something that includes to-do lists, prioritization lists, timers, due dates and other things like that would be fantastic.

If anyone has any ideas, please feel free to reply as I'm open to any suggestion!

Thank you

22 Replies
oldestnewest

I've been using Habitica (app, suggested by "How to ADHD" youtube) for about a week and it feels helpful so far. It's a silly-ish video game style app where you earn coins and other points for following up on your real-life goals. Supposed to give your brain the same kind of reward as an instagram "like" etc. I'm still getting the hang of it but so far I have checked off more to-dos than not!

Interested in what other folks use as well...

3 likes
Reply

I just got two sand hourglass timers. 5min and 30min. For my desk They are pretty to look at and I hope it will help me to remember to stick to a time limit and they are pretty to look at

1 like
Reply

I really like using Wunderlist (available on every device lol) for keeping lists of things - grocery lists, daily to-do lists, to-do-someday lists, etc. You can share lists and collaborate on lists with other people, which is really nice when you need a partner to help organize!

I also like using Trello to help organize “life documentation”, like keeping track of meal ideas, large projects, anything where a virtual pin board would be nice. In fact I have a whiteboard in my kitchen that I use to get ideas down, and if there’s stuff on it I want to keep I just take a pic with my phone and upload it to trello using the app. Like wunderlist, trello lets you invite other people to collaborate, which I really dig.

2 likes
Reply

I have been very interested in using Wunderlist. Can you tell me more about that? I tried using Trello, but it just didn't take for some reason. Maybe I just didn't get it. What are your thoughts?

1 like
Reply

I think Trello can be tricky because it doesn’t exactly come with an obvious way to use it; it assumes you’ll build your own workflow based on what your project needs. There’s some good examples of building workflows at blog.trello.com/topic/workf... , but if that feels overwhelming or uninteresting I’d say set Trello aside - there are too many great apps out there to settle for one that makes you feel “meh” about it :)

1 like
Reply

I LOVE Wunderlist because it’s very simple and straightforward: you create lists to hold tasks, you add tasks to those lists, and you check off tasks as you complete them. I’ve stuck with it the longest out of any of my productivity apps - well over 5 years now at this point so I guess that’s as good a recommendation as I can make :O

They have an app for every platform (including being able to visit the site in your browser) and your data will sync between them. I love how easy it is to create a task from my laptop and then check it off later from my phone.

I also like how easy it is to share lists. I created a grocery list that I share with my husband. Both of us can add stuff to the list (ok, he remembers more often ), and both of us can check things off of it as we shop. It also gives you notifications when someone on your shared lists adds or completes a task, which is nice for prompting my memory to use the shopping list. Wunderlist even syncs the grocery list with my Apple Watch which is REALLY nice for shopping — it’s easier for me to remember to check items off the list when I can do it from my watch instead of pulling out my phone every time.

Apparently you can pay for a subscription for more features like assigning tasks to people, but I’ve always stuck with the free tier because it’s full featured enough for me.

I’ve got a few strategies for making Wunderlist work really well for me that I’ll share if you like (I don't want to make this too long lol), but if you already have good strategies for using checklists I think you’ll find Wunderlist pretty easy to use!

2 likes
Reply

Let er’ rip! I’d love to hear your strategies! So...what’s the difference between using this and using the Reminders app that already comes in an iPhone?

1 like
Reply

I’ve used both Wunderlist and the Apple Reminders app pretty extensively, and there are a few key differences that make Wunderlist work much better for me (your mileage may vary):

- Wunderlist has true cross-platform support. Apple Reminders works OK if all the devices you use it on are Apple devices and all the friends you share lists with have iPhones, but if you or the people you’re sharing lists with have non-apple devices Wunderlist is MUCH easier to use. I’ve switched machines and platforms a lot over the years and Wunderlist has always provided a nice experience (and kept track of my data!) across all of them.

- Wunderlist has multi-media support for task notes. Wunderlist lets me attach pictures of spaghetti sauce cans so I know which brand to pick up at the grocery store - Apple reminders does not. I also attach a lot of hyperlinks to my task notes and Wunderlist makes it easy to tap them and get to the resources I need. I can’t get Apple Reminders to respect anything but a tiny amount of plain text.

- Subtask support. I don’t use this often, but if you need to break down a big task into many smaller tasks, Wunderlist makes it easy to attach many smaller tasks to a bigger task

- Finally, and I know this one is ridiculous - I like the way Wunderlist looks better than Reminders. Wunderlist lets me choose a soothing backdrop image for my tasks and I get to change this every time I get bored. Apple, predictably (and maybe with good reason), hates my design choices and will not cater to them.

*** Some good task list strategies that make my life easier ***

- Smaller is better. Having too many tasks, and too many lists exhausts me so I try to keep as few as possible. Right now I have the following lists: Life Chores, Work Stuff, Groceries, Projects I Could Do, Things Friends Recommend, and The Dungeon.

- Every morning while I drink coffee I pick 2 or three things from the lists that are most pertinent (a la the Ivy Lee method jamesclear.com/ivy-lee ) and Star them. Wunderlist features Starred tasks on a special screen, so that’s the screen I check throughout the day (that way I don’t get distracted by tasks or lists I won’t do today).

- I make an appt. with myself (and sometimes a friend for moral/attention support) for 5 minutes every Friday at lunch to go over my chore/projects lists to see if the tasks in them are still worth doing. If I’ve gone long enough without doing a task (and I know I won’t do it), I just mark it as complete. If I’m too emotionally attached to a task but I know it's unlikely I'll do it I exile it to the Dungeon list.

- The Dungeon list is where tasks I’m too emotionally attached to delete but I will never actually do go to rot. I do not make it a priority to check the Dungeon. Every once in a great while when the dungeon gets too full I delete the whole list without looking at it and and recreate it fresh. The poor tasks are never missed :|

4 likes
Reply

This is great stuff! I almost spit out my coffee when I initially saw "the Dungeon"

1 like
Reply

I have switched from Reminders to Wunderlist bc of you! It’s great! Thanks!

1 like
Reply

Welcome! I hope it treats you well :D

Reply

Hello, I would also love for you to share your strategies. I am so hopelessly disorganized that it is a shame!! I have a bunch of lists that I make that are constantly lost or I just forget to check so i almost never complete anything! It is so frustrating. I was just diagnosed with ADHD at 52 as well.

I am going to try the software, Wunderlist, asap

Reply

Trello looks so fun; I'm gonna try this! Thank you for the heads up.

1 like
Reply

OMG, I just set up an entire house organization and repair schedule. This is so cool. I might just finally stay on track with Trello.

1 like
Reply

Mint is a free app managing your finances. It was recommended to me at a CHADD support group meet

2 likes
Reply

My opinion, and through my experiences with this, I suggest taking the "less is more" approach to creating a software system for yourself. Keep it as simple and as sane as possible. Do not make it overly complex otherwise, you will not use it. Do not use multiple systems that do the same thing like using Outlook and Apple's email client w/ the related organizing Apple tools (reminders, calendar, etc). If you are using a smartphone, then fewer apps (probably packaged into one folder) is better than a million apps begging for your unneeded attention. Start with what you know would definitely work, but doesn't seem that exciting (like using Outlook alone), then as you see "holes" in your system look for different systems, or maybe add-ons, to fill those "holes". DO NOT CHANGE SYSTEMS ON A WHIM. Making a system change is serious for someone with ADHD. This is one of the flaws in our thinking usually...we will get excited and jump headlong into this unknown new shiny thing, while it's really re-opening pandora's box for more disorganized chaos. My heart goes out to you as I am currently working on a step-by-step ADHD organizational program that has been going on for about a month now. Let me know if you want more information on it or anything I've already talked about above. Ciao! :)

1 like
Reply

Thanks for all these tips! I’ll look at wunderlist. I’ve invested in a few things to keep me on track! Big notice board in kitchen, fluorescent post its and pens in the car. All the kids toiletries are in their own caddies, and I have see-thru bigs for everything: medication, toiletries, gym bags, at tick storage bags and so on. I gave away the teenagers wardrobes and they have hooks on the wall instead. All these things reduced the arguments! I keep a bag in the car with protein snacks, spare meds, and water for the days when things are forgotten! And I keep iPhone chargers etc for myself in the car, handbag and work bag labelled with MUM, so no one dares nick them.

Then finally I use Evernote to take photos of everything, have used Evernote scannner and web clipper to scan and file EVERYTHING. I use a password generator so I can’t forget passwords. Finally everything is linked to TODOIST as a task maker, which is great because it can be shared and so we all know when things have got done, and important reminders like MOT, insurance etc pop up with the link to Evernote.

It all took time, but it means I’m practically admin and paper free, hassles and last minute stuff has gone, and I can use my brain for better things ( what’s left of it....)

What I wish I had though was a buddy to share my weeks Todoist goals and timetable to keep me encouraged....

3 likes
Reply

That is an amazing system! Getting rid of paper is one my my goals too - honestly if it’s not saved digitally it might as well have never existed :S

Reply

I find phone apps way too tempting of a distraction. I’ll go on there to check the calendar and before you know it I’m down the rabbit hole in Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.

For the past few months I’ve been using a bullet journal. It’s basically a planner, journal, doodle pad, place to jot down important notes and reminders, habit tracker, and more. You start out with an empty journal. Most use the dot grid journals because they give you guidelines without being too distracting. You add a key and an index and then start your journal. Many people use them as creative outlets and there are many YouTube and Instagram followers on some of the really artistic BuJo creators. You don’t need to be all artsy... you can just go minimalistic and keep it simple. I personally love making my journal pretty because I enjoy drawing and have always liked graphic design and hand lettering styles. The ability to let my creativity run free keeps my brain interested in following the journal.

My wife also has adhd and I got her to start a bullet journal. About once a week we get together and synchronize our project and to do lists. The accountability helps us stick to it. For the first time ever we are actually finishing projects around the house and doing projects that neither of us want to do but need to do. I carry my journal everywhere with me and check it at the beginning and end of my day.

The system was designed by a guy with adhd. Look at bulletjournal.com to get an overview of the system. Google bullet journal or search it on YouTube and you’ll have hours of videos where people show their versions of BuJo’s. Anyway it works for me and paper planners have NEVER worked for me before. Good luck. I hope this is helpful to someone out there.

2 likes
Reply

I have heard that there are apps using GPS to remind you of tasks, etc. at just the right time and PLACE. Can anyone offer suggestions that work for them? Thanks.

Reply

Yes. You can use Apple reminders with this feature. In the details, you set the address/location and ask for a notification if you are driving by. :) Pretty cool, but not one that I stuck with for long...If you are good at creating the list...then should be helpful.

Reply

Let me know when you find anything. My iPhone does most of my planning and organizing for me when I type things in correctly

Reply

You may also like...