Because I know a lot of my friends and students also find it difficult to make themselves more efficient, I wanted to keep a list somewhere of apps and websites that have helped me. Having ADHD is an uphill struggle with being productive (and honestly, I hate that phrase); you’re constantly fighting yourself to get something done, and sometimes you need help putting yourself in the right space to work on it. I’m always trying different things, so this list is going to be a work-in-progress as I continue to find resources that I feel are helpful. Also, if there is something you feel that I should include here? Let me know using any of the social media/contact methods listed.

Keeping Tasks Organised:

Basically, these are gameified to-do and habit-forming lists. I have a preference for LifeRPG and Forest (because I like their goals and layouts more), but they all effectively do the same thing. You set goals/habits/to-do tasks and keep track of whether or not you’ve done it. You can set alarms to make sure that you remember to do it and set your own values on whether or not it’s a ‘hard’ task or an ‘easy’ task.

In some instances, you can also ‘compete’ with or against others. For some people, that competition is totally helpful. Also, Habitica has a website that syncs with your phone.

If you prefer a more traditional to-do list but as an app, here you go. Similar to the above but takes away the ‘game’ feeling if you don’t like that kind of thing. It’s a really nicely laid out app, too. I sometimes pair it with one of the above to make sure that I know what needs to be done because I sometimes need more than one reminder, especially for things I will intentionally procrastinate from doing (either because of impostor syndrome or lack of desire or maybe even both).

  • Daily Diary: Google      |      Grid Diary: iTunes      |      Perspective: iTunes

I learned about Daily Diary when I someone introduced me to Grid Diary and I couldn’t find it on the Android app store. It’s not identical, but they are similar. You can set them to ask a number of questions at different times of day. They also help as mood trackers, so those of us with additional neurodivergent needs could find them useful.

 

Keeping More Productive Work and Study Schedules:

I have mixed uses for these because I’m a teacher. Teaching doesn’t really lend itself 100% to being able to separate your work and break time as easily as some other jobs, but I use these a lot for myself during my preparation and grading hours. Any time that I have to spend a lot of time sitting down to work, I’m using these for myself. I also use these kinds of things in my classroom to help break up the class time, especially if I have a lot of “sit down” activities (reading). They’re pretty functional in that manner, so they can be used really well in group settings as well as personal ones.

Sometimes I… waste a lot of time on things like Tumblr or Twitter and get absolutely no work done. Totally common, especially for those of us who are easier to distract than others. This can run in the background and keep track of what you’ve spent your time doing. Useful in realising exactly how you’re spending the time you have, and it makes it harder for you to lie to yourself about how you used your time (which I’m also bad at doing — this just forces me to be honest with myself).

 

Keeping Dates Organied:

Varying calendar apps that help set dates and times you need to remember. I know that sometimes I have major issues with combinations of things like appointments, meetings, dates I have to remember (holidays, birthdays, PD days for work, etc.), and deadlines (study or online seminars, especially); these and their reminders have helped me a bunch.

Note: I think the Android version of Informant is absolutely hideous, but I used to use it a lot before I swapped over to S.Graph? Still, I figured someone might find it useful. Informant 5 on Apple looks much nicer and more organised without a lot of the fluff that makes me hate it on Android.

 

Keeping Notes Organised:

I use these a lot to keep track of writing ideas, lesson ideas, whatever. If something pops into my mind, it usually goes here as a way to remember to organise it. Of course, it might get cluttered, so I make a once-a-week thing to go through and clear out my notes. Google Keep is nice because it syncs to your chosen Google account and can be viewed on a computer. Other helpful aspects of these apps include the fact you can colour-code things, which I think makes organising everything much easier.

Note: I also use these for language learning. Keeping track of words to add to my study list (using Anki flashcards) or questions I have about a language that I might want to look into later (like ‘Does German have separate words for an octopus, a squid, and a cuttlefish or all they all Tintenfish?’). A lot of my students have done the same thing with their target languages, which has helped them immensely. Seriously, there’s hundreds of uses for these.

I’m huge on making notes visual, and I often like seeing the connection between them. If you prefer mindmapping to lists, then this can be pretty useful. I can guarantee that if you ever steal a planning notebook from me, you’ll find dozens of mindmaps within their pages. With this, I can do it on the run (or if I forget my notebook).

This seems a bit silly, but if you’re really into cooking and baking? It’s definitely helpful because it stores a ton of recipes and helps you categorise them. Even if you’re not, it’s a fast way to generate shopping lists and make sure that you have everything you need. It’s also a great way to plan meals for a period of time. After all, sometimes we need to remember to eat, and this helps you remember to get what you need.

Note: I think it’s easier to add recipes using their website, but the app and website sync nicely.

 

Figure Out What You’re Stumbling Over:

There’s a range of categories to read through. If you feel like you’re lost or stuck and need some advice or to figure out what is making you stuck, this is pretty helpful. I use this a lot to evaluate what’s on my mind. Even if the advice itself doesn’t work, it still helps to put things into perspective and make you go “Oh, so that’s what it is.” It also doesn’t tell you how to fix it, which I appreciate. Sometimes knowing is half the battle, and it’s usually the harder part of the battle (at least for me).

 

When You Need To Talk:

This is, unfortunately, US only at the moment. However, they are seeking affiliates in other locations to help provide similar services and do provide links to international options. That said, they try to help people in any form of crisis, and their counselors are available to help 24/7 (this is especially true because volunteers can be anywhere in the world). It doesn’t matter what you’re struggling with, you can contact these people to seek help and comfort.

School can be really difficult, especially if it’s the beginning of the year or you’re brand new to somewhere. If you find it difficult to make friends and want to find people who are welcoming, this app can be quite helpful. It allows people to create lunch meetings, promoting a more inclusive and kinder environment at school.