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If you take medication for ADHD, Adderall or Vyvanse is basically your chi, keeping your brain chemistry balanced. But that only gets you to the starting line.
Luckily, if you use these apps intended to help manage ADHD, your scrolling habit can give you an edge when it comes to follow-through and productivity. You know, so you don’t just talk the talk but actually walk the walk.
Apps have made everything easier, from surveilling your cat all day to helping folks with ADHD establish routines, work more efficiently, sleep better, and even manage money.
Here’s a rundown of 25 game-changing apps for ADHD.
A note on our methodology:
We asked a number of questions to determine if each app we tested should appear on our list. Is it highly rated? Does it offer something unique? Is it user-friendly? Is it reliable and not buggy? Does it drain a smartphone’s battery? Can it continue to grow and innovate? Apps that scored well on all criteria ended up on the final list. They’re in no particular order.
These are the apps that make sure you never again forget when Lizzo tickets go on sale.
iPhone & Android | Free / $7.99 a month or $69.99 a year for Premium
Taking notes, scheduling appointments, and solving world peace — who you gonna call? Evernote!
Evernote helps keep your calendar, desk, and brain in order. This note-taking app organizes everything — such as recipes, journal entries, photos, and web content — into searchable tabs and folders so you can get and stay organized.
2. Remember the Milk
iPhone & Android | Free / $39.99 a year for Pro
Creating a to-do list is a victory in itself, tbh. Remember the Milk streamlines the somewhat-painful process with color-coded tags, subtasks, priority levels, and more. You can even share lists and assign tasks to others.
To help you follow through, the app sends reminders via email, text, IM, Tweet — basically any method except carrier pigeon.
3. To Do
To Do is the app formerly known as Wunderlist, now with more bells and whistles. The task manager has a personalized planner, color-coded lists, themes, and a daily review feature that helps you be more mindful.
What hasn’t changed is the simple interface that lets you quickly and easily create lists, tasks, reminders, and due dates.
iPhone & Android | Free / $3 a month for Premium
Set yourself up to get ish done on a regular basis with Todoist. The app lets you easily create and prioritize tasks and then sort those tasks into different sections.
You can add reminders or recurring due dates and set daily and weekly goals. Over time, you can track (and visualize) your productivity with the Karma feature.
5. Boomerang Mail
Even if you’re ride-or-die for to-dos, some days just move too quickly for an action list. Or maybe every day does. Whichever it is, the Boomerang add-on for Gmail, Hotmail, Outlook, and Microsoft Exchange helps manage your inbox and priorities.
Schedule emails, get reminders for time-sensitive messages, and even find out if your emails have been read (creeper). You can also pause incoming messages and archive important ones for later.
These are the apps that step in for Mom when you absolutely have to get it together.
iPhone only | $4.99
If the snooze button’s incessant reminders are the only thing getting you out of bed, then you’ll probably love (slash hate) Due.
Every date and reminder you set in the app has an “auto snooze,” which means you’ll be notified at preset intervals until you mark the item as either done or rescheduled. (You can always just leave your phone in the other room.)
Paying bills and tracking your credit score may never be fun in the traditional sense, but Mint does make these tasks less of a chore.
By adding your checking and credit accounts, you can easily monitor your spending, schedule payments, create budgets, and even spot places where you can save money.
iPhone | $1.99
Waking up with FreakyAlarm is slightly more terrible than with a typical alarm, but if you tend to hit the snooze button one too many times, the app is very effective. Annoying, but effective.
For instance, you may have to solve a logic puzzle before the alarm will turn off. Or you’ll have to take a photo of something around your house to disable it. You get the (evil) picture.
9. YNAB (You Need a Budget)
iPhone & Android | Free 30-day trial / $84 a year
If you’ve ever tried to create your own budget in Excel — and immediately fallen asleep — this app can simplify the process.
This aptly named app can also help you pay down debt (we see you, student loans), establish financial goals (Lizzo tickets!), and generally manage your money more efficiently.
10. Sleep Cycle
iPhone & Android | Free / $29.99 a year for Premium
A bad night’s sleep sucks for anyone, but for people with ADHD it double sucks since it can make your symptoms worse.
Sleep Cycle gives you a detailed analysis of your sleep every morning so you can see how deeply you rested and how much time you spent in each stage of sleep.
Depending on what time your alarm is set for, the app also gently and gradually awakens you from a lighter sleep stage. Now if only it could serve you breakfast in bed or brush your teeth for you.
These are the apps that help you answer your work emails while you call Grandma and shop Cyber Monday shoe sales.
iPhone & Android | Free trial of seven blocking sessions / $6.99 a month / $29.99 a year
Smartphones *can* aid productivity, but they can also open up a digital rabbit hole that leaves you scrolling, swiping, and tapping until 3 a.m. Until you download Freedom, that is.
The app and site blocker hides anything you deem disruptive, whether that’s email, Instagram, or videos of goats wearing sweaters. You can schedule or set recurring blocks and even sync the app across multiple devices to help hold you accountable.
12. Brain Focus
Android only | Free
Make your breaks work for you with this straightforward time management app. Simply start the timer for a work session and, when it ends, take a break. Rinse and repeat.
iPhone & Android | Free 1-week trial / $69.99 a year
Picture this: You open Spotify or iTunes with the intention of finding music that won’t distract you from work. An hour later, you’re watching Céline Dion’s carpool karaoke and creating the perfect power ballad playlist. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Focus@will is a different kind of music service. It streams music that’s scientifically designed to support concentration, keeping you focused longer.
You can choose from different channels, like ADHD 1, Water, and Classical Piano, and even adjust the energy level to your preferred sound intensity.
iPhone only | Free with in-app purchases
Get your creative juices flowing, jump-start a brainstorming session, or just get a daily dose of #Inspo with Brainsparker. Designed for both creatives and business-minded people, the app helps disrupt your thinking with a random prompt.
There are more than 250 “cards” in the basic version, but you can purchase specialized packs geared toward writers, photographers, managers, and more.
Fun fact: Phones are actually black holes capable of making your productive ambitions vanish. If you’ve ever wondered where your time goes — and how to get it back — RescueTime can help.
The app automatically tracks and categorizes the time you spend on different sites and apps. Use the info to identify distractions and periods of high or low productivity and then create a work schedule that best suits your (and your brain’s) needs.
iPhone & Android | Free / $6.99 for Full
If you’re a visual or analytical thinker, SimpleMind’s “mind maps” take a different approach to thought organization and idea generation.
Once you identify a central concept or problem, you add associated keywords, colors, and images so they radiate from it. This captures your thought process and creates connections that regular notes might not be able to.
These are the apps that make miracles and promotions happen.
iPhone, Android & Desktop | Free for Dropbox Basic (2 GB of storage)
Never again get that stomach-dropping-out-your-butt feeling when you realize something for work is saved on your personal computer: Adding documents, photos, videos, and other files to Dropbox makes them accessible from any device.
Changes to files sync automatically and can be easily tracked (or undone) thanks to version control. You can also share files or entire folders with a simple link, which means no more oversized email attachments.
iPhone, Android & Desktop | Free for Asana Basic
Let’s be real: Procrastination might be the key to your success, but it’s also the root of a lot of stress.
With a project management tool like Asana, you can visualize and set your own deadlines for each step of a project — which basically means you can “procrastinate” until the last minute and still get your work done ahead of time.
You can even view tasks on a calendar to make sure there aren’t holes or overlaps.
19. Priority Matrix
iPhone & Android | Free / Personal & business plans from $8
Instead of juggling tasks, prioritize them — and get them done — with Priority Matrix. This project management system (sans Keanu) uses a four-quadrant framework to determine what’s urgent and what can wait.
From there, you can create projects with individual tasks, set deadlines, add notes, and even allocate work to others.
20. Dragon Anywhere
iPhone & Android | Free 1-week trial / $14.99 a month or $149.99 a year
With Dragon Anywhere, you can create professional-level documents — think reports, meeting minutes, client forms — without typing a single word.
The popular dictation service has high voice-recognition accuracy and no learning curve, so you can instantly and precisely capture your thoughts. There’s also no limit to length or time.
You can literally read aloud the entire “Harry Potter” series and the app will capture it, sobs and all. (R.I.P., Dumbledore.)
These are the James Bond-esque apps that keep you one step ahead of the haters.
Whether you have 4,762 unread emails or a completely tidy inbox, managing email subscriptions is a serious time suck.
Luckily, there’s Unroll.Me, a magical tool that generates a list of the emails you’re subscribed to and then — get this — lets you instantly unsubscribe from them.
An app that obvious and useful seems too good to be true, but it’s very real (and highly rated).
Ever forgotten to put your phone on silent only to have it ring at the absolute worst moment? Never again with this app, which syncs to your calendar and automatically mutes your phone when necessary.
23. Google Voice
Google Voice offers many perks — it filters spam, forwards calls, and even offers competitive international calling rates — but one of its greatest features is voice transcription.
That means you can get through voicemails without having to replay each message a dozen times.
As smart as your phone is, IFTTT makes it, well, smarter. The app’s name means “If this, then that,” which pretty much sums up its function: IFTTT helps different apps communicate so they can work together better.
It can do things like sync your social feeds and trigger events based on your location, but it can also help keep you organized. For example, it can add a task to Evernote or Todoist if you flag an email and automatically store voicemails in your Dropbox account.
iPhone only | Free / $4.99 a month for Premium
Routines are important for productivity, but establishing them can be a struggle, to say the least. Routinist makes seemingly simple tasks even simpler.
Just add your morning and evening tasks and the amount of time they usually take to complete, and the app will send you reminders of what to do next.
This helps reduce the thought and decision making that goes into creating a routine, leaving you with more mental energy for other things. It even calculates your bedtime and wake-up time to help make sure you get a good night’s rest.