Do you struggle to pay attention at work? Is your child often caught daydreaming in the classroom? Inattention and trouble focusing are among the hallmarks of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a condition that can make it harder for you or your child to get things done.
ADHD is one of the most common neurodevelopmental problems in childhood and adolescence. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 1 in 10 kids in the United States live with ADHD. Many of them continue to deal with ADHD as they get older.
If your child is having trouble getting through homework or you can’t seem to focus at work or around the house, you can find help right on your smartphone. These 14 apps do everything from setting up reminders to creating to-do lists to improve concentration.
iPhone – 4.5 stars with 1,891 ratings – $4.99
You probably juggle dozens of different tasks on any given day. A to-do list might help you keep track of them, but only if you remember to look at it. Written notes can’t sound an alarm when it’s time to walk the dog or go to your next meeting, but the Due app can.
This easy, fast app lets you set up reminders in a matter of seconds. Schedule one-time alerts, as well as regular notifications for repeated tasks. With distinct alert sounds, you’ll know right away when it’s time to take your medicine, go to the gym, or do the laundry. Sync your alerts across your iPhone, iPad, and Mac, so you’ll be reminded of to-do items wherever you are.
iPhone – 4 stars with 1,388 ratings – $2.99
Is your daily routine a little humdrum? Turn it into an adventure with EpicWin, the app that makes boring, everyday chores like dusting and laundry into an exciting game!
Here’s how it works: Enter your to-do list into the app’s easy-to-use interface and choose your avatar. Each time you “destroy” a chore in animated battles, you’ll be rewarded with points that increase your character’s stats and help you level-up. You’ll never think of housework or homework in the same way again!
iPhone – 4 stars with 152,515 ratings – Free
Android – 4.7 stars with 1,193,610 ratings – Free
Have you ever gone on a frantic search for an important note or to-do list that you left lying around? With Evernote, you’ll never lose track of your notes again. This app will organize and sync them across your devices, and incorporate photos and audio notes so you don’t have to write everything down.
See a recipe in a library book that you’d like to try at home? Take a photo of it and save it for later. Suddenly remember that you need to take the dog to the vet? Record a voice reminder so you won’t forget to make the appointment.
Evernote lets you organize all your documents by tags, so you can easily search for them when you need them. You can also share your notes with friends and family via Facebook and Twitter.
iPhone – 4 stars with 6,584 ratings – $4.99
More than 2.5 million people have simplified their daily routine with Clear, the app that Gizmodo calls “perfect for busy people.” Clear’s interface is a collection of intuitive and easy-to-search lists. It’s simple enough for anyone to use, yet powerful enough to organize even the most hectic schedule.
Create a list to remind you when it’s time to watch your favorite TV show or buy your friend a birthday present. Build another list to remind you that you have to mow the lawn or wash the car. Organize your lists by theme, and then access them across your devices by syncing them up on iCloud.
iPhone – 3 stars with 83,880 ratings – Free
Android – 4.4 stars with 13,842 ratings – Free
Bogged down by all the time it takes to write emails and texts? Slay slow typing with the Dragon app. A voice recognition system lets you send messages or post online to Facebook or Twitter without having to type a single letter.
No matter how quick you are on the keyboard, Dragon is probably quicker. It can transcribe voice to text about five times faster than typing. Plus, it’s completely hands-free so you can use it on the go. And if you make a mistake, you can easily fix it with the app’s voice-driven editing interface.
Remember the Milk
iPhone– 3 stars with 27,701 ratings – Free
Android – 4.4 stars with 32,180 ratings – Free
How many times have you come home from a trip to the supermarket, only to realize that you’ve forgotten to buy one all-important item? Avoid those “oops!” moments with Remember the Milk, an organizational tool that will help you keep track of all your lists and tasks.
Despite its name, Remember the Milk does a lot more than just organize your grocery lists. Use it to set project due dates, prioritize tasks by importance, estimate how much time it will take to complete them, and then plan the best way to get them done. Remember the Milk also lets you back up your lists online, so there’s no risk of misplacing them.
iPhone – 4.5 stars with 4,288 ratings – $2.99
Have you ever thought about keeping a journal, but couldn’t invest the time it takes to write your whole life story? Momento makes memory keeping easy, by using your existing social media pages to create a complete personal history.
Momento records important memories as they happen. You can then incorporate those moments with photos and events you’ve already collected in your social media timeline. Weaving together your daily musings and social media history creates a much more complete record of your life than could ever be captured in a paper book. You can also tag events so you can easily find them later.
Android – 3.0 stars with 33 ratings – Free
When a teacher drones on or a meeting seems never-ending, you may find yourself easing the boring moments by doodling. Whether drawing hearts, rainbows, or just nameless designs, these simple sketches can be powerful boredom busters.
Recently, research has found that doodling isn’t just a time-filler. It can actually focus your attention and help you remember, which is good news if you’ve got ADHD. Exercises in this app, like simultaneously drawing a circle with your left hand and a vertical line with your right, harness the power of the pen (or stylus) and increase your attention span by improving your focus.
iPhone – 4 stars with 906 ratings – $9.99
The road from idea to execution is often paved with mistakes and struggles. If you have trouble seeing projects to the end, check out MindNode, an app that organizes your thoughts for you, so you can focus on that all-important idea generation.
You start by writing down your thoughts into branching units called nodes, then connecting the dots to create a visual map of those ideas. Color-code the nodes to quickly identify similar themes. Drag and drop them into various patterns until a clear direction appears. You can cross-reference all your mind maps from your iPhone, iPad, or Mac, and publish them for everyone to see with the new MyMindNode service.
iPhone – 3.5 stars with 45,070 ratings – Free
Android – 4.5 stars with 1,020,823 ratings – Free
Do you still keep all your important photos, videos, and documents on your computer’s hard drive? If you need one of those documents while you’re away from your computer, you could be out of luck. Or worse, your computer could crash and wipe out everything you’ve painstakingly saved.
With Dropbox, you never have to worry about missing or losing your most important files. This free app stores your documents, photos, and videos to all your devices. You can instantly share your files with anyone you choose, and they can share their files with you — without space-consuming attachments! Plus, Dropbox offers 2 GB of free space, just for signing up.