We’ve selected these apps based on their quality, user reviews, and overall reliability as tools supporting good habits that can help the ADHD community. If you want to nominate an app for this list, email us at email@example.com.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common childhood mental disorders. In a 2011 survey, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that 11 percent of school-age children had ADHD.
Children with ADHD may seem hyperactive, inattentive, or impulsive, which may impede their development or functioning. Symptoms may vary for every child. Children with inattentive ADHD may have trouble focusing, organizing, or finishing tasks. Those with hyperactive-inattentive ADHD may seem impulsive, fidgety, prone to risk-taking, or be frequently interruptive of others. Children with combined ADHD experience qualities of both. Since symptoms may seem similar to other conditions, always speak with a doctor about any concerns.
If you or your child receives a diagnosis of ADHD, your doctor may recommend treatment with behavioral therapy or medication. In addition, the National Institute of Mental Health suggests providing an environment of organization, routine, and positive encouragement. Technologies that facilitate this can be great aids for children, families, and educators. These apps are designed to promote positive behaviors and assist with organizing tasks. They can help compile and prioritize thoughts. They also offer great reminders to follow through.
Here’s our list for the best ADHD apps of the year.
People with ADHD may have trouble focusing on or following through with tasks. Asana was made for businesses, but it’s a great tool for building a child’s organization and management skills. You can create multiple projects, assign tasks, and set deadlines. With notifications and commenting functions, you can also stay involved at every phase of a project. Asana can even help you manage tasks for the whole family: The app allows up to 15 users. For example, conversation threads may give everyone a voice when planning a family vacation.
EpicWin injects character into your planning — literally. This child-friendly, role-playing app turns chores into a fun adventure. The app motivates you to complete everyday goals or long-term “quests” to win points. Choose from five avatars (an in-app purchase) to destroy each task in front of you. Of note: They’ve upgraded their calendar to work on the latest iOS.
Remember the Milk
Remember the Milk helps you organize, share, and complete your tasks. Build to-do lists and organize items by priority. Then set reminders to alert you via text, email, or even Twitter. Remember the Milk syncs across your devices and other apps, including Gmail, Evernote, and more. Purchasing a pro subscription gives you access to features like advanced sorting options and color-coding. By sharing lists, parents or loved ones can help stay on top of chores, homework, and more.
With repeated reminders, Due is an asset for anyone prone to distraction. Its clean interface allows you to set alarms in seconds and program them to repeat. You can also customize alerts by choosing from their library of almost 60 sounds. New for iOS 10: Expect the snooze to alert you up to 10 times, not indefinitely. Due will automatically change time zones for you and doesn’t require an internet connection. Of note: Due works with iPhone, Apple Watch, and iPad. For Mac, purchase Due for Mac.
Evernote promises to keep you up-to-date as your searchable “digital notepad.” This app makes it simple to have everything you need in one place. It syncs a variety of files from your devices, including text, audio, and photos. For fast archiving, you can snap a photo of a document or input on the go. Create to-do lists and set reminders to ensure you don’t miss a beat. There are many more neat features, like a dictation tool for Apple Watch. They offer premium subscriptions on a monthly or yearly basis.
MindNode will help you follow the thread of your ideas and organize them. The app is all about “mind mapping,” or helping you intuitively visualize your thoughts. It boasts that it’ll help you link unrelated ideas and rearrange and prioritize thoughts. It’s easy to create, import, or add to maps. Access your maps from any device and share them with others. Emphasize important map “nodes” with color-coding, font style, or pictures. A great feature is that you can turn nodes into tasks, which you can then export.
Dropbox will help you access the files you need, anywhere. Dropbox is a storage service that makes it simple to store and share your files. By sharing files, parents can help manage and comment on homework or other matters. You can upload many file types, including video, audio, and text. You can import them via camera, too. Dropbox is free with limited storage, but you can purchase more with a subscription.
123TokenMe aims to help parents, teachers, and therapists promote positive behaviors and milestones. With a colorful interface and graphics, the app provides tokens to motivate and reward learners. The app now allows for unlimited students and tokens. You can set reminders to help time tokens at the right moments to keep students engaged. The app also collects information about your students’ performance to help you tailor your lesson plans. The latest version triggers the alerts you set even if your device is asleep.
Momento acts as your private journal. The app boasts that regular writing is good for mental health and memory. You can capture and catalog your life with text, photos, and video. You can also tag people and places — helpful if you’re forgetful with names. And you can set custom alerts to remind yourself to continue logging. Multiple search options help you rediscover previous events. The app will also pull from your social networks and let you share what you like. Momento is free, but certain functions are only unlocked through in-app purchase.
Looking to help your child build good prioritization and organization skills? Priority Matrix may help. Working as a team, you can get on the same page about goals and manage projects together. Never miss a milestone with reminders and real-time task updates. The app’s report capabilities offer insights into productivity, so you can adjust your work style accordingly. Integrate your account with other organizational tools like Evernote, email, and calendars. Purchasing a subscription provides you with additional functions.
Catherine is a journalist passionate about health, public policy, and women's rights. She writes on a range of nonfiction topics from entrepreneurship to women's issues as well as fiction. Her work has appeared in Inc., Forbes, The Huffington Post, and other publications. She’s a mom, wife, writer, artist, travel enthusiast, and lifelong student.