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Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a disorder that is commonly associated with children, but more than 10 million U.S. adults also live with the condition, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Adult ADHD can cause problems with executive function. This means people with the condition may have a hard time initiating tasks, following through, remembering things, or managing complexity.

Many people have found success in delegating important memory and productivity tasks to their mobile devices. Apps are available to help you organize, prioritize, and build structure into your life.

We’ve rounded up the best apps for ADHD to reduce overwhelm and increase productivity, so you can get the most out of your day.

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects children and may continue into adulthood. People with ADHD may have trouble focusing their attention and controlling impulsive behaviors. They may be hyperactive or inattentive, and their symptoms can change over time.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are three types of ADHD, depending on someone’s symptoms:

  • Predominantly inattentive. Someone may be easily distracted or have difficulty organizing tasks, paying attention to details, or following instructions. They may forget or lose things.
  • Predominantly hyperactive-impulsive. The person fidgets, can’t stay still, feels restless, and may be impulsive. They may talk a lot, make careless mistakes, and have frequent accidents and injuries.
  • Combined. Someone may have both types of symptoms equally.

Learn about types of ADHD and symptoms in both children and adults.

When choosing the best ADHD apps, we considered each app’s features, ease of use, and availability for iPhone and Android. We also scanned dozens of customer reviews to ensure people really found them valuable, and of course, we made sure users were getting the most bang for their buck.

Best overall

SimpleMind Pro – Mind Mapping

  • iPhone rating: 4.7 stars
  • Android rating: 4.7 stars
  • Price: $9.99 on iPhone or $8.49 on Android

Have you ever longed for a map of your mind so you could remember when, where, or why you came up with an idea, or what you had to finish today? Well, that’s what this app is all about: SimpleMind Pro allows you to develop a complex map of your thoughts, ideas, and to-do lists.

The app also lets you upload media like documents and voice memos to go along with your information, create logical branches of related ideas and topics, and (perhaps most importantly for folks with ADHD) be able to retrace your train of thought.

Best for setting reminders

Due – Reminders & Timers

  • iPhone rating: 4.7 stars
  • Price: $6.99 with in-app purchases

Distractibility plays a big part in ADHD, but Due can set you back on track with reminders to do the important things.

You can increase your productivity by scheduling in the must-dos, like taking medication. Adding a reminder is easy, and the app design is super clean and sleek. When a reminder goes off, it continues to ping you in set intervals (say, every 10 minutes) until you mark the task as done.

Best for taking and organizing notes

Evernote

  • iPhone rating: 4.2 stars
  • Android rating: 4.1 stars
  • Price: free with in-app purchases

Think of Evernote as your modern-day Trapper Keeper. Type in to-dos, add reminders, scan handwritten notes, take pictures to remind yourself of a task, and save websites and videos.

A search function makes finding everything you’ve saved a breeze. So even if you’re not the best at organizing your folders, Evernote can help you find what you need when you need it. Evernote is a great choice to jot down those stray thoughts to pursue later, so you can stay on task now.

Best for reducing overwhelm

Remember the Milk

  • iPhone rating: 4.7 stars
  • Android rating: 4.6 stars
  • Price: free with in-app purchases

Sometimes even the simplest tasks have multiple steps. With Remember the Milk, you can increase your chances of getting them done (and increase that feeling of accomplishment) by creating task lists with their own subtasks.

Assign due dates to each and add notes that lend helpful information, like locations, passwords, details, messages, or addresses that you need to complete the tasks. The app can remind you of upcoming due dates with your choice of mobile notifications, emails, or texts. The app’s map feature is a game changer for running errands, too — it plots your tasks, so you can plan the most efficient route for checking items off your list.

Best for collaboration

Asana

Asana is a free organization and collaboration tool. You can use it to create to-do lists and add due dates and details. Asana is great for adding structure to your professional life, too, as it allows for team collaboration: assign tasks to others, view tasks in project boards, and keep tabs on what’s been assigned to you and others. When you’ve assigned out a task, it remains visible, meaning you won’t lose track of or duplicate tasks.

Best for managing your to-do lists

Todoist

  • iPhone rating: 4.8 stars
  • Android rating: 4.5 stars
  • Price: free with in-app purchases

Get things out of your head and onto a list that stays with you, pings you, and motivates you to be productive with Todoist.

With the quick-add feature, just type in a task, reminder time, and hashtagged list category, and the app takes care of all the organization. You can also set recurring reminders, so you can spend less time working in the app and more time getting stuff done. Track your productivity with the Todoist progress summary, which clearly displays how many tasks you’ve completed and how many are waiting for your attention.

Best for Pomodoro

Brain Focus

  • Android rating: 4.7 stars
  • Price: free with in-app purchases

This time management app keeps you from using your phone as a distraction. Brain Focus blocks apps and quiets your notifications, so phone distractions are not an option when you need to focus.

The app uses the Pomodoro method of setting time on-task and time off-task. You can use it when you need to focus, and the app will count down your selected time while locking you out of the apps you’ve selected as distracting. Brain Focus also uses your countdowns to track how long you’ve spent working in self-selected categories, such as work, school, chores, reading, meditation, or whatever you’ve decided suits your needs best.

Best for project tracking

Trello

  • iPhone rating: 4.5 stars
  • Android rating: 4.3 stars
  • Price: free with in-app purchases

Trello began as a tool for project managers, product managers, and software developers. But the app’s incredibly intuitive organization interface makes it useful as a planning and organization tool for almost anything — whether it’s grocery lists, planned to-do lists, or even just organizing your thoughts. Use checklists, project folders, and more, as well as share your app information with other users.

Best for simplicity

Clear Todos

  • iPhone rating: 4.5 stars
  • Android rating: 4.7 stars
  • Price: $4.99 on iPhone or free with in-app purchases on Android

When you have a lot to do or a lot on your mind, it can feel overwhelming without an end seemingly in sight. Clear Todos helps break down the things you have to do into clear-cut, digestible, color-coded, and organized lists, so you don’t have a mountain of sticky notes or scribbled reminders all over your desk, your bed, and your life.

Best for security

Bear

  • iPhone rating: 4.7 stars
  • Price: free with in-app purchases

Writing down what you have to do or what’s going on in your head shouldn’t feel like a chore. Bear gives you a simple, visually appealing interface to jot down your thoughts or keep your to-do lists organized and encrypts them with simple password protection.

You can also tag your notes so that you can easily keep all your related thoughts in one place, even if you write them down at different times or in different forms.

Best for productivity

Productive – Habit Tracker

  • iPhone rating: 4.6 stars
  • Android rating: 4.1 stars
  • Price: free with in-app purchases

The more you have to do, the less it can feel like an accomplishment to get things done. Productive – Habit Tracker lets you develop a personalized routine that you want to follow, and acknowledges when you follow your predetermined tasks or meet a daily goal for many days in a row. You can schedule tasks that are as big or as small as you want, so you can plan out your day to accomplish both what you have to do and what you want to do.

How can organization apps help with ADHD?

ADHD apps are an excellent way to keep track of activities and prevent overwhelm. They can help people with ADHD in various ways.

Firstly, they can help structure your thoughts into easy-to-read lists. Then, you can prioritize tasks and set reminders, so you don’t need to worry about missing dates or essential things to do.

Second, organization apps can track your progress toward goals and remind you about what you need to do next to complete tasks.

And finally, you can use an app as motivation when you want to stay on top of things and need a little pep talk to keep you productive.

What are the treatment options for ADHD?

The CDC says that the first line of treatment for young children is usually parent training in behavior management before doctors try medication. This involves teaching parents skills and strategies to manage and reduce their child’s disruptive behaviors.

With children older than 6 years, doctors may try a combination of medication and behavior therapy together.

Medications can help adults and children manage ADHD symptoms. They help balance brain chemicals, so people can better control their impulses and actions. There are two types of medications:

  • Fast-acting stimulants. There are many options, including amphetamines like Adderall or methylphenidate (Ritalin).
  • Nonstimulants. These are slower to act but with a longer-acting effect.

What are some coping skills for ADHD?

ADHD apps can help you organize your life, but there are other ways to cope with symptoms. Here are some tips:

  • Exercise daily. Exercise helps with focus and attention, and you can burn off any excess energy. Plus, it helps ease anxiety and depression.
  • Find time to de-stress. Take time, especially to de-stress and unwind. It’s ok to take downtime and allow yourself some headspace to gather your thoughts.
  • Create systems. Learn how to prioritize and plan. That way, even if you get distracted, you’ve got the essential things out of the way early on.
  • Break down tasks into steps. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed with large projects and procrastinate. So, break everything into steps. Do things in smaller blocks and tick them off as you go.
  • Learn about ADHD and find support. Even reading about other people’s experiences living with ADHD can help you feel more prepared to deal with your own symptoms. Finding a support group, either online or face-to-face, can also help.

ADHD apps may help you better organize your life so you feel less overwhelmed. These apps can prompt you to begin tasks, help structure your thoughts, meet important deadlines, and stay focused.

Making an ADHD app part of your daily routine could keep you on track with tasks and help with your medication and treatment schedules.


Amanda Doyle is a Boston-based healthcare editor, former dance fitness instructor, and previous neuroscience researcher. She’s passionate about equity, kindness, conscious language, and destigmatizing the human experience.