When you have ADHD life may seem like a maze to get through. There are so many things to remember that your mind feels like an overfilled closet where you can't find anything. Every day we have to access information in order to perform errands and routines like grocery shopping, bill paying, or setting up doctor's appointments. Even the simplest of chores can prove to be frustrating and difficult if our disorganization prevents us from retrieving important information we need to complete our tasks. If you find yourself in this boat, we are here to help
There are many methods and tools out there to help you become better organized and we have shared many of these with you over the years. In this post we are going to be talking about how the new technology of apps for mobile devices can help make your life a little easier. In case you are not familiar with the term, an app is just a shorthand term for software application. If you have a mobile phone, iPod, or iPad, you can buy apps to run on your device. There are apps for every purpose imaginable from charting your mood to keeping track of your child's behaviors. Today I am going to share my favorite apps for organization. Let this be the year when you finally have a system in place to keep track of all your important information.
Before I talk about organizational apps I did want to say that I cannot vouch for the quality or functionality of any of the apps I describe. Before you purchase any type of app, do your research first to see exactly what you are buying. Apps cannot replace your therapist or ADHD coach. They are simply an extra resource to make your life easier despite having ADHD.
Everyone has different types of information they may wish to monitor. I have included the most common themes for organization and the app that I personally use for each category.
Managing medical records and doctor appointments
If you are like me, you may lose track of when your last doctor appointment was and when to reschedule. You may have file folders stuffed with medical information at the bottom of a file cabinet or worse yet, you can't remember where you put the notes and results from any medical testing. And if you have a family, the problem is compounded by having to keep track of everyone's medical history. I have found a solution of keeping a lot of my family's medical history on an iPad app so that it is all in one place. There are many apps out there to keep track of your medical history but I liked this one the best for its ease of use and functionality.
- My Health Records-Health n Family (For iPhone, Ipod Touch, and iPad)
This app will pretty much keep track of any information pertaining to your health and medical needs. You can keep track of medications, testing, symptoms, and doctor appointments. You can add attachments of test results or prescriptions. You can use this app to email your doctor with your medical history. I also like that there is a passcode security feature so that only you can access your personal medical information. Make sure that when you do purchase any app that you read the fine print about privacy features. It takes some time to get all the information plugged in but once you do, it is all there in one place, and you avoid creating paper clutter. The developer also offers a way to back up your data on a secure server but you may opt to store a copy of your information on your hard drive.
Keeping track of birthdays, holidays, and events
Do you have difficulty as I do in remembering birthdays and special events? I am always late with my cards and well wishes much to the dismay of my loved ones and friends. But now there is an easy way to keep track of such things without having to commit important dates to memory or write them ahead of time on the wall calendar. There are apps that will remember all your important dates for you. The following app is one that I am presently using with great success.
- Occasions: Birthdays and More! (For iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad)
This app will give you ample opportunity to prepare for any upcoming event that you list. You can be notified a day ahead or even a month in advance. There is not a chance that you will ever forget a holiday again as it stores the dates of holidays for 44 countries. It also provides the dates of every religious holiday you can imagine from six different religions. I like that you customize your entries with photos and list your personal events such as anniversaries or other special occasions.
Creating to-do lists and goals
Everyone has their own style of keeping track of chores, errands, projects, and general goals. I have personally relied upon post-it notes to keep my sanity. But now there are apps which can eliminate the need to decorate your house with colorful paper to-do lists. There are numerous apps designed for this purpose but I find that many are too complex or cumbersome to be useful. I wanted to find an organizational app which could be as detailed or as simple as you needed it to be. The following app met my criteria for ease of use and adaptability.
This app will pretty much keep track of any type of information you need to create or organize. I personally like the style of visual post-it notes and memos to create lists. You can incorporate photos, maps, and sync with Google Docs. You can password protect each folder you create. There is a calendar feature complete with notifications of when projects or goals are due. You have the option of creating lists or a diary format. It is visually pleasing and uncluttered and you can fully customize it to meet your unique needs. I find it fun and rewarding to use. It just takes some time to get used to writing notes in this way especially if you have spent a lifetime writing handwritten to-do lists. The price is right too at less than five bucks.
It may be daunting to try a new tool for organization. But you might be pleasantly surprised at how easy and intuitive it is to use apps for this purpose. If you have trouble finding things or keeping clutter out of your home, using apps is a paperless way to keep track of important information.
Now we want to hear from you. Do any of you use apps to organize your life? Do you find it helpful or cumbersome? Share your thoughts and opinions here. We are eager to hear what you think!
To read more of my reviews of apps to help patients please refer to the following articles: