How does technology help your ADHD?


#1

I’m curious what modern technology things you’ve learned really help you with your ADHD? I’m thinking devices, apps, etc. (not web sites, videos)

First and foremost: Google Calendar. I put all of my events on it. I finally got my wife to put all of her events on and share her calendar with me. I have a widget on my phone’s home screen (Android) that shows our calendar events. This works far better than her telling me about things (especially when my mind is elsewhere).

I’ve also used the Google Assistant’s ability to remember things as mentioned in another thread. I don’t know if others experience this, but there’s time where I know when I put something down (even in a good spot) that future me will have troubles finding it. Google Assistant remembering can help.

There’s a free app for Android that I used last year when I was on crutches and needed a coworker to drive me to work. I needed to be ready for 9:00am every day for him to pick me up. I didn’t want to be late. I found this app “Speaking Clock: TellMeTheTime” that saved me. It has an option to “Start speaking clock” which will announce the time every X minutes that you request. I’d have it announce the time every 5 minutes so that I wouldn’t get too off track. I’ve been meaning to use it an night, and just got it started on my phone! It’s much harder to lose track of time when it’s announced every 5 minutes.

Muting notifications on my phone. While I have an addiction to technology, I’m not really addicted to my phone, or checking it. However there’s times where I’d rather not have it make any noise/vibration.

Noise canceling headphones. I had been wanting these, and within two weeks of being diagnosed, I felt it was justified so I bought them. MAN are they great (in an office environment). I can’t naturally tune out coworkers’ conversations, phone calls, etc. This is a huge plus.

Streaming music (in my case, usually Google Music). I use music 90% of the time when working at work, housework, or any kind of labour. Apparently this isn’t abnormal for ADHD. I remember peers in grade school found it odd that I’d do math homework to Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, Def Leppard, etc. The thing that I like with streaming music, is being able to satisfy whatever type of music I’m currently in the mood for. I love that I can have a song on my head, then have it playing 10 seconds later.

I’ve deployed some smart home devices (X10 and Insteon) with Google Home Minis. Being able to tell Google to turns lights on/off, fans on/off, etc. while I’m in bed, walking up/down stairs, carrying things, etc. I find totally suits me. Being able to verbally turn on a fan when I’m hot in bed, as opposed to getting up really works for me :blush:.

Edit: While writing this email, the phone announced a time. Without looking at a clock, I can’t tell you what it was. It went in one ear and out the other. So I guess you need to care what the time is, or the announcements mean nothing. :yum:

Joel


#2

Definitely also Google Calendar! I would NEVER remember anything without it. I also use Google Keep to make a million lists of things I want to remember.

I use Spotify for music, or if I want ambient noise I use Noisli.

And the last thing I can think of off the top of my head, I require either games on my phone or my 3DS in order to fall asleep most nights.


#3

I really need to get better at using my calendar, right now I’m horrible with it. I use Google Calendar as well, due to having a Samsung Galaxy connected to my Gmail account… so I have google calendar… and I use it sort of… but I got out of the habit of updating it and checking it regularly. I put in my hair appointment for june 12th… and completely missed it… and my phone is on silent because I need to figure out how to turn certain notifications off during the work day and I’ve been so tired lately that I just never take the time to figure it out. :sweat_smile:

I actually really liked https://teuxdeux.com and I did the free trial for a while. But same with the calendar, I fell out of the habit of using it, but I think I’m going to go back to it because I’m starting to get a bit busier and I REALLY need to put things from my head onto something visible. I want to start bullet journalling eventually but right now I just don’t have the room in my head for that. There are two downsides to TeuxDeux, though. 1) It’s not free. Granted, it’s $3/monthly or $24/yearly, so it’s not too expensive, but still. 2) There is no app for android yet and as an android user that sucks. I did find something that is fairly compatible with TD but getting the hang of getting things updated on the app and on the actual TD list was… not great. Once you get it down it’s easy but the learning curve is a bit much when you’re busy. I still really like it though and I do hope they are able to finish the android app sometime soon.

A. SPEAKING. CLOCK?!
Oh my god. OH MY GOD THAT’S BRILLIANT. I’ll have to look into that!! I am SO horrible with time. I’m just like… OKAY I’LL GO DO THE THING IN LIKE 20 MINUTES! Then next thing I know it’s been nearly an hour… thankfully my boyfriend and I work in the same place so we drive in together… and being accountable to him for getting out on time is really solid motivation… but there are times where having a speaking clock would do really well for me. So I’m so glad I jumped into this thread and read that!

YES TO HEADPHONES AND MUSIC. Okay so my office, I need to be able to hear my phone ring (and my hearing isn’t great, I’m not going deaf or anything, but it definitely could be better) and I don’t know if noise canceling headphones would be good for me. However, thankfully my office is closed off to the rest of the office except for my boyfriend’s office next door… so I’m able to wear a gaming headset (as they are the only headsets that don’t give me an eventual headache, usually) that cuts out a decent chunk of noise, has good sound quality AND I can still hear my phone if it rings. EVEN BETTER, the business I’m at is moving later this year and then I have an entire office to myself. No attached offices. So I’ll get even less noise, thankfully. But definitely would go for noise cancelling headphones if I didn’t still need to hear some things around me!

As for music I use spotify. My music desires constantly change so spotify is really good for feeding the different phases I have. Symphonic metal. Classical. Kpop. Rock. Alternative. Pop. Etc etc. The money I pay for spotify definitely is cheaper than what I’d pay if I tried to buy all the music I want to listen to. I’m not super familiar with google music? Is it like spotify? Or is it more like iTunes where you have to purchase the songs? Spotify has a couple buggy issues (they don’t affect me too heavily but my boyfriend seems to have some fairly common spotify troubles) so if there is something out there that’s like spotify just less buggy I’m totally in to trying it out!

I’ve contemplated getting apps that give in incentive not to use my phone but I’m not easily addicted to that… I mean I could use the same app on my desktop but I just… don’t think I have enough self-discipline to use that kind of app yet. https://www.forestapp.cc/en/ This is the app in particular. I am the type that will gladly kill my pixel tree in order to get to what I want to look at so I don’t think it’s useful for me (which is a shame cause I really do like the concept) buuut hopefully it’s useful for someone else here!

I don’t really have other tech that helps me I think… OH.
GOOGLE DOCS.

I use Google Docs for a variety of things. I have a list of dinner ideas my boyfriend and I would love to try one day. We have a weekly dinner plan document. We have a grocery list document. Like… it seriously saves us so much trouble and it’s so easy to use and the apps for the phones work perfectly in terms of like the docs (we use google spreadsheets for budget but we don’t look at that on our phones). Google docs is such a great way to store things you need to refer to for any reason. And it’s a godsend in the grocery store!

TL;DR:

  1. Google Calendar is nice
  2. TeuxDeux is great but has a couple draw backs (apple app but no android app yet. $3/mo or $24/year)
  3. Speaking clock is brilliant. Omg need.
  4. headphones are great for work space if your work allows them
  5. I use spotify for music
  6. Forest App is great (link above) for keeping away from distracting websites and such if you’re brain is the type that can do that kind of thing (mine does not unfortunately but I love the app concept)
  7. Google Docs is amazing.

Sorry for the wall of text. :sweat_smile:


#4

I may have to check out Forest for FireFox.

Google Music is Google’s version of Spotify. I tried Spotify Premium free for a month once. I stayed with Google Music since I was used to it (and already heavily using Google products) but Spotify was very comparable (better in some ways).

I use Google Docs a fair bit, but usually just for transferring, sharing, or backing things up.


#5

My surface pro 4 allowed me to be more organized in school. Not as many loose lost papers although there where still some, no longer 2 backpacks worth. (yes I had two backpacks. Only freshman year though)


#6

I use the Pomodoro Timer on my phone to focus on projects at my desk. I work in IT so interruptions are common, but many times I will get tons done in 25 minutes straight with no break.
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.artifix.pomodroido.free&hl=en_US

Joe


#7

I don’t use Spotify or the likes because I’m using the free versions and they’re really not good for distraction-free listening. Deezer only lets me hear two hours a month so I tend to save them up and never use them and Spotify ruins everything with ads. I’ll eventually pay for one but I can’t decide. Anyway, I use Bandcamp instead. I love discovering new music, so that’s my catnip. At home, I prefer vinyl because it makes me get up every twenty minutes.

For to-do lists, I’m now experimenting with post-its because I can stack them on top of each other and organize them so one task only shows up when I’ve done the one on top of it. In theory. Doesn’t quite work yet.

As for actual apps, there’s only one thing that comes to mind: Text editors that have a full-scren option. They’re supposed to make all the fancy features go away that you don’t need when writing, but they also make everything else on the screen go away.


#8

I use a lot of widgets on my Android home screen (across several pages):

  • Pure Calendar widget so I can see what’s happening today (crucially including a Google Calendar shared with my wife!)
  • Remember the Milk for todo list widgets. I have 3 lists on my home screen: stuff I need to do, stuff I need to do RIGHT NOW (and still haven’t), and a shared shopping list with my wife, so as soon as we run out of something, it goes on the list. No forgetting to write it down later.
  • Loop habit tracker: One button per habit I’m trying to train myself to do e.g. exercise, read book, music practice. When I’ve done them, I tap the button, and the app shows me my progress with each habit over time. I know a fair few people use Habitica, but the gamification thing doesn’t really work for me; I’ve spent so long training myself to avoid stuff like that! Also I’m not much of an RPG fan.

I also use the Sleep With Me podcast if I can’t sleep.

And I listen to music at work. The higher energy, the better :slight_smile:


#9

Ooh, I got another: Digital video. Not the videos themselves, but I found that I lose focus when a clip, especially a tutorial or something, is too slow. So I make frequent use of the speed option, playing videos at 1.1x or 1.25x or even up to 2x the speed, depending on how slowly the instructor talks. Digital makes this feasible because it doesn’t do that distracting pitch thing.

I even started doing that watching old movies and TV shows. The Ducktales theme is really much better at 1.25x speed!


#10

You actually reminded me of a couple more.

Google Assistant has a shopping list, so I can add things to it with my Google Home minis when I think of things. I don’t use this however as, thanks to my kids, it’s filled with things like Ferraris and Lamborghinis.

Also, I bought a Muse headband years ago when I was very stressed and working on a very stressful project. I find that it can help me relax well at times. Often if I use it at bedtime to relax, I’m falling asleep before it’s over (3 - 10 minutes) - much sooner than if I turned off the lights to go to sleep. So it can help induce sleep, though usually once I take it off and turn out the lights, I don’t fall right back asleep. I’m sure others might find Muse useful, though given the price I wouldn’t suggest anyone run out and get one. It hasn’t improved my life enough to say it was worth every penny. Perhaps if I used it daily I could.

I do however plan to do an experiment some day with the Muse, to analyze my natural brainwaves vs. medicated.


#11

I’ve set up this ridiculous system of 3 separate apps to remind me to take my meds. But, it works! (This is all on iOS, but I’m sure it would be possible to set up something similar on android)

  1. Round health (https://roundhealth.co/)- Doesn’t just remind you at the time you set, but at the beginning & end of a window around that time. So 1 hour before, a badge alert & notification show up. At the med time I’ve set, it dings, and another notification comes up.
  2. Reminders- I set up a repeating reminder for 5 minutes after the med time I set in Round. It gives me another ding, and the notification sits there until I check it off.
  3. Alarm- 5 minutes after my reminder, an alarm goes off telling me to take my meds.
  4. Round health again - 1 hour after med time, if I haven’t checked off that I took my meds, the app dings loudly and asks me if I took them.

Having so many notifications is super annoying, but that’s kind of the point. It might be overkill for some, but I take meds for other health problems besides ADHD, and missing a dose of those is dangerous. Which is not a great combination with my ADHD forgetfulness…

I also love the speaking clock idea! I did a quick search for an iOS version: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/talking-clock-free/id581556362?mt=8. The link is to the free version, there is also a paid $0.99 version without ads.

Oh, another app I really like is 30/30: http://3030.binaryhammer.com/. I heard about it on an ADHD podcast, and it’s great for when you’re trying to set up a routine, or keep yourself on track as you go through one, or figure out how long a routine actually takes you. You make a list of tasks, in order, and assign times to each. It shows you how much time the whole routine will take. When you’re ready to go, you press play, and it starts counting down your first task, buzzes when time is up, moves to the next, etc. While it’s running, you can pause, or add/subtract 5 minutes from the current task. But what’s super helpful is it keeps updating your predicted end time, so you can see what effect those pauses have. I don’t use it all the time, but the times I have made a lasting difference-- eg, making me realize I could not actually get ready in the morning in the time I was giving myself, so I needed to set my alarm 30 minutes earlier.


#12

Ooh and possibly the most important one: I always set a timer when I have a shower, otherwise I could easily be in there for 20+ minutes!


#13

I do that all the time when watching youtube. When I’m on my phone it can be slightly frustrating since I don’t have the option to do so :(.


#14

Holy shit.

Time Management

The app “SaveMyTime”. It takes over your phone’s screen when you unlock the phone, and asks you to select what you’ve been doing for the last X minutes. I started using this to keep track of a few things: sleep, work hours, study hours, personal care hours, and relationship hours. I preferred this app because it didn’t force me to set a timer and work on only one task for a certain amount of time. I could be my good old ADHD/erratic self, and still be able to keep reasonably good track of how I was using my time.

I used it to figure out my average # of hours slept per night (which was a ridiculous 12 hours per night before ADHD treatment… :persevere:). I also used it to make sure I was working AT LEAST 30 hours per week on my college classes, because I knew that’s about how much time I needed to commit to stay on track. And, as I went though my “near divorce experience” last fall/winter, I used it to track how many uninterrupted, face to face hours my husband and I got together. I found that as long as I kept it above 14, things went a lot better, and if I got it consistently to 20 hours, things were really good between us. I also saw that if my Work Work, Personal Care, Education Work and Personal Project/Hobby time got above 70 hours a week, I started to feel really burnt out.

Very helpful!

Online College
For similar reasons to the above, I’ve found the ability to take most of my college courses online to be INVALUABLE to my ability to continue my education! I don’t have to be on time to a particular class, get a long with a particular instructor, or make friends in a structured setting. I can pick up my schoolwork when I WANT to activate for it, and I can put it down when I am done, on my own timetable.

Many mentioned above are also helpful for me: Google docs, headphones (esp bluetooth headphones!), etc.

@themax Speed settings on digital video are a godsend! Almost all videos are too slow for me. I ended up downloading a plugin for Chrome so I can speed up ANY flash based video, not just those somewhere like YouTube. This is soooooo so helpful for getting me though lectures and documentaries!


#15

I just came across an app via Brian Eno’s Twitter that’s both a godsend and a timesink. It’s called XronoMorph which tells me the creators never intended for anybody to actually speak the name. It’s a sound sequencer for polychronic loops.

How does that help with ADHD? Well, sometimes recorded music just won’t do for me. Sometimes, even the most familiar instrumental music is too distracting but I need something to drown out the noise. In those moments, I used to play ambient music (sometimes two albums at once, to keep things interesting) or just launch a drum loop on a sequencer. Or, now, this. The point is to edit something that’s interesting enough to listen to for a while and when it gets anoying, to change it a bit and so on. Or at least that’s how the drum loops work for me. This should work even better because it generates more engaging and variant patterns.

Of course, it’s also fun, so there’s a good chance for it backfiring. Hence the timesink bit.


#16

Tile Bluetooth nose me not lose my wallet in my room, or orget where I out my backpack so I would definitely recommend. They are a little bit pricey and only last a year though.


#17

Chronomorph is the pronunciation that the guy has on the video (from the link you included).

I happily listen to music while I work, but it needs to be music that I’ve heard countless times before. I can digest some newer music if greater focus isn’t needed.


#18

I use google calendar in conjunction with my bujo to keep track of tasks and appointments.

I use pantry check to track what food I have at home. This is especially helpful when I’m planning dinner before I leave work, and I just need to know what I have without trying to remember. It’s super easy to add purchases because you just need to scan the barcode and they pop into your inventory, and it’s sorted by type and searchable. Biggest hassle is you have to pay to track more than 200 items and you have to remember to keep it updated by marking used items “finished” and adding items you purchase.

I love the idea of the speaking clock. I’ll check that out.

I just downloaded the forest app, which btw is described as a Pomodoro app, so AWESOME.

I would totally listen to headphones if I could. I have never worked a job where I could do that. It’s always either a service job, or a job where I’m on the phone constantly, or a job where I’m too visible to be allowed to use headphones. So I play the online station streaming soundtracks, because it’s mostly instrumental and they let me.

I use mint.com to track my spending and finances, and also to track my bills. Most of my bills are set to autopay, except for credit cards. mint.com lets me know which bills are coming up to be autopaid, so I can keep an eye on my balances, but I don’t need to remember to go in and pay them, which is a huge relief.

I use the apple watch to get notifications without looking at my phone constantly and also to keep track of my phone.

I really want to try this whole “remind me” thing, but I have and iphone, so I"m not sure if google assistant is on there. Does siri do the same thing? Or I have alexa at home, but that might not work when I’m away from home.


#19

I use an app called Todoist which is a todo app available on most devices. I find this really useful for keeping track of what I need to do. I have also connected a web service called Zapier that is brilliant. Zapier allows you to automate things you do on online service.

One way I use it is when my staff invoice me Zapier scans my emails and when it sees an email with the word “invoice” in the title, it automatically creates a todo in Todoist for 1pm the next day so I can remember to pay them. It’s worth a look.


#20

I also set a timer to remind me to take my meds, and usually I wonder an hour or so later if I actually took the time to take them.
I use Google calemdar, when I actually enter things on it.
I have been working a desk job for 8 years doing bookkeeping. I am self-taught, and never received adequate training (its a non-profit). I cannot understand a lot of things and working with numbers is maddening to me! I have days where I cannot get myself motivated to do anything so I have to set a timer for 25 minutes or so, where I have to do nothing but work…no checking email or surfing the net… then I give myself about 10 minutes to look at Pinterest and pin things I will never get around to doing or making, then its back to the 25 minutes of work again. Sometimes I get so into the task that I will work past the 25 minutes, which is a hood thing :wink: