ADHD Products/Ideas to Help

Here are some interesting products/ideas I've seen that are popular with ADHD people.

I've put them into categories like this:

Keeping Track of Time

  • (See also Keeping Track of Things Other than Time)
  • TimeTimer for Time Blindness — this one is very popular with parents of children with Autism/ADHD. I haven't used this product.
  • Time Since Last Opened pill bottle -- Not sure if you did or did not take your pill? Memory is a hard thing to trust. The Time since last opened pill bottle lets you know "Sorry dude, it's been 37 hours since you opened this pill bottle... so there's no way in hell you took your pill this morning!"
  • Calendars
  • Shared calendar apps with partner/family (e.g. Apple/Google)

Keeping Track of Things Other than Time

  • (See also Keeping Track of Time)
  • Tile - little bluetooth/rfid devices that help you find your lost keys, wallet etc. Oh my god these things are great. I have three of them and need them one or two times per week. Not just because I've misplaced the keys, but also if other people in my family have misplaced the keys or moved my stuff.
  • FindMyIPhone (and similar on Android) - the find my iPhone app is great, and too many people don't realize they need it until it's too late. Set it up now!
  • Label maker
  • a dedicated place to throw your stuff, such as, well, this one
  • an "outgoing" basket in each room where you put things that need to leave that room (regardless of which room they should be in)
  • more laundry baskets than a normal person needs... lots of little laundry baskets
  • All the organizational tools! A continually rotating roster of organizational tools

Keeping Track of Thoughts

  • Aqua notes: take notes in the shower — Maybe we have brilliant ideas in the shower precisely because there is no note taking paper available. Or perhaps its the sensory immersion of the running water and the moment of peace away from other people. Use aqua notes to record your ideas and find out for sure.
  • Space Pen for writing notes while lying down. In truth I use my iphone for this now. But the amazing space pen was an item I envied for many years, but never quite got around to ordering (it was quite expensive...)
  • big whiteboard
  • big visible charts
  • bullet journal

Commitment Devices

tip Number 1 suggestion here: A barcode alarm clock

Alarmy App — Amazing app, an alarm you cannot ignore.

Alarmy lets you set alarms that are really interesting and impossible to ignore.

For example:

Some people find it very very hard to get out of bed in the morning. They might promise themselves, at night "When my alarm goes off, I will spring out of bed and have a shower." but when morning comes, they Just Can't Do It.

To help them out, they can set an Alarmy alarm that won't stop until they scan the barcode on the shampoo bottle in their shower. Once the person has gotten out of bed and scanned the shampoo bottle in the shower, the chances that they will actually stay up and have a shower are now very much higher than they would have been.

Alarmy has many different "missions" you can set beside scanning barcodes, but the barcode one is very versatile, you can use it to program your future self.

Every night I need to get the dishes done and the kitchen clean. But I procrastinate about starting this task (I'd rather do everything else) and often I'd end up getting it started well after midnight. Now I have an Alarmy mission at 9:30pm that won't stop until I've scanned a bar code I put in a cupboard in the kitchen, next to the dishwasher tablets. The act of going into the kitchen and scanning that barcode is enough to make me very very likely to get the dishes done.

This app, even the free version which I use, is a great procrastination buster. I expect there are other apps on the market that also have the barcode scanning idea, as it’s a powerful and easy to implement piece of code.

  • Time Out Padlock — want to make sure you don't eat the cookies until 3pm? Want to make sure you don't touch your phone? Lock it away with a time out padlock. You will also need to have a container that can be locked with a padlock.
  • Kitchen Safe Mini: Time Locking Container - A variation on the time out padlock is to have a container with the lock built into the lid. I haven't bought any of the time lock containers or padlocks, but I find the idea fascinating.
  • Power switch with a timer, to turn off your XBox at 10pm (for example). A friend swears by this technique, and insists that without it he would continue playing XBox, against his own wishes, until 2am every morning. When he knows it will switch off at 10pm he has the self-control to let-it stop. But he doesn't have the self-control to voluntarily stop it himeself. Fascinating example of "sleep-time procrastination".

Distraction Reduction

  • Sleep phones headphone headband you can wear for music or noise while you sleep (without disturbing others) — Some swear by these. If I want to listen to audio books or white noise or meditate or listen to music in bed, I use some very small/soft in-ear headphone. But they do mean you have to lie on your back (which can increase snoring/sleep apnea, if that's a problem you have.) Sleep phones allegedly get around this problem. I know people who swear by them.
  • White noise generators
  • Fidget toys
  • other apps?
  • Audio Books. You might prefer audiobooks over printed books. - I find audio books much easier to get through. When I was young I plowed through written books like a... a plowing machine. But now I find it very hard to find the time, or to stay on task with books. Instead I listen to audio books, that I get for free from my local library (and download via an app, without even visiting the library. I listen to them while I do chores, while I walk, while I exercise, in many little moments here or there. Audio books are fantastic. I haven't joined audible though, as I think amazon do not need any more money.

See also


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