15 FIDGET GADGETS ACTUALLY WORTH BUYING
7 Best Gadgets for Managing ADHD
Staying organized can be challenging for those with ADHD. Thankfully, these devices and gadgets can help make time management easier.
By Wyatt Myers
Medically Reviewed by Pat F. Bass III, MD, MPH
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If you have adult ADHD, there's no question that it can be difficult to keep track of time. Having ADHD symptoms means it's also often a challenge to stay organized and focus on the task at hand.
Fortunately, the advent of technologies such as smartphones and electronic organizers has made time management a lot easier for people with adult ADHD. We spoke to experts about the best high-tech devices to help with ADHD. Here are their top eight selections.
"One difficulty experienced by people with ADHD is that they have little access to an 'internal clock,' so they have difficulty estimating and monitoring how long tasks take," said Robert D. Hunt, MD, a psychiatrist and ADHD specialist in Nashville, Tenn. Watches with multiple timers, he said, help you stay on track by letting you monitor each task individually. This one, from Watchminder, comes with 65 pre-programmed messages — from "Take Meds" to "Relax" to "Be Positive" — and vibrates rather than beeps, so it's discreet enough to wear at work. Price: .
"Moving" Alarm Clocks
Another piece of the time-management puzzle is going to bed and waking up on time. "A lot of people with ADHD have a hard time falling asleep at night, which makes it difficult for them to wake up in the morning," said Tracey Bromley Goodwin, MEd, co-owner of Navigating ADHD Inc., a program to support and educate families affected by ADHD. "These moving alarm clocks force you to get out of bed to stop the alarm." Clocky, for example, jumps off your nightstand and wheels around your room until you get up to turn it off. Price: .
"If you ever forget where you put your keys, a key finder attached to your keychain can save you a frantic search on the way out the door," said Dr. Hunt. One option is a key "clapper" — your keys beep when you clap your hands. You may also consider a wireless key transmitter, like this one from Brookstone. Simply press a button, and the matching key fob will sound an alarm. Price: to , depending on the model. Don't get too dependent on gadgets, though — since a key finder could reinforce the habit of not keeping track of things, though, try putting your keys in a standard place every time you walk in the door.
Electronic Organizers or Smartphones
An electronic organizer (such as a Palm Pilot) lets you take notes, set reminders, and make appointments in the palm of your hand. If you have ADHD, this makes it easy to stay organized when you are on the go and away from your computer. It's a good idea to keep a paper calendar somewhere safe, though, just in case your organizer crashes or gets lost. Price: and up.
If you have a smartphone, such an iPhone or Android, you may already have many of the ADHD-friendly functions already mentioned (watch, alarm clock, electronic organizer, etc.) in one handy device. Smartphones are expensive, but they're usually cheaper if you contract with a phone service provider. Remember, though, that extra time-management apps cost more. Also, a smartphone can be distracting, so use it wisely. Price: 0 and up.
One place where people with adult ADHD tend to lose track of time is in the shower, Goodwin said. Try putting a special waterproof clock right in the shower with you. This works more efficiently than an alarm, since you can see the minutes tick by while you're showering. This shower clock, from Brookstone, includes an AM/FM radio and a timer, but you can find more basic models elsewhere. Price: for radio/clock combo; and up for clock only.
When you have adult ADHD, your mind tends to race as you toss and turn in bed at night. Goodwin says that getting those thoughts down on paper can sometimes help ease those ADHD symptoms, and a lighted pen is a good tool for this. The pen is inexpensive, but you do have to pay for new batteries and ink refills if it runs out. The cost: about .
If you're bombarded by whirling thoughts, a voice recorder or speech recognition software may be just what the doctor ordered for your ADHD symptoms. Hunt recommends Dragon Naturally Speaking software by Nuance. Once you load the program onto your computer, all you have to do is talk into a microphone or through a hand-held dictaphone. Dragon will turn your words into text. You can also purchase a digital voice recorder and document your thoughts, meetings, and reminders that way. Price: 0 for software; and up for digital recorder.
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