For adults with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), tackling everyday tasks in an organised and productive way can feel like a challenge. ADHD is a complex, lifelong neurodevelopmental condition that often leaves individuals feeling overwhelmed and burnt out. However, those with ADHD are also creative multi-taskers and intelligent problem solvers who can get things done with the support of suitable systems and tools. In this blog, we’ll be sharing some of the best productivity tools to help those with ADHD better manage their time, tasks, and focus.
How does ADHD impact productivity?
Individuals with ADHD often have to manage a mix of attentional, organisational, and focus-related difficulties. The ADHD brain has impaired ‘executive functions’ which is the brain’s ability to focus, plan, and sustain attention while completing tasks. Overall, this means individuals can struggle with paying attention over long periods of time, getting and staying organised, and sometimes have difficulties with hyperactivity and impulsiveness.
Here are a few ways that ADHD can impact productivity:
- Organisation: It can be hard to organise and prioritise tasks in an effective way.
- Focus: Due to inattention, difficulties with focus and concentration are common.
- Procrastination: Getting easily bored and distracted can lead to a lack of motivation to start.
- Time: Keeping track of time can be a challenge, this is often referred to as time blindness.
Below, we’ll share some productivity tools that are recommended by those in the ADHD community.
9 Powerful ADHD Productivity Tools
ADHD Productivity Tools for Time Management
Timers and Distraction Blockers
Adults with ADHD can struggle to keep track of time and often have ‘time blindness’. Timers can be useful for creating an awareness of passing time. This makes it easier for individuals with ADHD to work in short, focused bursts and get things done.
Forest and Flora are two well-loved time-tracker apps recommended by the ADHD community. These apps, which also offer Chrome extensions, work as both timers and distraction blockers for digital devices. In Forest and Flora, you can choose a focus duration and start growing a tree. Your tree will grow while you work, however, if you leave the app or cancel the timer, your tree will stop growing.
Over time, users can build a forest that represents all their completed focus sessions. This simple, yet gentle and gamified approach is ideal to help those with ADHD manage their time blindness. These features are also helpful for tackling difficulties with motivation and distractibility.
Daily and Weekly Planners
Structured in a daily life planning app that combines your calendar events and tasks into a visual timeline. For individuals with ADHD, Structured can make it easier to keep track of time throughout the day. This app can be useful for completing tasks on time, following routines, and getting back on track when distractions get overwhelming. Structured also offers an inbox feature to keep track of future tasks and a range of customisation options for notifications and widgets.
Alternatively, Tweek is another simple tool that is ideal for those who love the simplicity of pen and paper. This app offers a minimalist weekly planning template for keeping track of upcoming events and tasks. Tweek’s template can be used as a printable, which allows users to either plan and print their week or simply print the template and fill it out as needed. In the digital version, it’s easy to reorganise items throughout the week and mark them as complete. Tweek is ideal for those who prefer to work flexibly at their peak productivity times, rather than following a strict routine.
ADHD Productivity Tools for Getting Things Done
Task Management for Neurodivergent people
Llama Life is a desktop productivity app that takes task management to the next level for those with ADHD. This to-do list app is ideal for those who struggle with inattention and time blindness, just like Marie, the creator of Llama Life. This app aims to help everyone, including neurodivergent people, to achieve calm, focused productivity. Many of the app’s features can help tackle common ADHD difficulties, such as distractibility, poor organisation, and trouble starting or completing a task.
Llama Life offers:
- Visual timers that show a tasks end time
- Gentle reminders to keep you on track
- On-screen celebrations with confetti when a task is complete.
- White and brown noise for focus
- Templates to help with routine tasks
- Productivity techniques, such as Eat the Frog or Eat the Cake
- Personalisation features to help with motivation
All-in-One Virtual Workspace
LifeAt is a virtual workspace with a collection of productivity tools for deep focus. Users can create a personalised productivity dashboard with a Pomodoro timer, to-do list, and ambience. This web app has a range of video backgrounds to choose from, making it an ideal tool for bringing some novelty into your work. For those with ADHD, LifeAt can help create an engaging workspace for getting things done.
This virtual workspace also offers the ability to work with friends via video calls. It can be useful to work with someone else when struggling with motivation and distractibility. Another option in LifeAt is to ‘study’ or ‘work’ with celebrities or online personalities using ‘study with me’ style YouTube videos as the workspace background.
ADHD Productivity Tools for Note Taking
Visual Note Taking
Visual note taking is an active process that can help those with ADHD to focus better and stay engaged. This can be a useful way to learn and process information for school, work, or personal projects. In addition, this is a versatile approach that can make it easier for those with ADHD to work through their creative ideas and plan complex projects. Visual note taking taps into the ADHD brain’s ability to form connections between thoughts and ideas. Typically, this can be quite distracting but an approach like this can provide some structure to those wondering thoughts and connections.
XMind and Effie are two visual note taking tools that can allow those with ADHD to tap into their creative minds. These digital tools can turn simple notes into dynamic mind maps of all kinds. Effie is a simple tool that allows users to write up minimal, bullet-point-style notes using headers. These headers act as the key points when users toggle over the mind map view of those same notes. Effie makes it easy to see the connections between information and take simple notes.
Alternatively, XMind offers a more complex and dynamic digital mind-mapping experience. This digital tool offers a range of structures, diagram templates, and mind-mapping tools for brainstorming ideas and organising information. For individuals with ADHD, these tools can provide a more novel experience when learning, ideating, or processing information.
Automatic AI-Powered Meeting Notes
Jamworks for Business is an AI-powered meeting recording tool designed with inclusivity in mind. It can be hard to stay focused in meetings and produce a useful, actionable set of notes. For those with ADHD, it can be difficult to leave a meeting feeling well-informed and ready to tackle action items. Jamworks ensures all meetings are both productive and inclusive for everyone using the power of AI.
This digital tool records, transcribes, and summarises meetings, even if you were unable to attend. Jamworks breaks down meetings into key highlights and multimedia notes, such as subtitled video clips, audio snippets, transcripts, and AI-powered summaries. This makes it possible to review meeting content quickly and catch up if distractions made it hard for you to focus. Jamworks will also produce a list of action items based on the meeting highlights, making it easy for you to stay productive.
Click here to get a free 14-day trial of Jamworks for Business.
You can also get access to this software by asking for it in an Access to Work workplace assessment.