Apps for ADHD Productivity

Apps for ADHD productivity

People with ADHD either have a list app they forget exists, or

The. Most. Methodical. System. Ever.

There is no in-between.

I’m the latter.

The thing that keeps tripping me up is time blindness. Time blindness is great for sitting at my desk and doing a ton of research or design in what feels like a blink of an eye..

..but being able to know when to get ready for an appointment on time before that google alert? Less cool.

In the past, I’ve relied on time blocking and backward planning and that’s worked for me – until I had a tiny human who needs to be reminded to “go” before leaving the house and has her own schedule of things to attend.

I need new tools.

(But also, when am I not always looking for new apps and comparing them?)

Here’s a roundup of tools that help with various ADHD-specific productivity problems.

1. APPS that help with time blindness

1. Structured – for Visualising your tasks in Timeline

Structured - day planner app

This app is pretty simple but powerful. It gives you a timeline of your day’s schedule and appointments with any todos you have at the top of the timeline (if they don’t have times assigned to them).

This lives on my phone and is essential for me keeping my daughters routine (somewhat) consistent over the weekend and when we travel, etc.

If something goes over the estimated time allocated to it, rescheduling is a case of dragging the tasks around the timeline.

My favourite thing is the app will tell you how much downtime you have in between appointments – or even from now until the next task or event if you hover over the timeline.

I won’t lie: I’ve used this to decide if I have time to go to X or start Y, many times.

This app is good if you’re still trying to find out what you’re optimal schedule looks like, because then you won’t need to re-jig anything.

2. Sunsama – for Mindfully Planning Your Workday Across Many Tools

Sunsama app - shape your work day mindfully

Productivity youtube and TikTok never mention this one, but it’s golden.

Sunsama isn’t a productivity or project management tool. It’s a tool for mindfully working on your priorities without overwork.

Sunsama’s main feature is its startup and shutdown routines. The app prompts you to discuss what you worked on yesterday, asks about your goals for the day, asks for time estimates, and what challenges you expect to face.

It offers nudges to reschedule tasks with no time estimate for another day. It has a bunch of small little features that make work more focused and mindful but never offers too much to get distracted with. It keeps you focused on moving forward.

Sunsama fully understands that you can’t just get the team to switch over to a new tool, so it doesn’t even try – it integrates with all the major tools you would use for a project or teamwork. If you’re the only person on your team who wants to do deep, calm work, so be it.

I love their blog article “Your day is not a project”. I’m vibing with this product a LOT.

2. For when you need noise in order to focus


There are a lot of online lofi music sties out there, but this is the cutest that’s got a pomodoro timer for free. And there’s a discord server! Who doesn’t want a community?

2. Brown Noise Pomodoro

If lofi isn’t your thing, brown noise helps a lot of people with ADHD focus. Here’s a brown noise Pomodoro on youtube that lasts 1 hour. There’s also an 8-hour version.

3. For People Who work better in cafes

If you’ve always been a person who just works better in co-working spaces or a cafe, these next apps are for you.

For some ADHDers, body doubling (having more people in the same room as you) is what works best.

Another option is to have an accountability buddy. This is a specific person to whom you’ll announce your goals for the day, and then let them know if those goals were met at the end of the work day.

1. Thinkdivergent – Cabify for finding an accountability buddy.

It’s free and so simple to match with someone, and you won’t wake up your partner if you work best at night.


2. Cofocus – when you need to see a face to be motivated


Also free, but you do need to find someone hosting a focusing session on their calendar. I don’t know when I will want to use this, but it seems friendly.

Bonus Resource:
There’s a discord server for bodydoubling.com if you want to choose between text, video or voice body doubling.

4. For the Easily Distracted

cold turkey distraction blocker.

I bough Cold Turkey writer and turned my laptop into a typewriter. It won’t even let me use my writing tool of choice until I hit my word count or the time limit I set is up.

And that’s just one of many (one off payment) products they have for the easily distracted, depending on what kind of work you need to do.

There’s also a free version of cold turky, in case you want to try it.

5. Honourable Mention

I’m also testing out Luna Task but need some time to review it.

Luna tasks: designed for adhd minds


So what do you think? Is there a tool that’s really helped you focus and get work done thats not mentioned? I’ve tried avoid the obvious ones like Todoist, Asana, Trello, Clickup, Tick Tick, Notion, etc.

Most people start at productivity tools.
I know I did.

But that’s not where the problem lies, with ADHD. If it were just about having lists – we all have phones with free lists and calendars on them for free.
That’s why GTD changed my life. It gave me a system.

This list of tools is about things that trip us up in terms of focus and productivity or getting started.

And if you’ve read to the end of this and are feeling down about having ADHD or being neurodivergent in another way.. don’t be!

ADHD still feels like my secret weapon as a designer:

  • Divergent thinking is my natural state – They teach new designers that divergent thinking is where you come up with many creative solutions for a problem, and how to do this, but this is my natural state.
  • Hyperfocus – the flip side of ADHD is superhuman hyperfocus. Deep work goes very deep and usually at high speed. All I need is to set boundaries against interruptions, and some lofi music.
  • Higher Empathy– ADHD makes me highly aware that we need tools for people who aren’t always power users, who find clutter overwhelming, who need something intuitive in order to get started and who need apps to look cute or they won’t want to engage.
  • Special Interests: I don’t think I would use and tests so many apps per month and keep the number of screenshots I do of them, if apps and product design wasn’t one of my special interests.
  • Robust Documentation System. Because my memory is naturally flaky, I write notes on my work or tools I’ve tested as if it were to someone with zero knowledge, because in two to three weeks’ time, that person will be me. If the is one skill that’s important in respectful and low-stress teamwork, it’s good, clear documentation and written communication skills.

Always embrace what makes you unique. That’s your superpower.


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