ADHD Friendly Apps for Every Day Life

adhd friendly apps

 

We all have our favorite apps for everyday life. These are our trusted resources online that help us each day. I created this list in 2016 which is still valuable today because some actions and apps are timeless.  These apps are available on your devices and your computer which make them so much more useful.

 

To manage your “to do” list and multiple projects at home and work

We all have more to do than time to do it. Having an app to capture projects, tasks, and a long list of “possibilities”  makes it easier to get stuff done. You can break tasks and projects into manageable steps with these apps. Check out Asana, Click Up, or Trello.

  • Asana helps you work with your team or family. You can coordinate and collaborate with your team using boards or lists of actions. It is a workflow that gives you context to your tasks within the projects.
  • Trello is a visual task board with “index cards” for you to view. It’s simple to set up and use. Lists are flexible and can be named with your own context. You can name the lists by the days of the week, the project, or however you think of your tasks or projects.
  • Click Up offers the option to view you in multiple ways. There are many ADHD-friendly features built into Click Up once you are more agile with this app.
  • Evernote is an app standing the test of time. This context-based app lets you create “virtual notebooks” to hold the tasks and projects. It’s the ease of use and versatility make it a long-standing favorite!
  • Notes app is easy to use.

No matter the app, it won’t do the task for you. Getting started might require “warm-up initiation” strategy. However, being organized with your tasks will save you time.

 

To manage your dates and appointments

Having an app at hand on your device or smartphone makes it easy to keep up with appointments and determine dates.

  • Google calendar is easy to use and available to sync with family. You can use several calendars and some can be hidden for only you to view. This calendar is a part of the Google Suite so it works well with Gmail.
  • Calendly helps you schedule time to work and collaborate. You send an invite and your invitee chooses what works best. This app is a great time and email saver too in making it easy to schedule.

Setting reminders and timers help you stay true to your plan. Multiple alarms help you especially transition between time blocks.

 

All those other apps that keep life simple and easy

  • LastPass is the most recommended password keeper.  Just remember one password and all others are accessible.
  • Airline apps help you travel easily. There are new features like baggage tracking, seat choices, and more evolving every time we travel.
  • Dropbox holds your files and pdf documents for easy access no matter your location.
  • iCloud backs up your data on all your devices. Be sure to turn on automated backup each evening when you charge your phone.
  • MileageIQ helps you track your mileage.

We all have favorites! I hope you will share your favorites here too so we can learn what you love and use.

 

 

 

 

Get Organized with Cyber Security

 

get organized with cy

We have all recently heard about an Instagram or Facebook account being hacked.  Maybe you have experienced a situation where a family member or friend accidentally gave access to a bank account to a scammer. Cyber security has become a necessary part of life. Cyber security is protection of computer devices from information disclosure, theft of or damage. This includes your online financial accounts, social media and any information accessible online. There are simple steps and a checklist you can use to safeguard your information and save yourself time, energy and frustration. This requires organization and maintenance for you to stay safe.

 

Setting up devices with security.

Set up is the first step to secure your information. Know that all devices have these settings.

  • Set up privacy settings on your devices as soon as you purchase. Look in the settings-> mail -> privacy protection.
  • Set up two factor verification. This is where you get a text or a phone call with a code before a log in can happen for any account.
  • Be sure to have virus protection on your computer. Antivirus software prevents access to your information on your computer.
  • Update devices regularly. These updates include fixes and patches for security.

Password Protection

Passwords are the gateway to all information for us. This is especially difficult for us because these extra steps seem to be a barrier rather than protection.

  • Use passwords with a trusted tool such as Last Pass. No one needs to remember all their secure passwords and a password manager keeps your information safe.
  • Use unique passwords for every account. It is easy for all your accounts to be comprised with similar or same passwords.
  • Turn off Password Save for your computer and online access. You easily access your password manager instead.
  • Share your passwords only with those you trust. If you are helping a senior member of your family or community, encourage them to use a password manager for this reason.

Recognize scams and fraud early.

We are seeing more and more online scams and fraud. These are not always easy to spot so having a healthy dose of skepticism is necessary.

  • Be aware and suspicious of interactions of any sort with unknown inquiries. That includes whether a bill has been paid or a purchase has been made. These inquiries can occur through email or phone.
  • Know that social media captures information about you. From the movie, The Social Dilemma, we know that social media uses information we share. Be alert to this while sharing your personal information online.
  • Be wary of emails from unknown sources. Never under any circumstances click on unfamiliar, unrequested links.

 

Being organized about your cyber security can help prevent long lasting issues with finances and personal security. It takes time, just like other tasks, but the pay back is well worth the investment.

Get Organized with Contacts, Email and Snail Mail Addresses

organize your contacts, information and addresses

 

No one remembers your 7 – 10 digit phone number or your Venmo account name. Happily this is all automated for us now.  Your contact list is a combination of your closest connections and lots of possible vendors and business people. Keeping your list up to date makes it easier to work together and also saves you time trying to find information. Here’s how to organize this area to make it easy and seamless for you.

 

Consolidate

You want your information in one place. Currently it could be in many different locations such as icloud, gmail, or any other email system. This might be the hardest part of this project. Where do you want to keep your contacts? If you have used Outlook, it’s often the easiest place to keep this information.  Google and gmail are a good choice if you use gmail as your native email account. Google syncs with all phones and transfers easily.

 

Name

Consistent naming helps you remember who and what to look up in your phone. You might be storing contacts for a new roof or doctor. Or you could have met a contact at a recent event and want to connect later. Having a consistent practice for entering information into your contacts helps!  Decide if you want to enter Name, Business (business name and what that business does).  That would be Ellen Delap, Professional-Organizer.com, paper organizing. Keeping consistent also helps you keep the clutter in your contacts to a minimum.

 

Edit

Editing is a tedious job, so it’s a task we can do while sitting in a carpool line, waiting on a prescription or when we are low energy. Look through contacts and delete those that are not used or you can’t remember when you last contacted that person.

 

Update

When it comes to updating, it is best to take a minute and update as soon as you see new information. It’s easier to do this right away because your contacts are always current.

 

Backlog

Before you add new contacts from business cards or other scraps of paper, be sure you review first. Adding names and businesses just in case will not help you.

 

Power up

According to SalesForce, “Contact management is the process of recording contacts’ details and tracking their interactions with a business. Such systems have gradually evolved into an aspect of customer relationship management (CRM) systems, which allow businesses to improve sales and service levels leveraging a wider range of data.”  If you are overwhelmed with contacts in your small business, it’s time to power up to a CRM to help you with contacts and leverage this information.

Productivity Trends for 2021 and the Future

 

trends and future

 

Even though we are living in uncertain times, there are trends emerging. These organizing and productivity trends started during the pandemic and are taking shape to have a big impact on us and how we get stuff done.   Check out these trends for 2021 and the future.

Remote Work Is Here to Stay

Towards the end of 2021, the hybrid work trend came into being more as the norm. More people had the opportunity to work part time at home and part time at the office. Remote work is here to stay because people can be especially productive in different spaces and with different types of collaboration.  Look to improve your productivity remotely with using trusted tools that work in any space.

 

Freelance Work Is Creating Opportunities for Companies and Workers

The “Great Reshuffle” is giving new opportunities to all who seek meaning in what they do every day and the values of those they work with ongoing. Your strengths and skills open up next steps for you.  Be prepared and organized about how you seek new opportunities in order to give you the best flexibility and opportunity. Keep your new contacts readily accessible on your devices and keep your skills sharp with training.

 

Automation Is the Future

Technology, organizing and productivity have been intertwined for years. There are more apps and automation that make work effortless. Data collection and review have become a part of every process. This information helps you determine priorities and focus.  Investing time in automation give you greater income and greater opportunity. Some of these apps include Calendly for meeting clients, Zapier for essential actions in business, and Hootsuite for social media marketing.

 

Healthy Work-Life Balance

Statistics share how work-life balance and relationships are our priorities.  One in five have met their colleagues’ pets or families virtually and one in six (17 percent) have cried with a colleague this year. The new connection to who we are and what we believe in has helped us see what is truly important.  Taking care of ourselves has become critical after difficult times.  Create your own healthy balance using time blocks to get work done and have fun.

 

Lead your industry and business by using these trends. This information will  help you bring more focus to your own work this year and going forward.

What to Organize Now Back To School Technology and Apps

what to organize now back to school technology and apps

 

This year we have seen a major shift in the use of technology and apps. As corona home school began, we all had a crash course in Google classroom and more.  Most of us felt overwhelmed and behind the curve. Get in the Back to School groove with technology apps that can help you and your student do your best work this year.

 

Digital planners

MyHomework

Your students can use a digital version of their planner. MyHomework offers ways for students to track their assignments and get due date reminders.

 

Google calendar

Favorite because it integrates with all things Google, your kids can use this as their planner with easy access.

 

Trello

Trello is a visual tool that works using boards, lists, and cards to enable you to organize and prioritize your projects in a fun, flexible, and rewarding way. It’s like shuffling a set of cards and laying these out by priority and project.

Kid Productivity

Time Timer

This app is a visual timer to use to help you student stay on track and stay focused. It works by visually showing time elapsing. It’s especially helpful for students with ADHD.

 

Pomodone

Much like the Pomodoro Method, this app helps student set up work and free times. It helps student keep from procrastinating and learn time awareness by knowing how much time they are spending on studying.

 

Focus@Will

Personalized focus music to help you get stuff done by customizing music at intervals.

Freedom

Freedom helps your student stay focused by blocking distracting websites and apps.

 

Favorite learning apps

Quizlet

Quizlet makes repetitive studying fun and effective. Many classes already have set up their vocabulary and your student can find existing study materials. This app has video and audio components to make learning more interactive and engaging. There’s also an option to create your study materials with flashcards, tests and games.

 

StudyBlue

StudyBlue is similar to Quizlet, offering virtual flashcards, vocabulary review and concept repetition. The study aids have text and images.

Grammerly

If your student needs a spell and grammar check, this is for you. It can be installed on multiple devices.

 

EasyBib

EasyBib helps your student create a bibliography with a free tool to generate citations.

 

Family Organizing

LastPass

So many passwords! Keep these all here on LastPass.  Free and purchase options available.

 

Headspace

Meditation might be just what we all need when it’s Back to School. This app for mindfulness helps you relax and encourage focus.

 

Cozi

Cozi is free, easy-to-use planner for all family activities. You can keep events and activities, set up your weekly schedule, create, store and and share the grocery list in real time.

 

 

To get started, choose one app to start and test it out. See how well you and your student use it.  After 2 weeks, assess if you are feeling accomplished with this. To organize your new apps, group these apps together in a cluster on a single screen for easy access.

Celebrating 10 years of Social Media, Blogging and Connections

 

Celebrating 10 years of social media

 

It’s been a wonderful 10 years of social media fun!  I love the opportunities to connect through blogs, podcasts and social media.  It’s a way to share expertise about organizing, productivity and more. Most especially, it’s a way to connect to my colleagues, business partners, and clients. It’s a way to share ideas together.

 

Podcasts

Podcasts have energized social media in the last 5 years.  It’s an amazing medium to share information. It’s easily found on your smart phone or device and offers an array of subjects.

Thank you to Leiann and John of Smead for your weekly podcasts. That variety of topics on organizing and productivity touches everyone! Thank you for including me in these contributions about ADHD, productivity, and routines.

Thank you to Peter Shankman and his Faster than Normal podcast to share organizing ideas, tips and routines for those with ADHD.

Thank you to Rachel Seavy of Collector Care and Hoardganize for sharing tips on ADHD and organizing.

 

Blogging

Thank you to everyone who has visited my blog, commented and connected. It a “mutual admiration” for us who are connected via our blogs.  We learn new tips, get tech advice, share insider secrets and look at the newest thoughts in our industry.

 

Blogging has changed over the 10 year period.  In the beginning I blogged about organizing primarily. Now my blogging is a bigger opportunity to share about ADHD.

 

Social media

Facebooks is a daily family reunion! It’s where I find my clients working together on organizing in Facebook Groups.  I love sharing ideas to help everyone be their best self.

 

Who doesn’t love sprinkles and sparkles?  Pinterest is where ideas and visions percolate.  Having a pretty picture to share and recreate can help my clients have a vision for their organizing and productivity.

 

Twitter is where my writer friends and colleagues hang out.  There is where I find a connection to share big ideas through articles.

 

LinkedIn is my connection to the business world.  There I share and publish articles of my own focusing on the business side of organizing and productivity.  My LinkedIn Groups connect me with like minded professionals.

 

Let’s connect if  we have not already! It has made a difference for me in daily relationships, work – life balance and communication.

 

Who knows what’s next in social media? There’s new ways to share knowledge evolving all the time. I look forward to staying connect in each of these ways to share more about organizing, productivity and living a simple and organized life. The truly priceless part is the connection you make with individuals along the way!

Use Weekly Planning Time to Create a Calm, Organized and Productive Week

 

weekly planning time

 

Organizing your time takes many different steps to get the job done.  Having one great calendar and an effective way to manage your tasks and lists are the first step.  Carving out a Weekly  Planning Time pulls together these great tools.  Stephen Covey and David Allen both incorporate this routine into their strategies, as well as Asian Efficiency and The Productivity Show.  This time helps you create a proactive plan and gets you ahead of the curve.

 

Basics of Weekly Planning Time

  • Weekly planning time is when you pull together your lists, assess upcoming events and add a plan to your calendar.
  • Start by setting an undistracted time for you to “meet” with your planner.  This should be added to your calendar as an appointment!  A good time may be Friday before the end of work, Sunday afternoon as you are getting ready for the week, or any time that really works for you.
  • Gather together your tools of your planner, your lists, any emails or papers with upcoming events, projects you are leading or collaborating, and any other date driven activities. You want to consolidate all this information into your planner and an organized list.
  • First, add all new dates and update any existing dates, then add small reminders, consolidate errands, project out baby steps for a big project, and generally scan for bumps in the road coming up.
  • Next, scan ahead for new projects, events or recurring annual projects for that time period. This includes for work and home. Consider taxes, financial reviews and home maintenance. Make notes of who to meet with for these upcoming tasks and projects.
  • Finally, create a “think big” section of your planning time. What is a major goal you have thought about and would want to take action on?  This is where you have the opportunity to be creative and act on your dreams.  It’s also about being strategic about life goals.  Take this time to spend a few minutes on goals and dreams.
  • If you use a technology planner, no problem! Same strategy with this tool!
  • Make it fun! Grab your favorite beverage, sit in an inspiring spot and enjoy this planning time.

 

Upgrade your Weekly Planning Time

  • Use a planner that adds focus to your time.  I love my paper planner pad! A digital tool to do this work is To Do ist.
  • Set a day of the week for certain activities.  Money Monday and Financial Friday are the days you work on money matters.  By allowing yourself one set day a week for an important task, you give yourself permission to be dedicated to one specific task instead of many difference ones. This strategy works well for people who know that they can do one thing well.
  • Be consistent about your weekly planning time. The more consistent, the more you will notice what’s working and what is not. “Noticing” can lead to enhancements too, such as knowing what works best for you and what are your strengths.
  • Level up with this podcast featuring the weekly review of Getting Things Done (GTD) with David Allen.
  • Take this routine to the next level with a Family Meeting too.  Gather your family on Sunday evening, with all their calendars and your family calendar (paper, Cozi, or google calendar) and set this time for planning purposes.  Not only will you have family communication, collaboration and cohesiveness will be a big bonus.

 

What obstacles might you have incorporating into your week this planning time? Be sure to set this at at time that works well for you.  In order to be consistent, the time that you work on Weekly Planning Time makes the most difference. How do you do know this is working well? Now you feel in control, ahead in your planning and confident in your tasks and projects.

 

More time management tips here!

Holiday Gifts with a Tech, Organizing Twist

holiday gifts with a tech, organizing twist

 

I am the first to share that experiences are the best gifts. However, there are some tech, organizing gifts that can make your life more organized, more productive and easier.  Here are 4 gifts to keep in mind this year.

 

Rose gold speaker

Getting organized and being productive are easier with music! Your organizing playlist makes it more fun to work and get stuff done.  This Rose Gold small speaker is a blue tooth companion to your smart device.  You can bring music to wherever you are working or organizing.


 

 

A great night’s rest for every family member is possible! Corral your devices here in this bamboo multi-device charging station.  An added is bonus is that all your devices are charged and ready to go in the morning.

 

 

Available in a variety of colors, a small portable charger keeps you in touch with everyone. These chargers travel near and far so that you are always prepared.

 

Fitbit versa

Fitbits have been here for a while. The updated fitbit Versa gives you lots of ways to accomplish your goals. For me it’s tracking steps to keep up with my fitness goals.

 

Each of these organizing, tech gadgets can help you accomplish your inner Marie Kondo efforts!

How to Tackle Organizing your Digital Photos

Organizing photos

 

When asked about what we must take with us in an emergency, we all say our photos!  Our photos are our most precious stuff.  We have them on our smart phones, cameras, social media online and in print.  It’s easy to over snap and not come back.  It can be overwhelming after a birthday party or family event to gather them together. Our photos are our way of capturing the magic of the moment.  Organizing your photos means you will truly enjoy them.

 

The best solution for organizing photos follows a routine that works well with your routine.  Allow time once a month or immediately after a family event to work with your photos. We jump back into life and don’t get the opportunity to reflect and enjoy our photos. It helps to set a time to work with these.  Summer can be a great time to reminisce, review and organize your photos.

 

Start with a plan.

How will you group your photos? With paper or digital photos, we can group chronologically, by events like holidays, birthdays or trips, or by family member.  Keep in mind your family will be growing, like adding grandkids and partners.   Write out your plan and then create folders online to capture the photos as you consolidate them. If you are working with paper photos, you can use photo boxes.  Make a plan and test it with sorting.  Remember, you can delete photos as you work to keep only the best photos.

 

Begin consolidating.

Get all your digital photos together in one place. For me that’s on my computer.  I email them to myself from my smart phone, download from Facebook, and move them from my camera with a cord.  There are many services that automate consolidating to get all your phots in one place such as GooglePhotos, Dropbox and AmazonPhotos.  Keeping all your photos in one place makes it easy to know what you have.

 

Always backup your photos.

There are lots of ways to do this.  I use Carbonite to back up all the time. Highest recommendations are for for GooglePhotos, Dropbox, Smugmug and Shutterfly.  Each allows a certain amount of space with additional space for a fee. Scanning is the way to back up your paper photos. There are options for you to scan yourself or services to delegate.

 

Taking the next step is the fun part.

Decide what photos you want to print, create a digital photo album, or create a gift.   I keep framed pictures of grand kids throughout my home. I know the frame sizes so each season I print out an updated photo.

  • If you are just starting a photo grouping in a hallway or on a desk top, choose the frames first, then purchase the pictures.
  • My daughter in law does a birthday book for each child. The book consists of 5- 8 printed pictures from each birthday, placed in sequence in a photo album. The kids love looking through these each year.
  • Other options include digital scrapbooks from Shutterfly and even Walgreens.com.
  • For Mother’s Day, Father’s Day or birthdays, gifts like mouse pad, calendar or mug are wonderful ways to share photos.
  • Remember to give yourself plenty of time to choose the photos you want to share.

 

Keep your most precious items safe with backing up and organizing digital and paper photos.

Spring Organizing Office Edition

 

Spring organizing office

 

Offices and office spaces continual to evolve as more of our work becomes digital.  There’s lot of digital decluttering to do as a result.  This Spring more your office forward to become more electronically  organized.

 

Edit first

All offices are busy and it’s a low priority to eliminate digital clutter.  Start a 15 minute daily edit of digital clutter.  Look first at email, then documents.  In multiple 15 minute time slots you can pare down what is not needed. Now assess your duplicate documents and drafts. You can add these to trash to clear space and clear up confusion of the final document.

 

Attend to your desk top

We’re talking computer desk top here!  Add documents into folders and eliminiate any extra icons. There’s clarity here now.  Add a beautiful and serene screen saver for you to see when you are disconnected.

 

Graphics organizing

If you are a social media maven, it’s your graphics that can also need refreshing.  Use a content driven organizing system.  Group your graphics and photos by topic in your pictures to easily access and use your items.

 

Unsubscribe to unwanted

You may have once wanted to learn about a topic, and now you are saturated with email subscriptions. Take 15 minutes to unsubscribe rather than delete your unwanted subscriptions.  Less incominng newsletters free up time.  If you don’t want to let go of these, or incoming coupons, create an additional email account to directly access this when wanted.

 

Update your passwords

We change our passwords, hoping to remember then each time.  Update your password keeper in order to easily log on.  Change passwords if it’s been a while for sensitive sites.  Now log in on all your devices so that you have access from your smart phone or tablet.

 

Control the cords

Technology advances quickly.  It’s time to recycle your older devices and cords. Gather these together with the cords to donate.  Label the remaining cords to know what goes together. Store the cords at point of use in a drawer if used frequently or in a box under a cabinet if not.

Now you and your office are ready for a productive Spring!

 

 

 

Still cluttered in there with paper?  Here’s where to get started!