Ipod Touch The Personal ADHD Assistant

One of the advantages of coaching adults with ADHD, is that you often have some pretty creative clients. One client had trouble organizing themselves while they were out of the house and generally preferred using the computer to help her manage time.

Being a Mac person (sold them for 7 years) and knowing that she didn’t want a cell phone (so no iphone) I suggested she consider getting an ipod touch because ease of use and intuitiveness were important considerations. Also I asked if she usually lost her ipod, because the ipod touch is amazing, but kind of expensive, and that wasn’t a problem for her. She got an ipod touch it worked great for her. Here’s her review of it from the usefulness for an adult ADHD time management perspective.

I highly recommend the iPod Touch (or iphone) for someone with or without ADHD, ( but especially for someone with ADD )! It’s a large purchase, no doubt, and you’re going to need a computer to sync it with. I’m not a big fan of buying things new or supporting large corporations. BUT, money and politics aside, if you’re looking for something that can assist you, and you don’t have a habit of losing things like phones or agendas, I think it’s a terrific buy.

As someone with ADHD, I have trouble with time management, remembering things when I’m on the go, sticking with routines, reading the paper, (too complicated!), etc. Now that I use the iPod Touch, all of this is so much easier!

iCal, which is a simple calendar software, comes with the iPod touch. I like things to be visual, so I like that it draws in blocks of time for each event I have scheduled. When I’m at home, I can schedule something in on my computer and then sink it with my iPod. When I’m out, I can schedule on my iPod, using the keypad, and then sink it with my computer when I get home. I set an alarm for each event, so my iPod beeps at me and I’m never late.

Another amazing thing about using the iPod Touch is that I can sink Free Podcasts onto it. I can hear a summary of the news, be guided through a 20 minute Yoga session and through my exercise workouts, listen to spiritual teachers…

The iPod Touch also has WiFi, so I can set it up to get my email anywhere there’s a wireless Internet signal. Personally, I much prefer this to having a phone, but that’s just me. This is especially helpful if you use I Want Sandy for reminders.

I can write notes to myself, so if I’m out and I suddenly remember something, I can write it down without having to fumble for a pen.

Address Book comes with it too, so I can sync my contacts with my computer. I don’t search for phone numbers anymore!

And, of course, it’s an MP3 player, so I bring it jogging with me. I’m a musician and I’m always transporting music. It’s so much more practical on something like this, than with a USB stick.

It has lots of other features, but the ones I mentioned are my favorites. There are also maps, a timer/stopwatch, web browsers, games, photos, stocks, videos, etc.

It’s my very own Personal ADHD Assistant.

There’s no one magic time management solution for adults with ADHD, some prefer paper, some prefer electronic and it’s best to get something that works for your particular brain wiring.

If you use a portable electronic organizer to help you manage your time, which one do you use and how useful is it for you?

23 thoughts on “Ipod Touch The Personal ADHD Assistant”

  1. I have the Nokia N70, it would have a few advantages over the iPhone as a PDA:

    -It’s cheaper
    -It’s pretty robust (I’m clumsy!)
    -You can set the calendar to one of the main touch keys so you just press one key on your phone and your calendar displays!

    The calendar works like any electronic calendar- enter an event, choose start/end time or date, and choose whether or not to set an alarm; you can also choose when you want the alarm to go off. A typical calendar for me is:

    12:15 Check exam timetable
    12:30-13:30 Lunch
    17:30-18:00 email
    20:00-20:30 take vits, go for a walk (with alarm)
    21:00-22:30 Bbc 2 – Maestro(with alarm)

    And for me, the less features the better. If I could get internet access wherever I wanted I would be lost, so if anyone likes the idea of the iPhone but worries about added levels of distaction, the Nokia N70 can be stripped down to remove games, etc., which I have done.

  2. Yep not one solution is right for everyone, the ipod touch is pricey but for the features you get, there’s nothing that comes close to it.

    that being said, not everyone needs all those features. And you’re right, the internet can be a massive time suckage for adults with ADHD. Sometimes if you know what can be a distraction, it’s best just to get rid of it.

  3. Hi everyone,

    This is a very helpful article. I have ADD and dyslexia, I was diagnosed at the ripe old age of 26 and didn’t learn to read until I was 20. I was diagnosed when I began University at 26, and at that time “Adaptive Technology” was still very new. In fact I learned to read at Uni with the use of texts on tape.
    All this being said, once Adaptive Tech came to computers and PDAs alike I gravitated to them lustfully. I started out with PCs and then moved over to MACs (will never go back to PCs) and so the next solution will be the iPod touch which has just come down in price. I have thought about the iPhone, but I live in Canada and we don’t have too many options.
    In addition to the adaptive tech advantages of both the iPod Touch and iPhone is that one can do some slight modifications and use either product as a SKYPE phone.

    Thanks for a great article.

  4. While I do not have ADHD, I have poor organizational issues, and I have had mixed results using my Iphone as a digital assistant. In order to increase the likelyhood that I will do a task, I have to physically write it down. It does not work the same if I type it into my Iphone.

  5. Thanks William,

    John, one thing i’ve noticed in coaching adhd adults is that one size doesn’t fit all.

    That is some adders will prefer a digital daytimer and others work better with a paper based one and thats probably the same for non ADDers.

    So it’s best to respect your brain wiring and go for a paper based system. I’ve very techie and have been using macs for more than 2 decades and sold em for 7 years but i still use a paper based daytimer, i find it works best for me.

  6. I’ve had an iPhone for over a year now, and it has pretty much changed my life–I’m constantly using it!

    It drives my friends and family nuts, because if something interesting comes up in conversation I’m reading about it at the same time.

    The iCal is great for keeping track of things for me, but I’m still working on getting where I’m going on time–but at least I know exactly when and where I was supposed to be. 😛

    With the flexibility of the interface, and MASSIVE volume of apps now–it’s also taken me backward a step, since I’ve killed HOURS playing them! My only saving grace on more than one occasion, was the fact that apps that eat most of my time, also eat the battery–so it tends to break the trance.

    I also wish that more apps kept the time displayed prominently, so I have to be careful which ones I fiddle with, if I don’t have a ton of time to spare. Great one is the Bejeweled 2, with the new Blitz setting, rounds ONLY last a minute at a time–so it’s perfect for anyone that has serious time warping problems!

  7. ruairi oduill

    While at the time this article was written (2008) the iphone and ipad had no rivals which could mount a viable challenge, the intervening years have seen a revolution in smart-phones and other similar devices.
    For the features listed above there are a wide range of products on the market. I personally have used a large screen android phone (mines a htc Desire Hd) and have just bought a 10″ tablet.

    I personally find the cross compatibility of the android devices mean I can correlate my google diary with my wife while also accessing my work one on an Exchange server. All from within one app.

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