Take Charge of ADD/ADHD: Hire Siri as your personal Assistant

I recently lost my phone in my house. It isn’t the first time (I’ve honestly lost count), but as always I was in shock and disbelief at the chances of having to replace my phone again for the 3rd time within a year. After days of mindless searching I gave up and reported it to the phone company. I cried in frustration and kicked myself for the repeat offense; mainly for the loss of time and money. I then decided that I would break down and realize that I would need to step my game up and invest in an external device that will accommodate for some of the challenges that I face from day to day that I have little control of.

Siri, You’re Hired!

I chose the Iphone 5s for several reasons. Let me assure you, I am not a follower of hype. I do keep up with device upgrades for the most part. However, Because I always lose or damage my phones to no repair at least 2x a year, it is not difficult for me to do so. However, The most recent lost phone was a downgrade and a symbol of protest against the exorbitant amount of money that my first Iphone had costed me in purchase and repair. However, after attempting to run my life on another type of device, I realized the value that I had been taking for granted.

I don’t think it’s necessary for me to critique and compare manufacturers, it’s been done all over the internet. I will say that I am team Apple because they seem to get me and my issues with ADHD. Let me point out some simple capabilities that I didn’t even know mattered to me until I used another device:

  •  I get distracted easily from the task at hand; ADHD 101. If i’m doing research and I unknowingly find myself scrolling Facebook for example, I need to be able to go back to what I was doing without having to think about it too hard or I lose about 20min. to task switching or never make it back to the research. With a double click of my iphone button, I can pick up where I left off. Magical time and mental energy saver.
  • Siri: I tell her some stuff and she produces some possible answers to what it is she thinks I’m talking about.  There are a few quirks to figure out. for one, she needs to work on her pronunciation. She is still pronouncing my son and husband’s name Mal-ik instead of Malik. Can you remember the movie Higher Learning with the Remi the skinhead and Omar Epps’ character? Our miscommunications can be frustrating; but when I forgot Omar Epps’ name while writing this post, I asked Siri about it and she gave me the answer in seconds. Although it is a work in progress it is a serious time saver. I don’t have to surf the web of distraction in order to find my answers.
  • THE APP STORE: They actually do have an app for that! After deciding to get the phone, I made up in my mind that if i was going to put down a car-note’s worth of money on a device, I would treat it like a personal assistant and use it for all it was worth. When I lost my phone this time around,it was an eye-opener to how much I’m responsible for and how the slip-ups and other symptoms affect those around me. I had to invest (as painful as it was) in the supports I needed with the money and time I had, before I had my money and time taken from me due to my ADHD and its not-so-positive aspects.

Getting Familiar With Apps

We have a tablet in the home that everyone shares but it’s mainly for the children. I have a few apps on it that have been helpful to me; however, after this purchase I immediately put this  “Personal assistant” to work. I downloaded several tools to help manage my ADHD and keep things balanced. I still have my tried and true methods of keeping my mom/wife/work/play life together, but I have been trying to incorporate some new systems that I hope will bring even more order to my orchestra of chaos and ultimately find my true flow.

I have taken on 2 new roles this year, and I’m still working on my push it process from the new year. Here are some tried and true apps and a few newbies (All Free) that seem to be helpful for the bothersome symptoms that get in the way of my progress:

30/30: Simply put, this app lets you set up a schedule in time block intervals. The benefits for ADD’ers are the colors, the sounds, and the mock Analog clock design that tracks the time between tasks. It feels like I’m racing the clock.

30/30 app

If you are like me, you need that extra boost of stimulation to get you moving. This one has always kept me on task when I take the extra time to set up the schedule and use it!

Mint: Mint is a free program for budgeting your finances. For starters, It keeps all of my financial accounts in one place. It gives me colored charts and graphs for whatever information I need to access. After I remember my login and password info, there are no extra steps to get to the day-to-day financial questions that my ADHD brain won’t hold on to. I know how much I’ve spent on the kids, I don’t have to think too hard about if I remembered to pay a bill, and when I am running out of funds it alerts me. It makes managing money a little less stressful for me as I work on my anxiety issues involving money. It like an invisible 3rd party that makes managing money a little less stressful. Maybe this is ADHD 201 info, but keeping track of due dates, organizing the numbers each month and the overall business of finances overwhelms me. Just looking at a bank statement makes me cringe, because of the work that I know my mind has to put in to sort out the information. 

evernote: No explanation needed. All my thoughts in one place?! I didn’t use it much before, but it is pretty genius!

Leave Now: It syncs with my calendar and gives me visual and audio prompts to get my butt moving if I want to make it on time. Also good for my public transportation commutes in the city.

EasilyDo: This one is a fairly new discovery. This app syncs EVERYTHING from my social media stuff to my emails and even organized my contacts across the board. That has been really valuable because I had accumulated so much contact information over the last 5 years and 10 phones. It also tells you how much time you saved, which is a nice touch that keeps me motivated to continue to use it. My favorite is the birthday reminders. I am able to schedule birthday posts to my friend’s Facebook and Twitter timelines. Priceless. It has an upgrade that would probably benefit me but being that I just bought the phone, I am not looking to spend any more money; even if it is just $.99. It works out the ETA and will send texts to the people I am to meet if necessary! So far so good.

The Tool is only good as the person who is wielding it right?

Of course the key to the effectiveness of these new tools and gadgets is to actually use them. This I’m sure isn’t just a complaint for me, or with those who don’t struggle with ADHD.  I will keep you posted on how it’s going, and I will make sure to update the reviews page for what works and what doesn’t.

If you have an app or tool that works for you, please share! In this fast paced technology driven world, I can use all the accommodations I can get. 🙂

4 thoughts on “Take Charge of ADD/ADHD: Hire Siri as your personal Assistant

  1. Oh my gosh!! Yes! So much to say about this, but I think you summed it up when you said, “I am team Apple because they seem to get me and my issues with ADHD.” So true!! I’m certain I don’t use all the features, and I certainly still get distracted but I resisted getting an iPhone for awhile just because I didn’t know if I could handle a smartphone. I had an iPad and an iPod touch, and I felt like those two devices were dinging and beeping at me enough. However, when I finally upgraded it was pretty much life-altering. My brother is an IT guy and he gives me a hard time about how much money I’m “wasting” on Apple products, but they just work for me. I recently bought a Mac mini when my PC died and I love it. It just works for my brain. Great post.

    • It’s funny, but one complaint I have right now is the dings and pings. I only remember that I have to fix it as it happens then I forget till it happens again lol work in progress lol

      I think all tech savvy folks feel similar and react with that “I don’t understand why you like apple” attitude because 1) they would rather make their device work how they want it to AND they are able to do it, because they have the know how. I could probably figure it out but I just don’t have the time or mental energy to do it!

      I can’t make anyone understand the fact that it’s a death trap to my day when I get sucked in to figuring things like that out. I’ll hear a ping or realize something isn’t right and spend an unknown amount of time on figuring out how to make it work for me. Then boom! An hour later I forgot I was checking mail or whatever it was and sit in a stupor trying to figure where I left off…disastrous waste of time. Que Apple :-/ we have a love hate relationship lol

  2. When I’m plugged in I feel so in control so I get a lot of stuff done and it feels so good. I need an undetectable pair so I don’t appear rude or like I’ve completely checked out…sigh. Still working on the “I don’t give a s$¥t” mode because sometimes I care a bit too much about appearances. Any tips on that are welcomed lol

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