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ADHD To Do List: Using Apps to Boost Productivity and Focus

Aug 13, 2023

With an estimated 6.1 million children and 4.4% of adults in the United States affected by ADHD, it becomes crucial to discover effective strategies for enhancing productivity and concentration. Studies indicate that using an ADHD to do list can greatly improve task management and organization.

Individuals with ADHD who utilize organized task lists may see enhanced rates of task completion and decreased procrastination. This article explores the effectiveness of ADHD to-do lists and examines leading to do list applications developed specifically to aid individuals with ADHD.

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Table of Contents

What is an ADHD To Do list?

An ADHD to do list is a structured system that helps individuals with ADHD prioritize, plan, and complete tasks efficiently. It serves as a visual aid, reminding individuals of their pending responsibilities and promoting a sense of accomplishment upon completion. By breaking down complex tasks into manageable steps, an ADHD to-do list provides structure, reduces overwhelm, and enhances focus.

Tips for Accomplishing Your To Do Lists

For individuals with ADHD who want to assess themselves and complete their to do lists, there are specific strategies that can be helpful. By using the following tips, you can improve your productivity, stay organized, and effectively handle your tasks.

  • Prioritize tasks: Start by identifying the most important tasks that require your attention. Using techniques like the Eisenhower Matrix, which categorizes tasks based on urgency and importance, can help you determine which tasks should be tackled first.
  • Break tasks into smaller steps: Complex or overwhelming tasks can easily lead to procrastination and a sense of being stuck. To overcome this, break down your tasks into smaller, more manageable steps. 
  • Set realistic deadlines: It's essential for people with ADHD to set realistic deadlines. Overestimating or underestimating the time required for a task can lead to decreased motivation. Consider distractions, unexpected things, and how long each task usually takes before creating to do lists.
  • Use visual cues: Visual aids play a significant role in organizing tasks for ADHDers. Color coding, post-it notes, or task boards can serve as effective visual cues to remind you of pending tasks and deadlines. 
  • Utilize reminders and alarms: Leverage technology to set up reminders and alarms on your devices. Incorporating alerts for specific tasks or deadlines can help you stay on track and ensure important tasks are not overlooked. 

Now, let's shift our focus to explore some helpful tools. Here are the top three apps designed specifically for ADHD to-do lists.

3 Best Apps for ADHD To Do Lists

To assist individuals with ADHD in effectively managing their tasks and improving productivity, several ADHD to do list apps have been specifically designed with their needs in mind. Let's explore three notable options and their key features:

1. Focus Bear

Screenshot of the ADHD App: Focus Bear's video guide demonstrating the 'Deep Breathing' activity during breaks for relaxation and stress relief

Focus Bear is a feature-rich productivity app that offers a user-friendly interface and customizable options to fight ADHD. Available for Mac, Windows, iOS and Android devices, it provides a range of beneficial features for individuals with ADHD, including:

  • Scheduling: Focus Bear provides a dedicated Habit Routine feature, allowing you to set up recurring tasks or habits that need to be completed daily or weekly. This feature helps people with ADHD build positive to do lists and maintain consistency in their productivity efforts.

Screenshot of the ADHD App: Focus Bear's evening reminder to plan a to-do list and schedule for tomorrow as part of the evening routine

  • Block and Allow List: With this functionality, you can identify distracting websites or apps and add them to the Block List, restricting access during designated work periods. Conversely, the Allow List permits access to specific sites or apps that are necessary for task completion. 

Screenshot of the ADHD App: Focus Bear's website blocking feature in action, preventing access to distracting websites for enhanced focus and productivity

  • Progress Tracker: Focus Bear includes a Progress Tracker that enables you to monitor your task completion and overall productivity. It serves as a valuable tool for ADHDers, offering a sense of achievement and reinforcing positive work habits.

Screenshot of the ADHD App: Focus Bear's graphical progress representation, displaying user's activity achievements

  • Built-in Breaks Timer: After each work session, the app prompts you to take a designated break, allowing you to recharge and avoid mental fatigue. This feature supports individuals with ADHD by encouraging a balanced work-rest cycle, promoting sustained focus, and preventing burnout.

Screenshot of the ADHD App: Focus Bear's reminder feature, prompting users to take a break for enhanced productivity and well-being.

2. TickTick

Screenshot of TickTick's to-do list feature.

TickTick is a to do list and task management app for Android, iOS, mac, Windows and the web. It helps in work prioritization, task tracking, and cross-team collaboration for teams, individuals and enterprises of all kinds with features, such as:

  • Calendar Management: TickTick integrates seamlessly with calendars, allowing you to synchronize your to do lists with your schedule. 

Screenshot showcasing TickTick's seamless calendar integration, allowing users to effortlessly sync and manage their tasks and events in one unified platform

  • Comments and Notetaking: TickTick provides a convenient platform for adding comments and taking notes within tasks. By having all relevant information in one place, it can enhance your focus, reduce information overload, and improve task execution.

Screenshot demonstrating TickTick's versatile note-taking and task commenting feature, empowering users to enhance task details and collaborate effectively

  • Task and Deadline Management: With TickTick, you can create, organize, and categorize tasks to streamline your workflow. The app offers tags, recurring tasks, and priority settings, enabling individuals with ADHD to break down complex tasks into manageable steps.

Screenshot of TickTick's task and deadline management feature

  • Pomodoro and white noise: TickTick integrates a built-in Pomodoro timer, facilitating focused work sessions with regular breaks. It also offers white noise or ambient sounds in the background while working. This feature can help mask distracting noises in the environment and creates a more focused and conducive work atmosphere.

Screenshot of TickTick's Pomodoro feature

3. Sunsama

Screenshot displaying Sunsama's comprehensive calendar and planner view, offering users a detailed and organized perspective of their schedule and tasks

Sunsama is a cloud-based calendar helping in daily task organization. It assists you in setting daily priorities for your jobs and activities. Its notable features include:

  • Guided Planning: Sunsama provides a guided approach to planning your day. It helps you create an ADHD to do list template through prioritizing tasks, allocating time for specific activities, and structuring your schedule effectively. 

Screenshot displaying Sunsama's comprehensive calendar and planner view, offering users a detailed and organized perspective of their schedule and tasks

  • Tasks and Calendar Side by Side: Sunsama displays your tasks and calendar side by side, allowing you to view your commitments and to do list in one unified interface.


Screenshot of Sunsama's integrated tasks and calendar view, enabling users to effortlessly manage commitments and to-do lists within a single, streamlined interface

  • Integration with Other Tools: Sunsama offers seamless integration with various other tools, such as JIRA, Asana, Gmail, Trello, GitHub, and Todoist. This functionality allows you to pull in tasks from these platforms, consolidating all your tasks into one central location. 

Sunsama's unified task integration: Combine tasks from JIRA, Asana, Gmail, Trello, GitHub, and Todoist in one place.

  • Timeboxing: The app supports timeboxing, a technique where specific time slots are allocated for tasks or activities. It promotes better time management, enhances focus, and prevents the feeling of being overwhelmed by tasks.

Screenshot of Sunsama's Time boxing feature

Final Words: Which ADHD To Do List App Should You Pick?

For those with ADHD, an ADHD to do list can be a useful tool for increasing their focus, organization, and productivity. Ultimately, the choice of the best ADHD to do list app depends on personal preferences and specific needs. 

We recommended exploring and experimenting with different apps to find the one that aligns best with your workflow and supports your unique requirements. 

As an app designed with ADHDers in mind, Focus Bear is a great place to start. Start your journey toward improved productivity and download Focus Bear today!

Aug 13, 2023

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