Top 5 ADHD-Friendly Focus Apps
Updated: 7 days ago
Difficulty with sustained attention is a common symptom of ADHD . Perhaps you've found yourself trying to focus on a task but wandering back to social media or email instead. The multi-purpose nature of modern phones and computers makes implementing either of these strategies very difficult. Regular notifications and one-click-away entertainment encourage us to split our attention between multiple tasks simultaneously and to give in to distractions.
If you find yourself diverting your attention to notifications, multitasking to alleviate boredom, or browsing social media when you should be working, a focus-aid app may be helpful. The following list was put together with ADHD symptoms in mind. It contains some of the best apps for supplementing inhibition control by restricting app accessibility and removing distractions.
The links in this post with the asterisk* are affiliated, which means that if you purchase anything, the organisation provides some money to support this website. Rest assured these links are all for items we have either used, or thoroughly checked to make sure they fit this article's requirements.
1. Freedom.to *
Freedom.to is an app for Apple, Android, and Windows that restricts access to certain websites and applications. Simply start a session, pick how long you want to focus, and choose the sites you want to block. This app is useful in curbing habitual clicking and prevents multitasking. As a result, it encourages time-blocking and other positive task-management behaviours.
Easy to use: Freedom provides a premade list of popular distracting sites that you can choose from. You can also choose by categories, such as social media or news. When you select a website to block, freedom also blocks the app.
Plenty of features: You can manually override the session. There is also a Locked Mode which creates a session you cannot override.
Simple and attractive interface: Freedom makes it easy to manage repeat sessions and create separate blocklists for separate distraction types (eg. Work distractions, study distractions, and night-time distractions). The app has a polished and aesthetically pleasing look. For instance, when you try to navigate to a blocked site, you will see ‘You are free from x.com” on an otherwise blank, pastel background.
Works on everything: Apple, Android, and Windows. Your freedom.to account transfers your filters across devices, meaning if you block Instagram on your PC, it will also be blocked on your mobile phone.
Subscription based: Freedom.to offers a 7-day free trial, then it is $2.42/month for a yearly subscription, $7/month for a monthly subscription, or $130 to buy use of the app for life.
Forest is an app for iOS and Android that encourages focus by showing the growth of a forest based on how much time the user keeps the app open. If the app is closed halfway through tree growth, that tree dies. This is a clever system for discouraging the impulse to use other apps. Seeing a tree in the process of growing inhibits the impulse long enough for it to pass and likely be forgotten by the time the tree is fully grown. Then it's safe to click away. The visual of the forest also helps reduce time blindness as it represents how much time has passed since the period of concentration began.
Simple interface and concept: You can decide to focus on an ongoing stopwatch basis, or pick an amount of time to focus with the timer function. If you pick the timer, decide how long you want to focus, and the app will grow the tree in this period. If you pick stopwatch mode, just plant.
Useful features: One of the most useful features allows you to add custom phrases that appear on the screen at random intervals. You can keep them as the default “put down your phone”, you can supplement UO’s reminders, or you can send yourself motivating quotes or mindfulness-based phrases.
It’s cheap: $2usd for the app, forever.