13 Apps to Help Couples Impacted by Adult ADHD

Easily accessible anywhere, often fun to interact with, and providing a neutral structure for learning or organizing, these apps can help with specific issues you face:

Brili - Created for families as a motivational and task organizer, Brili helps people understand and become more comfortable with the steps it takes to get something done.  It's great for tracking regular tasks, as well as not having to re-imagine the steps needed to move through a routine each time you do it - a valuable time saver for a person with ADHD who struggles with 'reinventing the wheel' every time they approach a routine.  One woman I spoke with said one way she used it was to set up a night time routine so it could become a habit.  She put every step of getting ready for bed (and putting out clothes for the next day) into the app, significantly lessening the stress of having to think through it every night.  Over time, the consistency of the approach helped her efficiently master the routine she wanted to set up.

OurHome - The OurHome app cleverly gamifies family tasks, providing motivation to complete one's responsibilities with a points system.  Adults and kids using the app can see how many points others have, and keeping up with your points (and tasks) can become a fun and friendly competition.  OurHome assigns specific tasks to specific people, tracks progress, coordinates calendars, and more.  One woman told me "When my partner sees that I'm pulling ahead in the number of points I've earned for the week he immediately jumps on completing more of his tasks so he doesn't fall behind!"

YNAB, Mint and PersonalCapital - quantifying your spending and available income can help calm financial disagreements as well as save you money.  These three apps/programs provide powerful tools to automatically track spending (by loading credit card and bank account information in real time); set up spending goals and track progress against them; and (Mint) send alerts when you start to reach your spending limit for the month.  PersonalCapital can also provide insight into retirement savings needed and other critical information for your financial health.  For couples arguing over whether or not money should be spent, or whether enough is being saved for retirement, these programs help move the conversation from opinion to hard fact.  Note, YNAB has a monthly fee.

Rena-Fi coursework and coaching - Some money issues are emotional - trouble controlling the impulse to spend; not thinking through risk, etc.  Rena-Fi is not an app, but an online educational company started specifically to help adults with ADHD improve their money management.  This is a subscription-based service.

Google Calendar - coordinating events in a busy family can be aided with Google Calendar.  Families can create multiple calendars that can be switched on or off for a full view.  For example, you might keep your business calendar in Google Calendar, and then have a separate calendar for family events and obligations such as driving or dinners out that is shared with your partner.  All calendars can be viewed simultaneously (and color coded) so that you can see the 'master' plan for all obligations or just those on a specific calendar.  Everything in one place, and easy to access on any device.

Headspace, and UCLA Mindful app (free):  Mental health apps are a real mixed bag.  The best ones are those based in research and that have been tested.  Some useful ones for adults with ADHD and their partners include these mindfulness apps mentioned here, as well as CBT Thought Diary (for changing those negative stories we carry around about ourselves) and PTSD Coach.  Breathe2Relax is a useful app that teaches and supports belly breathing for self calming.

Lasting is an app that helps couples regularly spend a little bit of time connecting and paying attention to their relationship.  It includes fun activities, education and more.


COZI is an easy family calendar to share.

Amazon Alexa makes it easy to add items to lists and calendars and more by just saying them aloud, removing the need to find a list and add to it.  Amazon now has the Alexa Echo Show which, while pricey, puts all that stuff onto a wall mounted monitor so it's easy to stumble upon visually, as well.  The few couples I've talked with who have tried it, love it.