iPhone apps for ADD: Due

I was recently diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder, [1. A note on the term. In my admittedly anecdotal yet first-hand experience, ADD does not represent a deficit of attention. Rather, it’s a surplus. I attend to everything almost all the time. In fact, I don’t habituate to things you tune out, like a barking dog or fleeting thoughts. Instead, each says, “Look at me!” In that way I don’t lack attention, I lack the ability to focus it on any one thing for a significant amount of time. Of course, I’m not a doctor, so don’t take my word for i–OH A BUTTERFLY.] or ADD. In short, I’m thrilled; years of frustration have been explained and I’ve got a comprehensive plan for the future. The iPhone is a part of that plan.

This week I’ll be identifying the apps that compliment my treatment plan, noting how and why I use them. [2. Please note that any ADD treatment plan is multi-faceted, individualized and must involve a trained, experienced professional. This post is presented for your information only and not meant as medical advice.]

Due ($4.99)

I have a terrible time remembering to do those little tasks that must be completed every day. I can write a note to myself, yes, but that’s an incomplete solution. How will I remember to read the list? Most of the time, I don’t. Or I lose the note. Fortunately, the answer is simple; have the list read itself to me at the appropriate time.

Due is that list. It’s a reminder app for iPhone and iPad that’s perfect for quick additions and relentless with the reminders. Due is not a calendar, GTD solution or a to-do list. It won’t sort items by context or project. What it does is answer the question, “Will you remind be about ____?” with a resounding “Yes.”

Here’s how it works. Upon launch, you’re presented with a list of reminders. Tap the “+” to add a new one. The edit screen appears. Enter the task’s title (call the babysitter) and deadline, then tap “Add.”

That’s it.

Additional customization is available. For example, you can designate four often-used start times for one-tap access. Items can also repeat and be reactivated, or “recycled,” after completion.

Once a reminder has been created, you can edit its repeat settings, change the alert behavior or delay the reminder  by 10-minute, hour-long or day-long intervals, all from the list screen. The most beneficial feature for me is snooze.

By default, Due will ping and pop up a dialog box at the designated time and every 60 seconds thereafter until you act upon the reminder by either marking it done or putting it off. This is how the list “tells me” what to do. Its persistence won’t let me forget about the task, so I’m likely to either complete it or delay it if necessary. Also, delaying the deadline doesn’t affect the snooze function. Those pesky but immensely helpful reminders are also pushed ahead.

iCal, on the other hand, pops up a message and then disappears. If I’m engaged in something when that happens, it might as well not have happened at all. I’ll forget to complete the task. Due, however, is just the nag I need.

Most importantly, Due inspires confidence. By outsourcing my short-term memory to an app that I trust, anxiety is reduced. I know that Due will remind me of what needs to be done, I know it won’t beep once and then let me forget and I know I’ll always have my iPhone with me. As a busy person with ADD, Due is indispensable.