7 Tech Tools To Succeed in College

Best Tech for Adult ADHD

It’s no secret that education is relying more and more on technology through online courses,  discussion posts, and submitting assignments through plagiarism-busting software. With academia changing, who said the tools to succeed can’t get more advanced as well? Here are some tech-based solutions to common ADHD-related college struggles.

1. Web/App Blockers

You can start the evening with the best of intentions, a well thought out plan to do the readings and start the weekly assignments… then get an alert that the item you’ve had your eye on for months is now on sale. Or, maybe it’s a notification from a social media site saying you were tagged in a post, or a DM from your best friend sharing a video to make you laugh.

Sound familiar? Left unchecked, technology makes ADHD management a daunting task. There are thousands of distractions at your finger tips the moment we pick up our phone or sign into our computer. Rather than expecting yourself to rely on will power to not click the bait, Web and App Blockers help put a stop to distractions by prohibiting you from viewing them at certain times so your study times remain technology-distraction free. Think you know how to get around them? Some have a specific button that won’t allow you turn it off till the designated time even if you restart your phone/computer or delete the app. Talk about self-restraint!


2. Text-to-Speech

Have a difficult time focusing on a textbook or articles? Academic writing tends to be dense and visually overwhelming, and many people with ADHD prefer auditory learning over moving through packets of paper. Text-to-speech applications turn your written readings into audio that make it much easier to try to take notes by pausing the speech and going along at your own pace. Some people feel it’s easier to pay attention when they are busy completing a non-intensive task like folding the laundry or sweeping the floor.

(Bonus: text-to-speech also helps learn correct pronunciation when textbooks have difficult terminology to go through!)


3. Speech-to-Text

The sister of Text-to-Speech, Speech-to-Text helps students to get started on a writing assignment by allowing you to talk about your ideas out loud and have it transcribed to paper. Editing and organizing the words tends to be more approachable than staring at a blank paper on your screen and people often tend to talk quicker than they are able to type. Ever lose where you were going with your sentence? Having Speech-to-Text software helps you keep track of the point you wanted to make and just like its sister option, Speech-to-Text frees up your hands if you find yourself needing to engage in another task to get going or feel restless. Give yourself a head start by talking about what you already know and go from there!

(Bonus: Record group discussions to create a set of notes on what you discussed!)


4. Note-Scanning Devices

This type of device is particularly handy if you often find yourself copying facts from a hard-cover textbook into your laptop notes. These scanning pens allow you to “highlight” over words and copies them over to a document so you have all of your notes in the same place without manually having to enter it. It helps you cut out the fluff of a textbook and create a “mini-book” of what you found important from the reading.

While a scanning pen can be a great time saver, don’t underestimate how much writing information out helps you retain information! If you try the tool, make sure to get a good review session in afterwards.


5. Digital Calendars

ADHD and time management don’t have to be incompatible. One of the most indispensable coping skills for ADHD is some kind of planner or calendar system. If you prefer the digital route, an online calendar allows you to store all your information in one place as stays with you on the go. You can color code different types of events to correlate with classes, meetings, and social outings. Most online calendars also offer you an option to schedule reminder alerts at various intervals, which can help get you out the door or remember to purchase a gift a few days in advance of an event. Using a calendar is a huge support with building time management and long-term planning skills.Examples:

6. Tech-Based Studying

Flashcards: creating flashcards are a great way to practice recall (retrieving information) which is one of the most efficient ways to study and move information into your long-term memory. Re-reading notes has it’s place to make sure you picked up on all the details you might need or double checking you didn’t skip over any paragraphs by zoning out. Recall adds an additional layer to make what is read is retained.Examples:

Body Doubling: knowing someone is able to see you can be just enough accountability to keep yourself involved in a task, seeing everyone else do the exact task you’re trying to do can be a huge boost to keep up! One of the most recent trending strategies for coping with ADHD, body doubling can also help reduce distractions. For example, if you’re trying to read a text, then you feel the urge to check Instagram, you’ll see a whole screen of people trying to stay on task, (hopefully) motivating you to do the same.Examples:

7. Note-Taking Platforms

Keeping notes organized is easier said than done. You know you have all the information somewhere… but that somewhere could be anywhere. Online note-taking platforms can help keep your courses organized so when it comes time to studying, you have a better chance of success.(Bonus: most platforms sync across your devices so you can access your studying notes on the go!)


Honorable Mentions:

Some things just don’t fit neatly into a category. While they may not get their own section, you may still want to take a peak and see if it is a tool that meets your needs!

  • *CollegeSavvy: provides you with pre-written templates to send professional emails out to your university’s staff as well as help with resume building.*
  • *EasyBib: support with creating citations in various styles*
  • *SteppingBlocks:  personality assessments to help with career exploration and an overview of career paths for jobs you’re interested in.*

Technology and ADHD: A Perfect Pair

As we navigate the digital landscape of modern education, harnessing technology isn't just a choice – it's become an essential skill for thriving in academia. For those with ADHD, even more so! From countering distractions with web and app blockers, to transforming reading into a captivating auditory journey through text-to-speech applications, tech is completely reshaping learning dynamics for adult ADHD.

In this transformative journey, let's not forget the value of ADHD coaching, a vital resource for optimizing these technological tools to enhance focus, productivity, and academic achievement. Shimmer’s adult ADHD coaching app is one more tech tool to add to your list! Embrace technology's full potential and stride confidently toward academic success with an ADHD coach to help you discover, and implement, the tech tools that fit your brain.

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