Having ADHD can be quite challenging, especially in college where students have to balance schoolwork with their personal lives and often with other responsibilities, such as work and extracurricular activities. For students with ADHD, staying on top of all their responsibilities can seem like an unachievable goal. The good news is that there are some apps that can help such individuals both inside and outside of the classroom. It is important to realize that although apps geared toward students with ADHD can aid with the completion of tasks, they are certainly not a replacement for therapy or medication.

Below are a few apps that I have found helpful as a student with ADHD. I will explain the features of each app, list any relevant costs, and include where students can download them.


Description: Glean is a browser-based app that can be used as a notetaking software. It allows students to record class lectures or any important meetings they attend and flag anything that is important or add any reaction to the content that is presented. Students can then listen to the lecture at their own pace and go back to the important points they flagged. This is particularly helpful for college students with ADHD because they may zone out or get distracted in class, but Glean will ensure that they do not miss any of the important content that professors go over.

How it has helped me: Glean has a feature that allows students to highlight important notes. When I go back to the recording, this has helped me to focus on the main topics rather than having to spend hours looking for a specific part of it. Being able to listen to class lectures at my own pace has also made everything feel less rushed for me, which has helped me understand the material better.

Where you can download it: Apple App Store, Google Play Store, or the Glean app website to add it to your web browser (Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Edge, or Brave).

Cost: $12 per month


Description: Mint is an app that allows users to keep track of all their bank accounts and debts in one place. Users can also set financial goals, alerts, and budgets. The website allows users to update photos to their savings goals to know what they are saving for. It has bar and pie graphs that make it easy for people to understand their finances if they struggle reading spreadsheets. In some cases, individuals with ADHD may be impulsive and therefore spend on things that they never use. They may also struggle being organized with their budget. Therefore, the Mint app would be very helpful for them in managing their finances.

How it has helped me: With this app, I have been able to manage some of the challenges I have organizing my finances. Moreover, I have become financially literate by setting up a budget for myself rather than engaging in impulsive spending patterns. Before I found this app, I used to be very disorganized with the multiple bank accounts I had, and I often got them confused. However, having them all in one place has helped me avoid confusion and make better decisions.

Where you can download it: Apple App store, Google Play Store, web app, or desktop app

Cost: Free


Description: The todoist app allows users to set deadlines, come up with to-do lists, break up tasks into subtasks, set up reminders, and give tasks a priority level. Its free version offers most of the features students with ADHD may need to follow a routine and be more productive. However, the reminders can only be accessed with the pro version. College students with ADHD may struggle with procrastination, and having this app is a good way of helping them follow through with their tasks.

How it has helped me: I used to be a procrastinator. In fact, it took me longer to get started with an assignment than to get it done. Unless there was a sense of urgency, I would not bother following through with my plan. However, having phone reminders and an agenda has motivated me to be more productive and avoid pushing everything off until the last minute. This app also helped me take note of important tasks to avoid forgetting about meetings I have to attend and homework I have to do.

Where you can download it: Apple App Store, Google Play Store

Cost: $4 per month (billed annually), or $5 per month (billed monthly). Includes free version.


Description: The goal of the forest app is to help people achieve their goals through the analogy of planting trees and building their own forest. To plant trees, users build a time they want to stop using their phone and, if they close the app or attempt to use their phone, their tree dies. We all struggle with distractions. However, for individuals with ADHD, it may be even harder to avoid procrastination and keep track of what they are doing when using their phone. Therefore, this app would help them keep their phone away to complete important tasks.

How it has helped me: I am a nature lover, so the idea of having my own forest, even if it is managed virtually, holds me accountable of anything I have to do. I usually did my homework using my phone, which was problematic because I started writing something on a Word document and, the moment I got a notification, I forgot that I was working on an important project. Therefore, having an app that limits how much I am on my phone has pushed me to use my computer when doing homework, which has helped me avoid distractions.

Where you can download it: Apple App Store, Google Play Store

Cost: $1.99 plus optional in-app purchases


Description: The stoic app prepares mental exercises and provides inspiring fragments from books that help users have good mental health and overcome any obstacles that get in their way. It also provides a space for journaling and tracking their emotions. College students with ADHD may struggle understanding themselves and sometimes even feel differently from their peers. Moreover, they may get frustrated when they are unproductive or regret they did something out of impulsivity. Therefore, this app is essential for grounding and helping them in their journey.

How it has helped me: I did not get diagnosed with ADHD until less than a year ago. Before I got my diagnosis, I always felt like an outsider because I talked more than most people do, and I tend to zone out and switch topics in conversations. This affected my ability to make friends and mental health in college, as I felt very lonely during my first semester. Therefore, having an app where I could write about how I feel was very helpful for building self-compassion and managing my emotions in a healthy way.

Where you can download it: Apple App Store, Google Play Store

Cost: $37.99 per year


Description: This app consists of games that help improve memory, flexibility, speed processing, and problem-solving. Students with ADHD may struggle with their working memory and remembering important due dates or information. Therefore, having an app that helps them exercise their memory regularly could enhance their abilities with short-term memory.

How it has helped me: When I started college, I always realized I forgot what the professor said in class, and I did not write it down as I was taking notes. This became an issue because I missed out on important information they discussed in lectures. However, I noticed that exercising my brain every day helped me retain more information, or at least note what is most important.

Where you can download it: Apple App Store, Google Play Store

Cost: $12 per month


NOTE: In some cases, higher education institutions will cover the costs of these apps for students. Please contact the Office of Accessibility Services if you have questions. In addition, in no way does Saint Leo University formally endorse the apps discussed in this blog article. It is presented for informational purposes only.

Author bio: This blog article was written by Isabella “Isa” Riano, a double major in communication and psychology at Saint Leo University.