Keep It Simple Apps For Organization
The New Year brings with it a fresh start and mantras about getting organized, de-cluttering and resolving to be more efficient. While these are helpful suggestions, with all we have to do as parents and caregivers, the messaging can feel like an added pressure. We know all too well that keeping up with children’s school schedules, therapy and medical appointments can be daunting tasks–on a good day, and seemingly impossible on a not so good day.
Sometimes integrating a simple tool into your routine can have a big payoff on efficiency and more peace of mind. Take Google Calendar, for instance. It is a free Internet and mobile app calendar, which is an effective way to track your events and share your calendar with others. A helpful mobile tool for managing life’s events, the Google calendar interface is simple and powerful.
The recommended apps below can help both caregiver and child to manage schedules, break down tasks into manageable chunks and offer visual supports that benefit the whole family.
Wunderlist: To-Do List & Tasks
Wunderlist is a handy task manager with a fun and simple interface. This app is great for work, home and play. Users will accomplish more during the day by using Wunderlist to organize tasks, create lists, set goals, save notes, share lists and more. Load Wunderlist on all your devices and sync data across all of your devices. Never lose or forget a task with Wunderlist’s due dates, reminders and notifications. And, if all that is not enough, email your tasks or print them and post them nearby. With its sleek, hip interface, Wunderlist is popular among teens and college students. Wunderlist is a helpful app for users with ADHD, learning disabilities, dementia or anyone who needs support to stay organized.
Available for iOS Google Play
30/30 is a task management app that can best be described as simple, attractive and very useful for individuals who struggle with time management or ADHD. The app is built around the ’30/30 work cycle’ concept, which advocates a balanced approach to performance. 30/30 refers to alternating between work and rest in 30-minute increments. The 30/30 method is based on the theory that productivity and creativity increase when one is intensely focused on a project for short amounts of time and in small chunks. In addition to functioning as a “reward,” the break allows the student’s mind to refresh.Price: FreeAvailable for: iOSRead BridgingApps Full Review
NowAndThen is a wonderfully simple app that can be used as a visual support to help organize a child’s schedule. The caregiver, teacher, or therapist is able to customize the tasks that are required of the child as well as the subsequent reward.Use of such as tools has been found to be very helpful in behavior management. This app has a pre-existing library of a variety of home and school related tasks such as brush teeth and trace as well as rewards such as watch TV and chocolate. Additionally, the app allows access to select personalized pictures that can be used.Price: $3.99Available for: iOSRead BridgingApps Full Review
TouchiLearn Life Skills: Autism Visual Schedule, Reward Chart, Behavior, Training
iTouchiLearn Life Skills Autism does a wonderful job of consolidating visual schedules, reward charts, and schedule related social stories all in one app! The app is a wonderful tool to introduce the idea of independence and reinforce life skills with young children. It offers a nice number of features without being too overwhelming. Initial set up will need to be done by caregivers. All in all iTouchiLearn is a great app for parents and teachers who have younger children, as we can foresee older children outgrowing the childish animations and pictures, so it is not a “forever” app. However, it is wonderfully colorful and engaging for those who are between kindergarten and fourth grade.Price: $4.99Available for: iOSRead BridgingApps Full Review
Kidspiration was designed to help kids organize and classify information, work on sight words and expand ideas into written and verbal expression. Using this app, kids can create Venn diagrams, story maps and webs to help support what they are learning. It includes a variety of pre-made activities in the content areas of reading and writing, math, social studies and science. It also includes templates for diagrams, supergrouper activities and blank templates. This app works well with kids in lower elementary grades or older kids who need more visual support for helping to organize their thoughts. We have trialed this app with children who have learning differences, autism, speech delay, and cognitive disabilities.Price: $9.99Available for: iOSRead BridgingApps Full Review
If you are interested in searching for more apps, creating your own list of apps and sharing them, please go to BridgingApps.org. BridgingApps, a program of Easter Seals Greater Houston, is a community of parents, therapists, doctors, and teachers who share information about using mobile devices (iPad, iPhone, and Android) with people who have special needs.
Cristen Reat is co-founder of BridgingApps and a mother who found success when using a mobile device with her children who have special needs. Amy Barry is the Content Manager and Editor at BridgingApps.
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