Does This App Exist? Adult ADHD Productivity Edition
January 18, 2021 8:25 PM   Subscribe

I am looking for an iOS app that is essentially the digital version of a "chore jar" where, upon request, it will give me a random item from lists that I have pre-defined, like pulling a card out of a jar. BUT I want to be able to tag each item with multiple tags and use those as parameters when I get my item.

Sometimes I have the time and/or desire to do something, but by the time I've decided on what to do, the window is closed to actually do it. (Thanks, ADHD!) I get easily overwhelmed with To Do apps when I'm in that mindset. I'm looking for an app where I can define a universe of stuff I MIGHT do, and when I'm in the moment the app will just present me one thing to do so I don't get overwhelmed with choices and default to "faff around on the internet" every time.

The way I envision using this app would be that I would select the "categories" I wanted it to choose from (like - "under 30 minutes, creative" or "active, while on phone") and it would pop up a task that appeared on both those lists.

Other features this app would have in my idea world:
-color coding for tags
-room to add a short note to a task if I wanted to
-Clean/"adult" interface (not something made for parents to use with children)
-some kind of integrated timer (I could have a "clean for 10 minutes" task that would tell me when the 10 minutes were up)
-willing to pay a reasonable amount for ad-free.

I've seen several apps that come close - some productivity apps made to use with GTD let you organize tasks by multiple dimensions (like urgency and location), there are chore-specific apps that will give you a random chore to do, etc., but I haven't found one that quite fits what I'm looking for. Probably the closest match I've come up with is an app called Decider-Choice Maker; it lets you establish color-coded lists and then get random items from one of the lists. This app is just missing the ability to add a short note with more info about the task and the ability to pick multiple categories (so I could choose an active task or an indoor task but not an active indoor task.)

Does anyone know of an app that will do this?
posted by oblique red to Technology (4 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
This probably falls in the "close but not exactly" category, but Toodledo lets you tag tasks with context, goal, and priority, and add notes. But it doesn't pick for you. I get why that appeals.
posted by slidell at 2:18 AM on January 19, 2021

Best answer: Hi! I think Amazing Marvin will do this. Although it’s a powerful app and might be a little expensive if this is ALL you use it for. But it’s very flexible and there may well be other ways you end up using it as well.

When I used it in a similar way, it went down my list in order, it wasn’t random, but I THINK I remember looking into that and figuring out a way to make it random. The developers are very responsive though and there is an active Facebook group where users ask questions about how to set up specific ways to use the app, so worth looking into at least.

The app has a clean interface that I find calming, and there are at least two built in timers, a regular one and a pomodoro one.

The phone app is not as powerful as the computer app, but it is cloud based and if you set it all up on your computer I think it would be simple to start on your phone, if that’s what you’re looking for.
posted by sillysally at 5:31 AM on January 19, 2021 [1 favorite]

Doo does a small fraction of what you want. It shows one task at a time, and you can either complete it, flip it to the back of the pile of cards, or snooze it.

I find it helpful to put in a handful of things I need to do, and then just flip through the cards until I see one I feel like doing. Then repeat. This is a sweet spot somehow: allows for impulsiveness in the doing order but all the things are worth doing so it’s fine. YMMV!
posted by squasher at 4:28 PM on January 22, 2021

There are apparently a couple of third-party scripts that will select a random task from todoist (which is my preferred GTD-based task manager. I also have ADHD).

For example, Todoist has color coding for tasks, task comments and a clean interface and is something like $50/year. It does not have a timer.

When I feel a burst of motivation energy, I have a bunch of tasks tagged "quickwin" that i can look at and select from (sometimes i just close my eyes and point).

A well-rounded system can make things like this simpler.

Might I suggest adjusting your system rather than looking for a specific tool?

Make sure your lists are TASKS and not PROJECTS. Anything that is more than a single step is not a task, it's a project. "Put clean laundry away" is a task. "Clean Living Room" is a project comprised of a number of tasks (at your comfort level of granular): Get cleaning supplies and bring to living room, clear off surfaces, dust surfaces, etc.
posted by softlord at 7:44 AM on July 7, 2021

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