Make every download count
When it comes to apps, less is almost always more. I can’t count the number of times I have downloaded a ‘top-rated’ app, played with it for 2 minutes, got bored and then deleted it 3 days later when my phone began to run out of storage. Some apps, though, can be absolute life savers when it comes to making life as a Dyspraxic person easier. When it comes to apps, there are loads out there that cater to dyspraxic children, but few specifically targeted at adults. There are, however, a number of (virtually) free apps which can make a huge difference to your everyday life. So here it is: a break down of 5 of the best free or cheap apps which I think are great for dyspraxic people.
1. City Mapper
Oh. My. Gosh. If you struggle to navigate in big cities, this app is an absolute lifesaver. With an extensive range of intuitive features, this app holds the top spot for navigation apps in my opinion (and I have tried a fair few!). Here are its main bonus points:
- Apple/Google maps style navigation feature which shows you the way you are facing (!), making it almost impossible to take a wrong turn.
- Accurate time predictions for how long a journey will take, and a break down of the entire journey – including when the next bus/train will arrive, where to catch it and where on the train to go where it will be the least crowded.
- Clear instructions, with reminders you can enable for when you need to get off a bus or train!
- Drains battery life FAST.
- Not available in all cities, only major ones such as London.
- I find the ‘calories’ listing a little annoying, but could be useful for some.
Those who use windows computers will doubtlessly already be aware of the joys of One Note, the note making and word processing software with a number of great features. Here are some of my favourite elements of it:
- Free-form pages that allow you to place text wherever you like, meaning you can organise the page in a way that works for you. For example, I like to have ‘general notes’ and ‘summary’ sections side by side when making notes on academic texts (See picture below).
- Organisation – you can organise what you write into notebooks (again, see below), and sections within those notebooks, meaning everything is so much easier to find. You can also create shared notebooks; me and my boyfriend have one to organise travel plans, meaning we can both keep on track of whats going on.
- Excellent design features allow you to highlight, make checklists, and put icons next to especially important things. This is great for making to-do lists, organising and prioritising your work and for visually making your work more easy to understand through using different highlighters for different themes.
- THE CLOUD. OneNote can be downloaded on computer, phone and tablet for free, regardless of the brand of the device, a lifesaver when one device runs out of battery on the go!
- Sometimes the notebooks have trouble syncing
- You have to select which notebooks go on phone and tablet, not all will transfer automatically, which can be confusing.
3. Adobe Reader
So this is for people who either read PDF’s for a living, or are at university. Adobe reader is a pretty simple app at first glance, but when you delve a little deeper you discover its great (free) accessibility perks.
- Adjustable paper and text colour – you can change these to contrasting colours to help you read (you do this via the ‘accessibility’ tab).
- Excellent compatibility with screen readers.
- Great zoom and highlighting options.
- Shared storage so that documents are available on all your devices, synchronised with a number of different cloud softwares.
- Great tools that let you comment, fill in forms and organise pages.
- Folders on the app to organise your PDF’s.
- Accessibility tools don’t work on some document formats.
- Accessibility tools a little confusing to set up.
A small disclaimer: I got this app free from my university, but there are loads of similar options out there for people who find it easier to organise their ideas through mind maps, but also lack neat writing and drawing, or would lose a physical copy.
- Makes it easy to see ideas and link them
- For planning, makes it easier to outline the necessary steps and what each of these steps will include
- Presenting features, for those who find a mind map easier to plan for a presentation than a PowerPoint or Keynote
- Lovely design features, including colours, pictures and shapes
- FREE iOS app ❤️
- Not free (although check out if your university or workplace can offer you anything, or hit up that DSA if you’re still a student, or the DLA if you receive it)
< span style=”color: #ff0000″>5. 30/30< span style=”color: #000000″>Me and my mentor came up with the idea of having ‘admin time’: a specific time of day set aside to do all my admin tasks such as sending emails, booking train tickets etc. Although this has been really useful, I sometimes get overwhelmed by all my admin tasks, and end up doing nothing. Bring in 30/30, the micro time management app that lets you plan your tasks to the minute to help you achieve more. Shows you what you are supposed to be doing, and the time you have to do it.
- Beautifully minimalist design and easy to use
- Allows you to plan multiple tasks and actually get them done, rather than getting stuck on one task
- Remembering to use this is a struggle for me, and my phone and iPad are often out of battery! This is the next thing for me to work on.
ere you have it, 5 of my favourite helpful apps for dyspraxic people. Give the post a like if you liked it, and give me a follow if you really liked it. Comment below with apps that you love!