Matching challenges, strategies and apps

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At BEST, we have been working with people with brain injuries since the 1980s. We know what works and what doesn’t. We carefully review apps ourselves to identify the smallest number of apps that will solve the most cognitive challenges in daily living—whether at home, in the community, at work, or at school. If we can’t find an app out there that meets the need, we create a new one, and we involve people with brain disorders in the development process.

Now that we’ve identified the essential, core apps, we’ve created easy, self-paced online training to help the user utilize the apps most effectively and efficiently. The right apps plus the right training equals the 21st century’s brain prosthetic!

The tables below show some examples of the pairing of some common cognitive challenges with strategies, along with some of the apps that help users implement those strategies.

Learning and memory examples

Common Challenges Strategies Apps
* PaceMyDay, part of the BEST Suite of apps
Staying focused Track time & energy on tasks PaceMyDay*
Forgetting information and/or people Take pictures of relevant work/school site locations & co-workers/teachers Photos; Notability; Inspiration Maps
Doing too much & becoming overwhelmed to the point of exhaustion, which interferes with learning and memory Plan breaks to help reduce fatigue PaceMyDay*
Getting overwhelmed by paper; not being able to find important information Reduce paper by using apps to create task analyses or checklists and use keyword search Notability; Inspiration Maps

Attention and focus examples

Common Challenges Strategies Apps
  • * PaceMyDay, part of the BEST Suite of apps
  • † ReachMyGoals, part of the BEST Suite of apps
  • †† StrategizeMyLife, part of the BEST Suite of apps
Losing my place when doing something; going from one activity to another (bouncing) Focus attention on one thing at a time PaceMyDay*
Losing where I am within a process or list of things to do; not managing time effectively Create a task list; plan activities in a calendar Notability; Inspiration Maps; ReachMyGoals†; Week Calendar
Not knowing what strategy to use Apply principles of self-regulation; create a list of effective strategies Notability; PaceMyDay*; StrategizeMyLife††

Executive function examples

Common Challenges Strategies Apps
Not planning ahead; double-booking or missing appointments; not completing work on time Enter all commitments in a calendar; create a plan for accomplishing a goal Week Calendar, ReachMyGoals†
Spending a lot of time looking for things and sometimes not finding them Take notes on smart device and use keyword search to find them later Notability; Inspiration Maps; Week Calendar
Losing track of the amount of time on task; having no idea how long a task actually takes Track time, energy, and mood on a per-task basis PaceMyDay*
Having difficulty initiating a task due to being overwhelmed or not knowing where to start Brainstorm; use time management techniques Inspiration Maps; PaceMyDay*
Having difficulty incorporating feedback or switching gears Look for previously written notes and have a list of “go-to” people; create a graphic organizer to help see the big picture of the situation Notability; Inspiration; PaceMyDay*