Getting Organized for a Better Memory: Use Smart Reminders

Getting Organized for a Better Memory: Use Smart RemindersIf you want to remember something, how do you remind yourself?

By telling yourself ‘I better not forget…’?

Yelling ‘Hey [person you’re with], remind me to…’?

A note in a diary? A post-it on your screen?

These reminders ignore how your mind works. You don’t check your reminder repository before everything you do, so things get forgotten.

A better system is to use ‘smart reminders’ – reminders placed where you’ll see them when you need to do the reminded action.

Use Smart Reminders

Here are some examples…

  • Don’t want to forget your water bottle when you go to the gym, but right now the dishwasher’s running? Turn your gym bag upside down.
  • Gotta take something with you? Leave it in front of the door.
  • Several calls to make? Put the callee names on post-its and pop them on the phone.
  • Keep forgetting to use your gift certificate? Put it in your wallet – in front of your credit card or cash.
  • Wanna stop night-time snacking? Put those motivating photos right on the fridge/pantry door.

You get the idea. Whenever you think of something you want to remember, take the extra step of putting your reminder where you’ll be prompted at the right time.  Voila! Instant memory improvement.

Question: What effective reminder techniques do you use?

Image by dharmacat

 
Michele | Get Organized Gal

Michele is into writing, books, simplicity, love, TV, productivity, and staying thin in a world of chocolate.

11 thoughts on “Getting Organized for a Better Memory: Use Smart Reminders

  1. Wilhelmina says:

    I easily lose track of time, so use alarms & timers to help remind me to stop doing what I am doing & prepare for something else – kitchen timers, cell phone alarms.

  2. Vyasamoorthy says:

    Great tips.
    When I take an umbrella to a theater I keep it between my row and the next in front of me in such a way that when get up and leave I will be forced to trip and pick up the umbrella. If you leave it at the back of your seat you are likely to forget.

  3. Vyasamoorthy says:

    Great tips.
    When I take an umbrella to a theater I keep it between my row and the next in front of me in such a way that when get up and leave I will be forced to trip and pick up the umbrella. If you leave it at the back of your seat you are likely to forget.

  4. Quince says:

    I like the term “smart reminders” (and I like the picture).

    The way I set smart reminders for myself: This may not work for everybody but if I need to remember something, I put it on my calendar (in this case on my google calendar). Since most of the things I need to remember are somewhat time-based (e.g. in the morning before I need to go out) or before my workout, then I place an appointment on my calendar to remind me. I even have night time calendar entries that say: “Get up the next morning at 6am for a conference call”. This works because I check my calendar quite frequently and it pops up notifications for me.

    I like electronic reminders a lot because I also check my email quite frequently. When I organize things for the groups that I participate in (like events, outings, meetings, etc.), I use this site called Qlubb to put in events, to do lists, and stuff like that. It has timed reminders so that if I, or anybody else has something to do, we can collectively add things to it and knock them off the list as they get done. It’s kind of a personal organizer but for a group.

    One final thing.. I keep a central place in the house for all things central – like keys, wallets, to-do list, cell phone. It’s the first place I look.

  5. Quince says:

    I like the term “smart reminders” (and I like the picture).

    The way I set smart reminders for myself: This may not work for everybody but if I need to remember something, I put it on my calendar (in this case on my google calendar). Since most of the things I need to remember are somewhat time-based (e.g. in the morning before I need to go out) or before my workout, then I place an appointment on my calendar to remind me. I even have night time calendar entries that say: “Get up the next morning at 6am for a conference call”. This works because I check my calendar quite frequently and it pops up notifications for me.

    I like electronic reminders a lot because I also check my email quite frequently. When I organize things for the groups that I participate in (like events, outings, meetings, etc.), I use this site called Qlubb to put in events, to do lists, and stuff like that. It has timed reminders so that if I, or anybody else has something to do, we can collectively add things to it and knock them off the list as they get done. It’s kind of a personal organizer but for a group.

    One final thing.. I keep a central place in the house for all things central – like keys, wallets, to-do list, cell phone. It’s the first place I look.

  6. Prashant says:

    Oh yeah! I have discussed something very similar on my website; check out few more tips at:

    http://www.self-improvement-advice.org/mnemonics.html

    Few other ideas: practice keeping keys at the same place everyday, you to avoid “remembering” where you put them; sticky on car steering wheel to pick up your milk on your way home from work, and of course, alerts on your computer if you spend most of your day working on one.

    Prashant

  7. Prashant says:

    Oh yeah! I have discussed something very similar on my website; check out few more tips at:

    http://www.self-improvement-advice.org/mnemonics.html

    Few other ideas: practice keeping keys at the same place everyday, you to avoid “remembering” where you put them; sticky on car steering wheel to pick up your milk on your way home from work, and of course, alerts on your computer if you spend most of your day working on one.

    Prashant

  8. Susan McGrath says:

    Hi Michele

    My smart reminders are:

    Putting a post it note about the thing I need to remember when I go out on my car keys and
    Leaving things in odd places – e.g. if my mobile’s charging and I might forget to take it with me when I go out, I grab something off my desk and put it at the top of the stairs – a stapler, coffee cup – anything that will make me stop and think!

    Cheers
    S

  9. Susan McGrath says:

    Hi Michele

    My smart reminders are:

    Putting a post it note about the thing I need to remember when I go out on my car keys and
    Leaving things in odd places – e.g. if my mobile’s charging and I might forget to take it with me when I go out, I grab something off my desk and put it at the top of the stairs – a stapler, coffee cup – anything that will make me stop and think!

    Cheers
    S

  10. Angie Haggstrom says:

    I thought my bad memory came with the birth of my son, but now I know it’s just ‘oldtimers’ setting in really early. I tried the ‘put it in front of the door’ thing and hubby moved it out of the way when he left in the morning. I forgot it when I left.

    I found putting everything on a list and sticking it to the bathroom mirror works well so long as I don’t lose the list when I get my morning coffee 😉

    I’ll have to try the others…Thanks Michele!

  11. Angie Haggstrom says:

    I thought my bad memory came with the birth of my son, but now I know it’s just ‘oldtimers’ setting in really early. I tried the ‘put it in front of the door’ thing and hubby moved it out of the way when he left in the morning. I forgot it when I left.

    I found putting everything on a list and sticking it to the bathroom mirror works well so long as I don’t lose the list when I get my morning coffee 😉

    I’ll have to try the others…Thanks Michele!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *