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I wrote this to a friend and thought some other people might be interested. I'm not really looking for advice but if you have ways of remembering things that you like, go ahead and post them in the comments.

On the matter of remembering events and other stuff, I use the following:

  • On my shell: the cal program + a text file calendar. I have an automatic script in my .login to mail myself the next four days of the calendar daily. So if there is a birthday or anniversary in there, I am getting four days of reminders before it arrives. I also mail the calendar to the OH -- but I don't do this automatically, I open the file and edit it, so that way I actually look at what's in it. I put all of my appointments and yearly reminders in there.
  • iCal on the Mac, for things I'm likely to forget about, like chores and appointments at a specific time, especially morning appointments. This is effective because the alarm reminder stays on top of my other windows until I tell it to snooze.
  • For events where I might take a while to get ready, I set the alarm for 2-3 hours in advance, because seeing the alarm that early gets me starting to mentally prepare. Then I snooze the alarm for an hour, half an hour, 15 minutes, and so forth, so I keep getting more reminders of the event.
  • A to-do list (in Yojimbo on my Mac). It gets unwieldy so I have a section called "high priority" which is supposed to be for stuff I have to do today, but it also tends to accumulate a few "sometime this week" errands. I transfer stuff from my text file calendar and my iCal to this list and then try to refer to it throughout the day. I check off items as I do them. I'm not perfect at this, so I'd say this is the weak link in my system.
  • SMS from my cell phone to my email. When I'm out and I remember something I need to do, I sms to my email. Then when I get home, I process the item into the proper calendar(s) and list(s).
  • The OH sends me reminders to my e-mail. He also reminds me of things when he's home, and asks me to write them down.
  • A have-done list. I make a list every day in my personal journal (a text file on my shell) of what I've done. This helps me feel like I actually do a few things, even on the days I am really depressed or in pain. (On days like that, even little things, like feed the cats, "count" and get onto the list.) Otherwise it is hard for me to feel like I do anything.

Yes, this looks totally unwieldy written down, and yes I think I really do need all of these pieces in order to remember those things I manage to remember.

Also, you'll notice there is no paper in there. I use paper lists for when I run errands, but usually not at other times because I lose them. I don't tape lists to the mirror or anything like that, because my capacity to turn them invisible after seeing them a couple of times is basically infinite. The OH puts things on the floor to help him remember, but I can turn those things invisible too.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 26th, 2008 08:17 pm (UTC)
I'm the planner / list keeper in this household. We have a google calendar to which we each can add our appointments (http://www.polderdom.nl/agenda.html - not sure if you can see this if you aren't us). Kees and I are usually pretty good in putting appointments in there, and I usually fill out HMM's appointments. But he has to tell me about them of course, so sometimes this does not work.

I have my calendar in my phone/pda (nokia 9300i). I can synchronize with Outlook on my PC, which is the only reason I keep Outlook there. Then I manually synchronize with the google calendar.

Every week I print out a two-week schedule from the google calendar and that hangs in the kitchen. We put (I put) our to-dolist in there manually.

I'm responsible for the list(s), but not for the doing of the jobs on them!
(but that needed repeating some times)

Edited at 2008-04-26 08:18 pm (UTC)
Apr. 27th, 2008 08:57 am (UTC)
O... and I have a huge shopping list in excel in my phone/pda. Everything got a 9 to start with in the first column. When I need to get it, it gets a 1. If it's a regular returing item, it get's a 3 when done, otherwise it gets a 9. There's more than 300 items there, but it works like a charm.
Apr. 26th, 2008 09:44 pm (UTC)
I used to keep lists. Lists everywhere. I was actually pretty good at not losing them, at one time. But they were discouraging because I seemed to add more things to the lists than I managed to cross off.

Then I went without for a few years. That was pretty chaotic, but did have one advantage: things that, as it turned out, weren't all that critical didn't end up getting done, and I saved myself some time and anxiety.

Now I have two lists. One is a simple word processing file on my desktop, and is for events at specific times. It's one long list, with whatever is happening today at the top, with the month/day, day-of-week, time, and what it is. Goes on, chronologically (currently I have lots of stuff into May, a few things for June, nothing for July, and two or three for August... oh, and March of next year, a trip to Greece:).

This is the good part: when something is done, I put a check next to it (if I don't do it, I put a line through it); then I cut those finished things and paste them at the very bottom of the file.

So I have a word processing file with this looooong list of things I've done. It's delightful. And every meeting I have to go to, or class I have to teach (etc) is on there. Evening meetings that are at unpredictable times I sometimes put in bold, so they pop out of the coming week.

My second "list" is a little book. I never had one before - just all of those little pieces of paper that got lost, or "saved" because one had a special phone number or an item I was going to do next year.... I've trashed all of those. The stuff goes in the little book. There are pages for the next week or so (same stuff as is on the desktop file), that I check as I complete them. There are pages for notes I'm taking at some particular event. There are pages for things I want to look up or buy on the web. There's a page of geek movies. There are also pages for tasks-I-must-do-very-soon. At the back is a page for phone numbers or addresses of businesses I need to contact, but only once a year (and who aren't conveniently in the phone book).

When a page gets "done" (the week is over; the I-must-do page is pretty much all checked off; the event is over that I took notes at) I clip off the upper corner of the page; if it's a list of to-dos, I put a diagonal line through it, too. That way I know I don't have to check that page when I'm searching for, say, today's must-do list.

I suspect pretty soon I'll get about five colored tab stickers and highlight key pages so that I can find them.

I like it a lot. I'm not losing track of nearly so many things, and I'm not double-booking. And it's nice to "finish" a page. (If there's still one item on a page, I might copy that item to a new page so as to be able to "finish" the old one.)

With the warm weather, I'm faced with a minor problem, though. I don't always take my light jacket with me, that has the perfect pocket for the book and a pen. I'll have to work on that one.

Oh. I also have a grocery list, on a separate 3x5 file card, that lives by the front door where house mates and guests can add to it. So really there are three lists.

Edited at 2008-04-26 10:01 pm (UTC)
Apr. 26th, 2008 09:45 pm (UTC)
Well, considering I don't work and the cats generally manage their own schedule, I only use two things, and they're both paper.

The first is a tiny planner that I keep future appointments (or annual occurrences) in. The second is a pile of 8.5x11" paper that had at least one side blank torn into quarters. You'd be surprised how much paper I get like this that doesn't have to be shredded. I write the days of the week on the paper and transfer things for that week from the planner. Then I add things I need to do that week like shopping or taking the trash and recycling out. When I get to about Wednesday on the current week, I start a new one for the next week.

The quarter-pages get updated as the week goes on -- sometimes I add things, sometimes I move things later.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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