Stef (firecat) wrote,

one forgetful person's ways of keeping track of stuff

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.

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