Not Forgetting

I am notoriously forgetful when saying I’ll pick something up, send an email, follow-up with someone, or any other simple task. When I say yes its not like I am meaning to forget but quite literarily (in the most literal sense of the word) I can leave the room and then forget. Even if I write it down I’ll forget to look at the note at the appropriate time. So instead of trying harder to remember I try to be smarter about remembering.

One of my favorite quotes is from David Allen:

You’re brain is not for storing ideas but having them.

Today, there are numerous tools to help our brains forget.” So really, you shouldn’t be down on yourself that you forgot but instead think of ways that you can remember better. And just trying harder usually doesn’t cut it.

So for tasks like this I use an app called Due . I could use the Reminders app on my phone but I’ve found that finicky and there is not a good way for it to keep reminding me if I’m in the middle of something.

The Due app does a couple key things that keep me using it:

  1. Recurring reminders - If I ignore the notification it will keep reminding me in 5 minute increments. The alarm will go off for a minute, stop, and come back 5 minutes later until I mark it complete.
  2. Easy snooze - I can set custom snooze intervals so when the notification appears on my iPhone or Apple Watch I can pull down on the notification and it will bring up different snooze options that I’ve set. Mine are 15 and 60 minutes +1 day.
  3. Natural language processing - When entering a reminder I can just type exactly what I want instead of fidgeting with a bunch of options. I can type Remind me on Monday at 5pm to pick up asparagus after work.” This will parse everything correctly, click save, and I’m done.

So don’t try to be better at remembering but be smarter about it.

For more on Due see MacStories review of it .

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