I have a bad memory, and no it’s not a sign of aging; it has always been this way. Tell me something one minute, and unless I won the lottery or you are about to give me a free car, I am likely to forget it. I was with my solicitor one day and he asked me for the date I got married. I sat for a minute and then took off my wedding ring to check inside for the date. He was dumbfounded; he said he had never before met a woman who didn’t know her wedding date. Well, there is a first time for everything. For this reason, it has been essential for me to come up with ways to remember–to remember dates, remember to do things, remember to pick up my kids from school or anything else that I may need to remember.

1. Use a Journal

The first thing I find useful is to always carry a journal. This allows me to jot down any thought I may have that needs to be captured. Anytime I think of something I must do, it gets written into my journal, and when I get back to my desk, I check through my notebook and decide what needs to be done with my notes.

2. Use a Calendar

If any of the notes I made were reminders of something that I need to do on a particular day at a particular time, I enter it into my calendar. I use my calendar daily. When I sit down each day in front of my PC, the first thing I open is my calendar. Each week, I schedule my whole week, and then each day, I reassess how realistic it is and what needs to get moved to another day. Any tasks that take longer than 15 minutes go into my calendar, and shorter tasks or tasks that don’t have to be done immediately go into my task list.

3. Use a Task List

There are many programs out there that can be used to manage your tasks. I use Evernote, since it gives me a place to store everything. I create notebooks for each area of my life and for individual projects. If I think of something that has to be done on a particular project, I create a note and put it into the correct notebook. So when I am ready to work on that project, all the thoughts and ideas are captured there in one place.

4. Do a Mind Download

In times of overwhelm or stress, or when I feel I’m not keeping up to date with my work and maybe I’m reacting to other people’s demands, I stop and do a mind download. I get everything out of my head. I write it either in my journal or on an electronic note. By doing this, you are ensuring that everything you need to do is captured and not forgotten about. It creates a sense of calm control and ensures that nothing has gotten away. When everything is out of your head, start to add it into your system. Either it goes in your calendar or your task list so that when the time comes, you will get the work done, and you will never forget anything again.

5. Use Reminders

If you have a tendency to miss appointments and meetings, set up reminders for these events. Reminders can be set up on your calendar or in a program like Evernote. You could even set an alarm on your phone if necessary with the name of the alarm being the task you need to be reminded of.

There are no excuses. Follow these five suggestions, and you’ll never forget anything again. Use them individually and you will improve your ability to remember, but use all five and you will be a powerhouse of memory.

Do you have any ways that help you never forget anything? Please share them in the comments

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Featured photo credit: renwestvia Flickr

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