Human brains are overwhelmed by facts, figures and endless information. It’s no wonder that most people have problems remembering things.
Every day our brains try to process 34GB of information, and every day our brains have about 50,000 thoughts. It’s enough to make your head spin. Even if you believe that you have a good memory, you’ll still be unable to remember everything you see, hear or think. It’s not humanly possible.
For the vast majority of us, our brains are unreliable for memory tasks. Just try thinking about what you did yesterday. You’ll be able to recall the major events, but what about casual conversations or the food you ate. Can you recall everything in detail? Most likely, you’ll find that your memories are vague and imprecise.
Human Minds Have Become Overwhelmed
It’s a sad fact of life, that as human civilization has advanced – the more each of us need to remember.
If you were to travel back in time to live with primitive man, you would find life was simpler. Your memory would only be needed for interactions with your small social circle, animals and nature. At that time, knowledge was all about the essentials of how to live safely and securely.
Thousands of years later, we’re now living in an information age. While this has brought many advantages, it’s also brought a requirement for individuals to remember more and more. This includes complex languages, social and legal rules, historical facts and figures.
When we were young, we were taught the importance of memorizing things. This could include learning the multiplication table at school, a musical instrument in an evening, and studying religion on a weekend. In other words, even as little children, our brains are bombarded with information that we need to store in our memories – and recall at the appropriate times. I talked about this in my other article You’ve Been Using Your Brain Wrong: Human Brains Aren’t Designed to Remember Things
If you’re over the age of 40, you’ll recognize the above, but you’ll also say that your brain was able to cope with all the knowledge and information that came your way. And you’d be right. However, when the internet was launched in the early ’90s, a tipping point of information overload occurred.
Suddenly, we needed to remember and digest tons of new information in order to survive. To take just one example, how many online usernames and passwords do you have? It’s probably dozens, and if you’re like most people, you’ll struggle to remember all the combinations.
Let’s be honest, human memories are far from perfect, and it’s impossible to remember everything in today’s age.
Is there a savior to end our memory woes? Yes.
Your smartphone, laptop and tablet can offer much more than just calling, texting and social media. With the right tools installed, you can free your human brain and make you life easier and more efficient.
As the title of this article suggests, a “second brain” could be just what you need. But what exactly is this? It’s an external brain that stores all the information you need to know and remember.
The good news is that this second brain can be utilized through your existing smart devices. Because this external brain is so handy, I’ve personally nicknamed it the “pocket brain”.
Let the Second Brain Give Your Memory a Much-Needed Boost
With your very own pocket brain, you can give your human brain some breathing space, while at the same time boosting your ability to store and recall information.
When it comes to memory, our brains are typically no better than an 8GB USB storage device. However, with a pocket brain, you’ll immediately get a 300GB memory boost. You’ll also have easy, instant access to all the stored information.
The electronic pocket brain is much more accurate at memorizing information than our biological brains. Words, images, and sounds, no matter what kind of information you need to memorize, a pocket brain can store it accurately and efficiently. Human memories, on the other hand, tend to be blurry. You may recall the general picture of something, but you’ll usually struggle to recall all the minute details.
When you store information in a pocket brain, you free up room in your brain to do and think other things. You may not have realized it, but it takes significant human brain energy to process information, and to think and create things. If you have to waste this valuable brain energy on memorizing things, you’ll have less energy to work on ideas and problem-solving as I talked about in my previous article How Clutter Drains Your Brain (and What You Can Do About It)
I don’t want to overload your brain with too much information in this article, so let’s cut straight to the meat of the matter. I’d like to recommend to you three great apps that I use to remember important things.
Airtable: organize and store information perfectly
For example, you can easily enter than names of books you’ve read, movies you’ve watched, trips you’ve planned or products you plan to buy. These will appear in the app as a collection of books, movies or products. This has the immediate benefit of making your lists clear and organized.
However, there’s much more to the app than just that. For each book, movie or product, you can enter additional information such as page lengths, movie directors and product specifications. There’s also space to add your thoughts and feelings about each item.
As you’d expect, once your content is in the app, you can perform pinpoint searches to find it.
Evernote: jot down notes anywhere, anytime
You’ve probably heard of this app, but you may not have tried it out.
Its primary selling point is it’s amazing ability to let you jot down notes anywhere, anytime. These notes may consist of hand-typed information, images, or even links to webpages.
Once you start to fill Evernote with data, you’ll be able to categorize and tag the information according to their purposes.
For instance, if you’ve created several notes on possible hotels to stay at, you could categorize these under vacations, hotels or travel. You get to decide the categories and tags, making Evernote a very personal tool. The categories and tags make the retrieval of information super fast and super easy.
Install Evernote in your phone here.
Fantastical Calendar: never forget important events any more
I’ve talked a lot about information, but of course a major memory stress for many of us is remembering important birthdays, events and meetings. A paper calendar can certainly help with this, but it can be lost, damaged or left behind.
Fantastical Calendar is an app and website that you can access from your smartphone, computer or tablet. Just like a paper calendar, you can write down important dates for the coming week, month, year, etc. However, Fantastical Calendar is way more powerful than its paper equivalent. You can use it to set reminders and alarms for important things, as well as setting up recurring events.
For example, I often struggle to remember to pay some of the monthly or annual fees. With Fantastical Calendar, I cannot only have all the days correctly marked, but I can also set up reminders that tell me a few days in advance that I need to settle the payments.
Fantastical Calendar has simplified my life, and I’m sure it can do the same for you.
Install Fantastical Calendar here.
Make Using the Pocket Brain Become Your Second Nature
While a pocket brain can be an indispensable tool, you may find it hard to break your lifelong habit of trying to remember everything with your human brain. As you probably know – building a habit is no walk in the park.
If you need help with habit building, take a look at our recently-published article How to Program Your Mind to Kick the Bad Habit and start to build a habit of storing information in your second brain. I also recommend this useful app Productive to help you adopt the new habit.
Your human brain energy is too precious to be wasted on information overload. Instead, let the pocket brain sweat the small stuff and free your mind for greater things.
Featured photo credit: Free Photo via pixabay.com
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