4 Strategies to Remember Literally Almost Everything

Photo by Gemma | That's Her Business on Unsplash

🧠 Why we do the act of “remembering”

  1. Information to Act. This is information that you remember because it requires action. In our example, it’s your friend’s birthday next week (information), so today, you decide to spend an hour shopping for a gift and a birthday card (action).
  2. Information to React. This is information that you remember because it’ll come handy one day and doesn’t require action. In our example, it’s your friend’s birthday and you need to buy a gift (information). Luckily, you took a note on your phone that your friend loves that dark brown coffee mug you both saw last month at a cafe in the city. You even took a photo of it (reaction).

✏️ What you can do to remember better.

First off, when information comes in, ask yourself this question “do I need to take action on this or not?”

If your answer is “Yes”, then ask yourself “is this time-bound or not?”

  1. Calendar. This is for time-bound information which essentially indicates a deadline or a time of occurrence of it needing to be done. I recommend using a digital calendar like ones from Google, Apple, or Microsoft. I prefer Google’s due to its clean UI and ease-of-use. In our example, it’s your friend’s birthday on January 24 and you recorded it on your calendar.
  2. To-do list. This is for non-time-bound information which essentially means it needs to be done, but there isn’t a deadline or time of occurrence tied to it. I recommend using a smart to-do list such as Todoist or TickTick. I prefer Todoist due to its simple design and the ability to set priority on tasks. In our example, you needed to buy a gift and you added that on your list of to-do’s.

If your answer is “No”, then simply record it somewhere.

  1. Note-taking. This is best used when a piece of information needs to be consumed later on or when the information needs to be found quickly. I recommend using digital note-taking apps such as Notion or Google Documents. I prefer Notion due to its ability to quickly format texts with just a press of a key on your keyboard, and its outstanding organizational functionalities. In our example, your friend said they like the dark brown coffee mug and you took a note of that on your phone’s note-taking app.
  2. Voice recording or photograph. This is best used when words aren’t enough to remember the information or when you simply cannot type. I recommend using digital voice recorders or by using your phone’s camera. I prefer using the stock voice memo app and camera of Apple’s iPhones. In our example, you took a photo of the dark brown coffee mug to remember exactly what it looks like.

Listen, what you’re taking away from this article won’t stick for too long, so grab a pen and paper, and write down the 4 strategies (or apps) I mentioned above and apply them to things greater than birthdays!

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