Is your memory slipping? For better or worse, one of the advantages of carrying a smartphone around is that you don’t have to leave it to your brain to remember everything.
And you don’t necessarily have to download a fancy app, either. There are any number of ways to have your pocket computer jog your memory.
1) Take a Picture
This is one of my favorite methods to remember things, largely because it’s the easiest. You don’t need to download an app and type in information. Just fire up the camera and snap.
Now you can go back and see exactly what that letter said, the warning label on that new power drill, the ingredients in a recipe, or anything else you want to recall later.
You can then pull up the image from any device if you have your photos set to automatically upload to Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, a personal hard drive, or your cloud service of choice.
2) Set a reminder
Increasing the amount of effort involved only slightly, you can set up a reminder. One method you can use on any mobile phone, regardless of whether it’s smart or not, is setting an alarm.
If it’s going off at an odd time of day, chances are you brain cells will instantly remember why. But even if they don’t, Android devices typically let you assign each alarm a label. It will then stick with you for the rest of the day.
Alternatively, you can use Google services. Try saying, “OK Google, remind me to check the mail at 7 PM.” Google Now will take care of the rest.
Or you could do the same thing using Inbox by Gmail or Google Keep if you prefer not to talk into your phone without a person at the other end.
3) Leave a note
Another approach is to use your phone or tablet as a paperless notepad. Fire up a note-taking app like Google Keep or the one that likely came with your phone and jot down a few words.
You can return to them at any time, and unlike traditional stickies, you don’t have to throw away old ones because you’re running out of space. In this day and age, you can carry around as many notes as you like.
4) Email Yourself
Shoot yourself an email. No, your message won’t get lost. You will receive a notification just as if the virtual letter had arrived from another person. Leave it unread in your inbox as a steady reminder, or store it in a folder alongside other things you don’t want to forget.
People have been using this approach long before smartphones hit the scene, but with email more accessible than ever, so is mailing yourself a reminder.
5) Pocket, Instapaper, Firefox Reading List
Let’s be real. When you’re sitting at a computer, half the stuff you want to remember consists of webpages that you don’t have time to get to right this moment. This problem is widespread enough now that you don’t have to bookmark them away anymore.
Someone has come out with an easier way. Simply create a Pocket or Instapaper account and get back to them whenever you can. These apps will even reformat the page to make the content distraction-free and easier to consume.
Those of you who use Firefox don’t even need to install a separate app. It comes with a Reading List where you can store the sites you want to return to later.
6) Keep a To-Do List
Maybe the task at hand requires a to-do list. Well, don’t worry, Android won’t let you down. There are any number of apps out there that will let you organize tasks however you wish. You can keep things simple and only enter a straightforward list. Or you can create tags, assign labels, apply colors, and enter enough background information for each task to turn your to-do list into a journal.
Google Keep or your phone’s default app will satisfy this role if your needs are small. Otherwise, there’s the likes of Evernote, Todoist, Remember the Milk, and many, many others.
Think You Can Remember?
Hopefully one of these methods will help you remember what to pick up from the supermarket, how to put together that bookshelf, the location of the next meeting, and the time to drop your kid off at music practice. With so much to keep up with, it’s okay to turn to help.
But these approaches are hardly the only ways you can use your phone or tablet to stay on top of things. What resourceful methods have you come up with? If you think you have something insightful to share with our readers, please do so in the comments below!
Image Credits: Open minded man Via Shutterstock