This past week I read a news article about the increase in people sending text messages to themselves as reminders. I had to smile and nod my head while reading the article because I have been doing something similar for years. Plus, today, Jan. 6 is National Technology Day and I use accessible technology to never forget important tasks I need to do.
Writing Reminders From Childhood and College
I am an organized person and like to create lists and reminders to track all my activities. It started from childhood. Everyday when I got home from school there was a note from my mother. She would leave me a to do list to complete before she got home from work.
Then in college I got a day planner. It was in a beautiful 5×7 size red leather carrying case. There I would keep up with reminders and things to do. I toted that day planner around all the time constantly writing myself reminders.
Clipboard for Reminders and Notes
As I slowly started losing my vision, I moved to low vision tools. They included magnification software and devices. But more importantly was writing supplies like bold lined notebook paper and pens. I used them all the time because of the high contrast and to compose reminders.
I used a specialized clipboard to securely hold paper or a notepad . This particular clipboard was designed with a metal bar on the left side for accessibility. I used it to write straight on the line otherwise my writing would go allover the place. It would be up and down or it would be on top of what I had already written. The metal bar has an open space for writing directly on the paper. As I wrote I could move the metal bar down a notch to proceed to the next line.
Phone and Email for Reminders
After I went totally blind, I didn’t use the clipboard with the metal bar as much. I moved to leaving reminder messages on my answering machine and voice mail. I would leave reminders of things to do when I got home while I was at work. I would also do the opposite by leaving work reminders while I was at home. One of my first things to do at work, besides turning on my computer, was to check voice mail. The reminder messages would be there for me to listen and take note.
I would also do this same with emails. Sending messages to myself back and forth from home to work. So, when I checked my messages those reminder emails would be right there in my in box.
Other Technology Devices
Today, I work from home so sending myself reminders via phone and email doesn’t apply. Instead I keep a Microsoft Word document open titled, “things to do.” There I jot down notes and reminders. I also use my smartphone. There are many reminder apps on the market. But I just use my calendar app which provides a reminder feature. I can add an alert to a calendar event sending me an audible notification. I also use my voice memo app to record those brilliant writing ideas I get at 3 a.m. in the morning. This post was one of them. HaHa!
Also current messaging apps integrate well with the sharing menu on your phone making it simple to transfer info. Plus, the article eluded to a self text message feature in WhatsApp.
Got the Memory of an Elephant?
Not everyone has the memory of an elephant. I know sending reminders to yourself might sound strange or ridiculous yet it can be a good productivity strategy. Most of us got a lot going on and distractions are constantly around. I believe in using accessible devices to make my life simpler, easier and more efficient.
What reminder devices or tools do you use? How do you keep up with your activities so you don’t forget?