I wish I could remember all those little things I tell myself I won’t forget. When I was a kid I remember writing down, “when I grow up, I’ll never …” and when I got older, I always had a long list of things I would do differently as a coach. Now sometimes I just want a glimpse at those messages to myself. Whether it’s an immediate matter like an item on my grocery list or something bigger like something I want to remember to do with my life, it’s important to keep yourself from scattering. These are some of the methods that I employ or that I have found and would like to make use of so that no brilliant inspiration escapes!
- Post-its: These staples are perfect for jotting down daily “things to do,” shopping lists, or reminders. I have them strategically placed in my car console, purse, desk, and anywhere else I possibly may need a quick, visible note. They’re great because their colors help them stand out and allow you to color code your notes (i.e. pink=groceries, orange=shopping list, yellow=things to do). If you get the legit sticky notes, they’ll stay in place for as long as you need them.
- Dry Erase Marker: I don’t know why, but the shower seems to bring out some of my clearest thinking. Of course, this is also the hardest time to write it down. I keep a dry erase marker in there with me so that I can scribble a quick reminder on the tile until I am in a better place to record it.
- Sticker Chalkboard– These are great to stick in places that you need to remember big, temporary things. I’d like one for right by my door.
- Journal: I’m an addict. I love looking back and remembering all those big things that dominated my life years ago, and it’s fun to be reminded of the little details that I’ve forgotten. This is a good place to tell what your attitude and outlook on life was at a given time period in your life.
- FitBook: One of the major reasons this is such a gem is that it documents everything- exercise, diet, mood, sleep, overall well being. If you want to know what went right or wrong with your health, flipping through these pages is a great way to find out.
- One Line a day book: I tried making my journal into something like this years ago, and it was great. You just pick out the highlight of the day and jot them down. It’s a fun way to reflect on what matters most. I’d also jot down and star important things like doctor’s appointments and oil changes so I could easily look back and see when I last took care of them. Now, there is a journal called One Line a Day: A Five Year Memory Book that easily sets you up for this simple daily record. What’s nice about this is that you write on the same page each year for a certain date so you can see what you were up to the years before on that specific day.
- Letter to the Past: Granted, this is the least effective note to self, but it is fun to think about. A friend sent me this link years ago when Arcade Fire was going on tour and Google Chrome was kicking off. They teamed up to make this cool little tailored-to-you video that shows your childhood home. It had you write a note to your childhood self, and when the band went on tour, it showed those postcards on big screens. At the time it was so good it gave me goosebumps. Now there’s not as much footage, but some addresses still work so you may want to give it a shot.
- Letter to the Future: Remember those letters teachers had you write to your future selves and put in a time capsule? Ya, I never got mine. However, there is a website that is a bit more of a surefire bet. FutureMe.org will send an email to you on a date of your choice. You write it saying whatever you want, and someday when you’re probably not expecting it you’ll get a motivating/sappy/weird little letter from your past self. Kinda neat.