Let’s face it. Once you give birth, your brain is never the same. If you’re like me, my memory is one step away from nonfunctioning. So I rely on technology and backup processes to get me through the day. Here is how I set up my tickler system to combat my mommybrain:
Remember the Milk - I have recently started using RTM for my moment by moment tasks. As long as I remember to enter the tasks into the application, I have a nice reminder list with deadlines, priorities and several ways to access it. I can go straight to their web site (rare). I’ve also integrated RTM into my Gmail accounts so my task lists show up on the right hand margin of my Web browser when I’m checking emails. I also have the iPhone app and can reach for my iPhone in the middle of the night and enter To Do’s easily. Yes, I actually do that and find it better than the old paper/pen on the nightstand method. I can also share specific To Do lists with my team using the premium level of RTM.
Google Calendar - I love my Google Apps and my calendar is shared with everyone who needs to get on my schedule. Then I’ve set it up so every calendar entry is emailed to me, sent to me via text and also shows up as a popup on my Web browser 10 minutes before I’m supposed to do something like get on a call. I have also learned to block off travel time on either end of a meeting instead of blocking off only the meeting time so that 10 minute warning is still padded if I have to get in my car to travel someplace.
iCal - I have iCal on my Mac and on my iPhone and for backup reminders when I really, truly cannot forget something, I add one more reminder in my iCal. A little popup comes onto my computer screen and an SMS pings me in addition to the Google Cal ticklers. Extra reenforcements are sometimes warranted, especially when you combine mommybrain with overloaded brain.
Humans - I know I said this was about technology, however, one of the best things I’ve done to help me remember things is to first confess to all my team members that remembering things is not my strong front. I’ve given them permission to nudge me, bug me, pester me and wave shiny objects in front of me in order to get me to do things and remember what I should be doing in the first place. I figured it was better to be honest and to enlist their help in sending me brain ticklers than to frustrate everyone around me because I forgot to do something. When you are mommybrained, you need all the help you can get including a human support network.
These methods may sound extreme, however, they are a reflection of how truly lacking my memory has become so rather than fight it, I have to acknowledge it and put solutions in place. The only thing I need now are reminders to remind me to enter my reminders!
What is your method for reminding yourself of important things? What technologies do you use?