Thursday, February 08, 2007

Write it down

The human brain is a marvellous and mysterious thing. Carrying out 24/7 monitoring and managing of thousands of body processes and capable of storing, organising and retrieving millions of items of information. And yet I regularly reach the top of the stairs and wonder what it was I had ascended them for. Or have a 'brilliant' thought during a long car journey, then realise that although I remember having the thought, I can't remember what it was. Or hear a song, like it, but - within minutes - forget what it's called, or who it's by.

Now I'm sure that neuroscientists will eventually find a logical explanation for this, and there may even be a day when there are ways of 'logging' your brain's processes. Until that day, we're stuck with more mundane methods of remembering things.

I've investigated and tried a lot of methods of making sure I don't forget things. Computers are helpful, mobile phones better... but probably the most useful tool in my 'don't forget' armoury are 12 x 8cm cards. And a writing implement. Pieces of card are cheap, require no power source, are rugged and disposable. And my brain's OCR equipment is brilliant at interpreting even the most illegible scribbles.

And by keeping to a 'one card, one idea' principle, they are easily filed or carried, then disposed once the task has been completed, or transferred to appropriate digital storage systems.

Now, where did i put that pen?

(This article was first published on my other blog.)