If it isn't written down, it doesn't exist — my phone calendar is essential

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If it isn't written down, it doesn't exist — my phone calendar is essential 2014-02-17T17:19:41+00:00

The Forums Forums Tools, Techniques & Treatments What Worked For Me… If it isn't written down, it doesn't exist — my phone calendar is essential

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  • #124270
    Post count: 4

    I had to get rid of my smartphone to escape the internet: Internet vs. Clock: Round 20,345 — Tips??

    However, the phone calendar is essential for me — I need someone or something to tap me on the shoulder when it’s time to do something. My motto:

    “If it isn’t written down, it doesn’t exist.”

    My phone’s calendar syncs with my work calendar, so I can add an item either place, and the reminder will beep on my phone and pop up on my work computer.

    Tip #1: My other motto is “do it, do it right, and do it right now”. Or maybe it’s “If not now, when?” Anyway, I’ve learned that the instant an idea or a commitment comes up in a conversation, or while I’m reading, watching, or listening to something, I have to excuse myself for a moment and enter a reminder or meeting in my phone’s calendar. If I don’t do it immediately, it’s gone.

    Tip #2: If something isn’t a scheduled event, e.g. “order prescription refill”, I enter it in my calendar starting on the appropriate day as a daily repeating event. Then when I snooze it (and, most likely, eventually close and forget it) on Monday, it pops up again Tuesday, etc. until eventually it buzzes at a moment when I have the mental clarity to stop what I’m doing and make the damn call. If there’s a deadline, I am careful to put that in the reminder subject, e.g. “order Rx refill by THURSDAY 3/12!!!”.

    Tip #3: If something is scheduled for early in the morning , or I need to prepare for it, or I’ll need to take something with me, then I add a second reminder the day before, usually around 7 pm, e.g. “Dr. Froshbinder tomorrow 8 am”. If I don’t remind myself the night before and make a note, then I’m liable to drive straight to work without thinking, or dawdle over breakfast while I read something “absolutely essential and important and interesting,” or fill the bird feeder, which reminds me I should move that plant my wife asked me to move a couple of weeks ago…) and the appointment is long gone, and I have to call later, embarrassed, to reschedule. Or worse, I forget to reschedule and eventually they call me.

    Tip #4: When that evening-before reminder pops up, I write a big note and put it by my alarm clock so I don’t oversleep or spend too long getting ready, and usually I put one on the doorknob or my keys so I don’t automatically drive to work. If I have to remember to take something with me then I have to put it in front of the door so I can’t open the door without bumping into it — not next to the door where I could breeze past in my morning fog.

    Tip #5: If the evening-before reminder buzzes but I can’t deal with it right then (e.g. I’m out to dinner, or at an event) I open it right then and change the time so it buzzes later that evening at a time I know I’ll be home and available. Because, (say it with me): “If it isn’t written down, it doesn’t exist!” (For me, a calendar reminder is a superior form of “writing it down” because it actively reminds me, and I don’t depend on noticing a note or reading the calendar.)

    I hope this is helpful to someone.

    Good luck, everyone.


    Post count: 10

    This is me all over—I’d be lost without my iPhone! I don’t know how many times I’ve told my husband that if I need to take kids to a game, or whatever, if I don’t get it in my calendar *immediately* I will forget all about it (so don’t tell me at moments when I can’t enter it into my phone or computer please!)

    In order to avoid impulsive looking at Facebook or searching the internet, I have at times set “Restrictions” on my iPhone to disable the internet browser and block installing new apps after I delete the Facebook app. I can also go and turn off the restriction if I need to, but just that extra bit of inconvenience will do away with an unthinking “must look at Facebook!” inpulse.

    Blue Yugo
    Post count: 62

    Sometimes I’m just too lazy to put something into my smartphone calendar.  Or it’s a small “to do” thing (usually accompanied by a dozen others) that I want to get done in the current day.  I have a dry-erase white board, but if I leave the house…no white board.  And yes, I was too lazy to type in a to-do list into my mobile!  So…I take a photo of the list on the white board to carry around with me.  It’s one photo…and it contains my whole checklist.  No typing.  No scrolling.  And, it allows me to be lazy and still have my list.

    Post count: 5

    Thank you Franklin for sharing. You helped me get a better idea about using my non smart phone calender. I just lost my paper one. Your example was helpful.

    Post count: 6

    I keep both a bullet journal and a phone calendar.
    They tend to stay mostly synced together but they do serve different functions.

    My bullet journal tends to be smaller to-dos or long-term goals as well as helping me to record and keep an eye on my emotions or record events that may lead to a crash later on so I can be better prepared. Having a habit tracker works wonders when there’s no such thing as divided days according to your brain and everything blends into one hazy recollection of the past. I know there’s research out there that says writing something down rather than typing it makes you more likely to remember it but I don’t know how applicable that research is when your handwriting goes a million miles an hour to keep pace with your brain.

    My phone calendar is for quickly getting appointments or reminders down while I’m away from my journal and also for giving me a tangible reminder an x amount of hours or days before an event.

    I’ve only used my bullet journal for about 2 months now but I’ve found that the combination of the two works best for me 🙂

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