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The other day I finally remembered to change my furnace filter. As I feared, it was a lot dirtier than it should be and I berated myself for neglecting to do it sooner. I decided that I needed to get back to using a reminder system to keep on track.
Back when I entered the work force, I was introduced to the concept of having a “Tickler File”. The idea was simple enough. You created 2 sets of filing folders. The first was 31 numbered files for each day of the month. The other set was one for each month of the year. The way it worked is if something needed to be taken care of in a future month, you filed it in the month section. So say I needed to replace my toothbrush in 6 months, I would put a note in my file for September. (ha – don’t think I’m THIS organized it’s just an example!) If something needs to happen this month, I would put a note in one of the day files. This is great for paying bills.
Set up a reminder system electronically
Now jump ahead to the wonderful world of smart phones and electronic calendars that upload to the cloud and and you can take everywhere. The idea of a Tickler File is still a great reminder system, you can just use electronic tools to do the job for you.
I had an eye exam last week, and the doctor told me she wanted to see me in 2 years. Going to check out, they tell me that they can’t schedule that far in advance (really???) so I’d have to contact them when the time was right. I asked when that would be (she books out almost a year in advance). They wouldn’t give me a direct answer. So when I got home, I put a calendar event for a year in the future, to call and book the appointment.
It’s simple to think that “I’ll remember to do that”, and let it go. You would be surprised at how many more important things choose to occupy your brain and the thought never occurs to you again, until it comes too late. So whether you choose to make a calendar event, or an electronic reminder with a date deadline, take the few seconds now to build in a reminder for yourself, and you won’t have to worry about it again until your alert goes off and you add it to your priorities.
Ideas of tasks to schedule
Here are some tasks that you can schedule a reminder for:
- Doctor appointments (and Vet visits)
- Vehicle maintenance
- Appliance maintenance
- Making travel plans
- Party planning
- Birthdays, Anniversaries and other important dates
- Bucket List items (commit your dreams to plans!)
- Holiday preparations
- Sale reminders (if you missed the “white sale” this January and swore to yourself you’d buy new sheets next year when they were cheaper – be sure to make a reminder for yourself)
A side note, using electronic reminders are also great because you can make use of copy and pasting info to make it easier when the reminder comes up. Say you just had your washer and dryer serviced and you wanted to remind yourself to do that in the future. Pick your date, and then make use of the notes section! Put in the company that did the service this year (name, phone number, etc). You can also quickly note the model and serial numbers while they are right in front of you. You know that they are going to ask you for them. Won’t you be a happy person when everything is at your fingertips and this task takes minutes to do!
What are some things that you feel are important to set up a reminder for yourself? Please leave a comment below so all of us can set up a reminder system that really works for our lives.