Often, no matter what I’m doing, I’ll get an idea that I want to remember later. Later can be a Sunday afternoon, for example, when I have some time to myself. My memory is good for things like that. I like to think it’s because I saturate my mind with more input than it can store. More likely, it’s because I’m 41, not 21.
In any event, I’ve tried many different ways to keep track of these ideas. I’ve had my share of PDAs, but only the original Palm III worked for me. When I abandoned that for a Windows CE device, it wasn’t the same. Ultimately, and for several years, I went old school. I kept a small pad of paper with me and used one 4×6 ish sheet of paper to write down thoughts I thought were worthwhile. This led to keeping close to a thousand of these little palimpsests around. Romantic, but inefficient.
A few months ago, I picked up a personal laptop that I take with me practically everywhere. I have Open Office on it and I thought I would try getting away from my little slips of paper and just keeping my thoughts in a word processing file that I could edit as necessary. Now I realize that some PDAs do something similar, but for whatever reason, my undisciplined brain never liked the way the PDAs handled it. Amazingly, this simple word processing file has kicked the paper method to the curb.
I still keep an college ruled notebook on my desk at home for jotting things down, but the laptop handles the 4 page to do/ reminder list quite nicely. It also handles my iTunes stuff and gives me email wherever I go. Perfect. For now, anyway.