Calling Your Memory

What's small, smart, and always close at hand? Use your phone to help you remember more.


Filed Under: Apps and Applications, Organization Tips for ADD Adults
Smartphones help ADHDers remember.

Every day you have all types of information thrown at you, and a lot of it needs to stay in your memory.

Thorin Klosowski

Every day you have all types of information thrown at you, and a lot of it needs to stay in your memory for at least a short period. Maybe it's a phone number, the name of your new dentist, or the distinctions between mitosis and meiosis for a biology test. It's easy to remember these things when you use your phone to get information several times a day.

Use Your Phone's Lock Screen

How often do you look at your phone? Chances are, it's pretty often, especially if you use it as a clock. Your phone's lock screen is a great place to flash something you need to memorize. Something like a train schedule or work schedule is useful to have on your lock screen. Having trouble remembering one section of a test? Take a snapshot of the question to commit it to memory. The same goes for any other quick reminder — medication doses, your nephew's shoe size, the time your favorite show is on. If it's short and should be pounded into your brain, your lock screen does the trick.

Use Location-Based Prompts

Tie a task to a location, and use location-based reminders apps, like Checkmark for iPhone (or the built-in Reminders app) to help you remember it. Create a reminder for each task on your to-do list, so that every time you get to the location where you can actually complete the task, your list pops up.

Repeat Reminders Through the Day (or Week)

Some things need to be repeated to get into your memory. That means getting them in front of you a lot. For that, use MemStash. Highlight a block of text in your browser, bookmark it, and MemStash will send you an e-mail or SMS message several times throughout the week. Use the app for things like quotes you're trying to remember, a complicated concept, or even the name of that guy in accounting who always rides the elevator with you.

Change Names to Numbers

Sometimes we don't remember things because we don't have to. But that's not always good. For instance, it's good to know your emergency contacts by heart. Replace their names with their phone numbers in your address book. When your mom calls, you'll see the phone number each time, not "Mom." You'll eventually commit the number to memory.

Excerpted from LifeHacker.

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This article appears in the Summer issue of ADDitude.
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