I'm the type of person who forgets stuff a lot. Plans with friends. Meetings and appointments. I can space out on them and they go by and then I get the phonecall with the 'where were you?' or I'll remember so late that it's too late. It makes me feel awful.
See what happens is I put everything into my outlook calendar on my computer and it's set to pop up 15 minutes before i'm supposed to be wherever. I know you can set things to pop up like hours before or whatever but I often forget to do that. So I try to check my outlook calendar like everyday to see what's on it (usually nothing) but I check it because I don't trust the popup reminder. But sometimes I forget to check it.
I also have an iPaq (it's like a palm pilot) which is this handheld device that syncs with my computer and keeps all my phone numbers and stuff too. It was a 'parting gift' from my last job. If i'm out somewhere and need to put some info in it or set up an appointment I take out this little pen thing and type on a mini-keyboard, then when I get back I sync it up to my home computer. Unfortunately the sync function between my iPaq and computer doesn't work that well and when it's in the process of syncing it causes conflicts with other programs. So what I'll do sometimes when I get back is take my iPaq out then manually type in the meeting or new phone number or whatever in my computer so I have it. It's not like any of this goes on so often because I don't go out much but it's just the process I have.
Anyway a couple weeks ago I realized I totally spaced on a doctor's appointment so I went into outlook and it was set in there but somehow the popup reminder wasn't set to go off so it never popped up. And I missed it. This sort of thing has happened before and for someone who is generally disorganized as is it becomes frustrating when the system breaks down when you're trying to be responsible. But last week I found an excellent solution to this problem.
It's called a "date book". I got a big one and it has this stuff inside called "paper". What I do is I write on it in ink and leave it open on my desk. I can look at it whenever I want and write stuff on it totally! And when I go out I bring it with me and I write stuff in it! With a regular pen! I don't have to sync it when I get home. I don't have to rely on popups and it's open all day long not hidden on my computer. It's so excellent. And if something is important I can underline it! It totally totally works.
Coming from an ex-techno geek it was stunning to me how much I embraced the return to paper. It just works so frickin well. I'm sure if I worked in an office I might still be inclined to rely on outlook but for being at home with not a hell of alot going on... paper rules! And it's so retro!