How to Keep Track of Irregular Events

Listener Stacy writes in:

How do you track some thing going forward? For instance, ?Subsequent time I cross for an oil change make certain to invite about reductions on a life-time deliver of paisley-colored motor oil.? I don?T have an exact date for the occasion nor do I actually have a ?To invite mechanic? Web page in my planner. How could I music an irregular event like that?

Stacy, reminiscence is hard! Sure, historical Greeks memorized 6-hour poems phrase for word. But we?Re greater advanced than that. We understand the prevalence of staring comatose at a screen, blankly scrolling a Facebook feed, and letting our devices do all of the paintings.

You want to recall irregular activities. A second semester quantum mechanics pupil might have some proof for why you may?T both perceive an occasion and recognize what you need when you get there. But I?Ve by no means taken Quantum Mechanics, so I?Ll tell you how to manage the uncontrollable.

It?S all approximately triggers. Find what will cause your destiny movement, and connect your reminders and reference material to that trigger.

Some things you do because they’re on your task list. Whether you useone master system to organize your life, whether youuse a paper system—my favorite!—or an onlinetask management system like Todoist—my other favorite!—at some point you’ll select a task from your task list as The Thing You Will Do Next. (Side note: my favorite way to scan and select tasks from your to-do list isthe Autofocus 4 task management system by Mark Forster. There are links to all of these at

If you use an electronic task management system likeToDoist, you can add attachments and notes to a task. You’re reading a magazine and find a fascinating advertisement for a new product. Some young nerd with no social skills has created the perfect robotic shmoopie, powered by artificial intelligence. And there’s a limited-time coupon in the ad for 30% off!

Eager to resolve your relationship woes for existence, you will add the challenge ?Order backup shmoopie? On your challenge list. When you upload it, also upload the URL of Shmoopie Incorporated in the notes discipline of the mission. Take a display shot of the coupon and fix that to the assignment.

If you hold your venture listing on paper, like I do, you could?T do digital attachments. So create a place for your pc to maintain the digital attachments. Create one, unmarried folder in your computer called ?Details.? Inside that folder, create a subfolder. Name it ?1.? Put all the electronic attachments related to a given mission in one subfolder. When you write your challenge for your paper project list, write the no 1 and placed a rectangular round it. That tells you to appearance for your on line Details Folder 1 for the helping material for that venture. When you’ve got any other task that wishes information, name the subfolder ?2?, and so forth.

Also create a real-life Details folder. When a task has physical papers, like the copy of your psychiatric release that was approved by the staff, put it in the details folder. Just like the electronic details folder, number the items. Write the sequence number directly on the papers, or on a sticky note that you attach to the papers. All the items related to a single to-do item get the same sequence number. Then in my task list, I write the sequence number and circle it, so I know it’s in my paper Details file.

Some things get brought about with the aid of date, not with the aid of venture list. That?S smooth, use your calendar! As with duties, you may connect documents and URLs to an occasion, so while that occasion comes up, the materials you need are at your fingertips. You also can use your Details folders if important, including the subfolder number in a square or circle at once to the occasion description in your calendar.

For calendar events,you can also email attachments to yourself to arrive on a specific date. Check outmy episode on how to use deferred email for details, or services

Plastic surgical treatment scheduled for May 9th? Just snap some images of the noses you find inspirational. Send them to yourself for shipping on May eighth. Then you may percentage them along with your health care professional right earlier than you go underneath, stable in the information which you?Ll pop out searching like Betty Boop, Barbra Streisand, Sylvester Stallone, or an excellent aggregate of all 3.

If you’ve got paper items which can be relevant to an appointment, use your paper Details record exactly as you will with a venture list. Put the paper items inside the Details record, number them, and then write the number with a bit circle in your calendar subsequent to the applicable appointment.

Stacy, you want to remind your self to analyze paisley motor oil at your next oil change. It?S unscheduled, so you can?T use the calendar technique. And you likely gained?T upload it in your task list till you spot smoke, at which point you?Ll have extra essential matters to keep in mind than your preference for stylish motor oil.

But you do know where your oil change place is. Under many smartphone reminder apps, you can set a reminder that triggers when you arrive at a certain location. Use the task reminder we’ve already discussed, but have it trigger based on location. Even if your task list is on paper, like mine, you can put the reminders on your smartphone. Plus, using location reminders makes you keep GPS turned on, making it easier and less expensive for the NSA to track you, and thus helping keep your taxes low, low, low.

If you have got a totally paper system, otherwise you continually pick out a one-of-a-kind oil exchange shop (if you want to?T tune your actions), then you definitely want to pick out some thing you?Ll get right of entry to whilst you?Ll truely cross in for an oil alternate. I even have a windshield sticky label that strikes a chord in my memory whilst my next oil change is due. I?Ll usually take that decal off while it?S time. So it?S the trigger. I write a bit checkbox using a Sharpie. When I see the checkbox, it rings a bell in my memory to open the glove compartment, wherein the ?Mechanic?S to-do listing? Tucked internal my automobile owner?S manual.

You?Ll see it pop up and if the time isn?T but proper, you can reschedule it for some weeks within the destiny.

If something isn’t on your task list, isn’t on your calendar, isn’t location-based, and has no trigger you can identify in advance, you can set up a calendar-based reminder for the rough timeframe you think the event will occur. Put a reminder in your calendar on that date of your paisley motor oil to-do item, and where supporting materials can be found. You?Ll see it pop up and if the time isn?T but proper, you can reschedule it for some weeks within the destiny. Here, instead of getting what you need, when you need it, you’re giving yourself a rough reminder so you’ll remember what you need, when you need it.

Stacy, we don?T need to come to be just like the historic Greek barbarians, memorizing, the usage of our brains, and displaying real ability and talents! We can reclaim our humanity by using figuring out the cause of a given venture. Then we attach what we?Ll need for the undertaking to that trigger. The cause may be a mission from your undertaking listing, a calendar date, a vicinity alert, or an invented trigger. Or, as a ultimate motel, we are able to use our era to remind us once in a while, so when the unknowable in the end arrives, our brains have the only single reality we need to cope, liberating up the rest of our mind to observe, recognize, and aspire to be like Kim Kardashian.

This is Stever Robbins. Follow GetItDoneGuy on Twitter and Facebook. I run programs to help you develop the skills you need to create an extraordinary life. If you want to know more, visit

Work Less, Do More, and feature a Great Life!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *