Whenever I make a weekend trip to a supermarket, I consult my wife and make a list. This keeps the trip short and focused. I use Google keep for such “to-buy lists”. Today I was making a traditional dish and I had to use coconut milk. I didn’t like the canned coconut milk that I used today. There are so many brands of them. I don’t remember the one which I bought a few months back and it tasted better. Now I can add specialized, blacklisted brands to my shopping list 🙂 to avoid this mistake. At home and at work, our mind is occupied by things to do, things to remember (birthdays, anniversaries, brands to be avoided), assignments from your kid’s extra classes, and many more things. We may easily get overwhelmed and ofter forget a zoom session for the kid’s music class or call we committed to return. All the unfinished tasks and things to remember taxes our brain and our thoughts keep on running after them.
We can use tools like Google Keep, Microsoft One Note, Google Sheets to dump as much of the reminders, to-docs, and more. This allows our mind to relax and stop going after what is the next to-do item. I try to use them as much as I can for my grocery runs, mail drop-offs (store to addresses), meeting notes, among others.
Google Keep or Apple Notes is very useful for small information that you want to capture – say you want to capture the addresses of a few labs or doctors you are researching for an appointment. Whereas Microsoft OneNote provides a powerful platform to capture the interesting article you read, your notes from a monthly governance review, etc. I use it for my work-in-progress articles. As the content in OneNote grows you can use its powerful search function to find anything on any of its pages. You can spend some time to organize your content using it’s hierarchical and easy to understand structure like books, section, page, and sub-page. If you have a personal Office 365 subscription, you can use this tool on your laptop or through a browser or mobile app and access its content anytime and anywhere.
If you are not using these tools, I strongly recommend you consider using them. If you are familiar with them and you want to gain more mileage you can leverage a methodology like David Allen’s Getting Things Done. You can read an excellent article from NMSubra which explains this methodology. As technology overwhelms us, it also provides us a means to augment our capabilities.