Birthdays are a big deal in our house.  The birthday person gets all kinds of privileges: waking up to a surprise balloon, picking a restaurant for dinner, selecting a special present.  My youngest recently turned five years old.  It’s moments like these when I want to pause time – I want to soak in the moment a little longer so I am sure to remember it.  It’s not everyday a boy becomes a “whole hand” old.

As Joshua Foer succinctly stated in Walking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything, “Monotony collapses time.  Novelty unfolds it.”  Being able to remember the details of a boy being knighted on his fifth birthday builds memories that ultimately build life.  With technology today, I have a myriad of tools to aid my ability to remember to neatly store my memories in the cloud.

 

Not only is this useful for sentimental memory purposes, but the business implications, when properly implemented, can reduce note taking, list making, and name remembering. Here are 3 ways technology aids can help your workday recall go more smoothly:

1. Smartphones

They make it easier to have a camera on hand to snap pictures, send faxes, sign contracts.  Additional uses are to snap pictures of the white board with your action items, so you can spend the meeting focusing on the overall strategy, confident that you have the list stored for the tasks that you need to get done tactically.

2. Apps

Multi-tasking is the disease that has followed technology.  With multitasking, focus and memory retention become issues.  Every year, I resolve to stop multi-tasking – this year I decided to embrace the bad habit and I jumped on the Evernote bandwagon to help my skipping mind go back two steps to the thought I started having and never finished.  Quick snaps of screenshots, pictures, and short notes help the user backtrack to the path to productivity.

3. Wearable devices

With cloud for storage, many devices are appearing on the market that let users go back to any recorded events, names, and conversations.  The friendship bracelet has evolved beyond just remembering who made it for you to the actual memories you share with friends.  And potentially coming soon is a wearable that remembers all of your experiences.  If they can get this to work, memory will become a secondary requirement, much like handwriting is to typing.

Before writing off internal memory and pushing it all out to the cloud, it is important to keep in mind that internal memories are what make us human and shape our habits and who we are.  As Joshua Foer memorably stated in his book, “No lasting joke, invention, insight or work of art was ever produced by an external memory.”  And I’m pretty sure if a customer asked you a question about your products and services, the human response to “wait, let me check my cloud” would not be very positive.

What is one thing in your workday that would be easier if your ability to recall and remember it were stronger? How can technology help you record those things that are important to remember?