Now that I’m feeling better, I use the MyNetDiary service to monitor what I eat. This is a great service for tracking a number of different items. Not only can you track your food, but you can also record medication usage, blood glucose levels, symptoms, vitamins, weight, macronutrients, micronutrients, and more. It can be daunting at first, so I don’t recommend it if you’re already feeling overwhelmed. However, if you have the opportunity, it can be a great resource for tracking your food intake and monitoring how you feel at various points during the day. It also syncs with Fitbit in case you use that, too.
Even if you have a morning routine, sometimes it’s easy to forget things you need before you leave your house, especially if you don’t need them every day. If this happens to you, try hanging a reusable shopping bag (the plastic shopping bags tend to break) on the handle of your door. Anytime you’re at home and think of something you’ll need the next day, throw it in the bag. Then, every day, check the bag before you leave.
If your best ideas come to you in the shower, invest in some shower crayons. You can usually find them in the baby area of Target or Walmart for pretty cheap. If you keep them in your shower, you can write your notes on the tub walls and not have to scramble to remember fleeting thoughts.
Create QR codes to function as reminders. I use the service scan.me. You can print the QR codes on address labels and stick them on related items. For example, you can link the QR code an object’s user manual and then stick the QR code on that item. When you scan the code, the usual manual will appear on your phone. You can also use these for chore lists. You can embed the directions on how to clean something in the code, and then scan it when you need the list. What’s the benefit of using QR codes as opposed to tape and paper? Once you scan the code, the information remains on your phone until you delete it. This means you can carry the phone with you while you complete tasks. And, since the codes are always with their related items, you always have the information on-hand. Plus, it’s more fun this way.
I use Siri dictation tools all the time. If I need to remember something, I just ask Siri to remind me of what I need to do. You can even tailor the reminder to locations and times. For example, I can say, “Remind me to empty the dishwasher when I get home.” When I arrived at the location I’ve defined as “home,” a notice will appear on my phone. I also like to use the dictation feature to compose texts and notes to myself.
I use a health monitoring app and wristband called Fitbit. While I use the device mainly for health concerns, one feature that I really like for mental health hygiene is the vibration alarm. You can set the alarm to go off at any time, and it’ll silently alert you using a quiet and peaceful vibration.
I used the alarm function to remind me to take pills, change activities, perform tasks, go to meetings, etc.
If you tend to forget or lose critical items, try to make duplicates and store them in different locations. For example, I always carry two wallets with me. Each wallet has at least a valid driver’s license and a charge card. If, for some reason, I don’t have one wallet, I at least have a back-up. If you always seem to forget money, buy a few generic gift cards and store them in your backpack, gym bag, at work, etc. It saves you the embarrassment of being unable to pay for a shopping trip or constantly borrowing from friends. This method works with a number of things, such as house keys, hair ties, device chargers, bottle openers, lighters, headphones, lip balm, pens, scissors, etc. For items that come in pairs (e.g. socks, gloves, plastic storage containers), buy several of the same type so they can all match with each other. For example, if you buy all white socks, you don’t have to spend time searching for a lost a lost one’s mate.
If you have to buy a lot of children’s presents, try bulk-buy party favors, candy, and gift bags. You can pick these up at the dollar store or Oriental Trading. Disperse the party favors and candy among the bags, and you have gifts for any number of kids.
If you happen to be shopping around and find something that you know someone in particular would like, buy it and save it for the next occasion. This way, gift-giving pressure (both emotional and financial) is dispersed and presents are more meaningful. If you can’t afford it or don’t have the space for it, take a picture of the item and attach that to their contact information on your phone.
Have small snacks (like a few crackers or a granola bar) and some small bottles of water on hand with which to take your medication. This way, if you don’t feel like moving from a chair or getting out of bed, you’re still able to take your medication on time.