Saturday, August 9, 2008

Remember the Milk: Will it Help With the Ever-Growing To-Do List?

Yesterday I was frustrated. I had just opened a letter telling me to check my cell phone plan and look at new rates and make adjustments if necessary. I thought, "Great. One more thing to remember to do." I had to postpone jury duty because it was to start this next Monday and we are gone to a conference. I have to renew my driver's license with the new homeland security requirements, so I have to bring in documents and proof of a street address. (I went in once and didn't have all the documents they needed - so I have to go back.) I have work-related reminders, our son's prescription to pick goes on and on.

It seems like our culture, the services we use and the systems we live within require so much more accountability and monitoring on our part than they used to. Our banks, pay online accounts, satellite, cell services, insurance, auto mechanics, etc. all send us reminders of rates, payments due, upcoming specials, and more. It is almost overload sometimes for me. I feel like they are running me instead of serving me. On top of that, my brain injury issues from a stroke a couple of years ago, have left me a little less capable in the memory department and also in the detail department as well. I have to work smarter and harder to stay in the stride of my day. Any tool that can help is a good thing.

As I drove down our mountain yesterday, I thought of what my son had told me recently. "We live like pioneers in the old days when we are up on the mountain." he had said. We do live a slower lifestyle up there in the summer, but it doesn't keep the lists from growing anyway. Summer is coming to a close and it is back to school soon and reality and all the things that clutter life. I remember when I was kid up on this mountain, we didn't listen to the radio or have TV or get a newspaper for the entire summer. My parents loved it and life really was simpler. In the 1960's we didn't even have a phone yet in our summer mountain spot. No text messaging back then! People had to send us a letter with a date and time they would call and we would wait on that date on a party line phone in town to talk. I don't want to go backwards to that again, but sometimes I wish I had a slower, less-complicated life in general. Since that probably isn't going to happen in the near future, I continue to depend on lists and reminders to help with the crush of to-do's that fill up my day.

I heard about a beta version web application called Remember the Milk, and I thought about my situation. Maybe this can help me keep better track of things. Remember the Milk is an online tool to help you remember things. I have an ever-growing list of to-do's and I usually keep pen and paper handy, but if you need to tie it into Google Desktop or Twitter or an iphone or blackberry, it can keep you posted through your day as to what you need to shop for, take care of, etc. I think it could be a very good support tool to use with middle to high school students and older, especially with traumatic brain injury, certain situations within autism or ADD/ADHD.

Go to their website and see what you think. I might go ahead and download it and give it a try. Maybe I should put that on my list of things to do...

All the best to you!


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