A tactical way to remind yourself (even months in advance)

You can leave PostIt notes around your house, but how long do those things seriously last? Another option is to try to recruit a friend or family member: “Hey, remind me to blah, blah, blah next week.”

Problem is, with most of the common tactics, they don’t work for long range reminders. They’re not reliable.

As a result, what do many of us do? Break out the calendar, of course.

The problem with a calendar, at least the problem I’ve run into, is that you can’t really make a detailed description of what you want to do. As a way around this, you can make a brief note in the calendar to check some other place, maybe a file online or a file in a physical cabinet somewhere. The reminder reminds you – the file describes the reminder.

The problem with that move, though, is that it takes a lot of time and gets complicated. Who wants to do all that? I want a way to set up a reminder months in advance that can include detailed information. That’s the goal.

And finally, I think I’ve found my answer: email myself. This won’t work for everyone’s style, but for me for now, it seems to work well. Here’s how it goes.

I use Google Chrome for my browser and Gmail for my email. I love both, but Gmail doesn’t let me schedule emails to send at a later date. Thankfully, there’s a workaround called Boomarang.

Boomarang is an add-on for Gmail on Chrome and Firefox browsers. With Boomarang, I can write an email and then schedule it to send some time and date in the future.

I’ve written before about how I use email as a way to keep notes or store stuff quickly. Boomarang extends that further by allowing me to do all of this but have it show up in the future.

My friend, Dru, planted this idea in my head years ago when he told me he sometimes schedules various notes to randomly send to his email, like a birthday wish written to himself years in advance.

I’ve basically just taken his idea, called it my own, and started using it for a bunch of reminders. Now that I’m crediting Dru here, I feel like I’m not stealing.

Either way, it’s working well. It fits right into what I already do, using email to keep track of things. I know I won’t miss the reminder since I’m always in email. And on top of that, once I set everything up, I can forget about it completely and let Gmail and Boomarang and the cloud in general do all the work.

It might be an option for you too.