Tuesday, October 09, 2018

My old strategies reappear

This past weekend, I shared an unusual photo of Leo and me in a post about “Ordinary days”. The photo above isn’t about anything in particular, though it was another ordinary day. Both are about what can be seen. What can’t be seen is the problem here.

In that post on Saturday, I talked about how the new drugs are causing memory problems, and I realised later I should probably have been more specific, because the problem is actually quite specific: Short-term memory, especially immediate memory. That happened when I was on beta-blockers, too, but there it was part of a general inability to focus. It now seems totally random.

I have no idea whether the doctors will change my drugs or not, or even take me seriously when I tell them about the memory problems. In either case, and partly because I can’t afford to forget as much as I do, I’m again looking at Apps to help me keep track of my projects and their related to-do lists. This is the same idea I had even before all this Health Journey stuff.

Back in 2015, I wrote about possibly reviving a paper-based system I designed 20 years earlier so I could keep my grassroots political activism organised. Nothing ever came of that, but the following year I talked briefly about some Apps I’d tried (second item), and even then I thought I’d use a paper-based system. I didn’t.

Some ten weeks later, I got my stent, and priorities changed a bit. After experience with drugs that affect my memory, on top of normal age-related problems, the need to find a solution has become critical.

Today I decided to take another look at Todoist, though I’d forgotten my password (that’s not a memory thing as such—I last used it in 2015, and I wasn’t using a password manager at the time). I also thought I should look again at Evernote, and I may still do so, but it was the post in 2016 I linked to above that reminded me that I thought about using Apple’s own Notes App, which is on—and, more importantly, synched on—all my devices. I’d forgotten I’d thought about doing that.

What I need has to be simple to use, ideally free, and it has to be available on all my devices. I realised recently how important that last part is, because I forget things so quickly that I need to write something down as soon as it pops into my head. Having to head to my office to pull out a notebook system won’t work, nor will writing myself dozens of notes or I’ll end up with notes all over me, looking like Ray Rayner, the Kids TV show host from my childhood.

No, the best answer for me is an App I can use any time, day or night, no matter where I am, to either add to my to-do list, or to check things off. This project is a work in progress, and I hope I follow through this time and talk more about what I think works and doesn’t.

At least I remembered to share the photo above.

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