I never used to keep notes on my days through university, but when I became a teacher in 1972, I began to organize my days more, knowing that I, like so many adults, had lousy memories. I began to write down dates on the calendar and leave notes for myself. In 1981, Post-Its came to Canada and the process got easier, especially in conjunction with day calendars which I started using in the late ’70s.
Life was so busy with family, deadlines, teaching, writing books, and conferencing that it was absolutely necessary to know what was happening or due on any given day.
Though retired from teaching in 2002, I still use day calendars and Post-its (the latter for each day to help keep me organized as ever). I find that there are still many things to get done, many important dates and occasions to remember, and a need for lists.
Looking back on my life, I would have to say that, apart from imagination, dreams, sheer will, and hard work, that at least 50% of my various successes have had to do with organization and memory devices such as Post-its that keep me focused and aware of what is fully going on and happening in my life and work. (I would also add that keeping day calendars allows one to go back years later to look up events and verify dates which add another layer of structure and permanence to this whole process.)
If I was to make one suggestion to people who are mired and unfocused, it would be to buy and use Post-its and day calendars. You will never forget anything again and have an invaluable record of your life process. And you will get more done and have a stronger sense of present, past, and future in your working and personal life.