Tools to Help Us Remember

A Little Help

I don’t know about you but I come across nearly countless things every day that I want to remember or look into later. I used to take notes on a little slip of paper or in a notebook but, invariably, I wouldn’t have that paper or that notebook with me when I had time to follow-up. Nowadays I have my phone with me pretty much ALL the time! So, the question arises how can I use my phone to keep track of all this stuff?

I use my Calendar app to remember things like when I changed my furnace filters or when I got a new toothbrush. This is in addition to things like birthdays and appointments. Pretty much anything that has to do with a date or a time goes in to my Calendar app. And if it will occur in the future, I always add a reminder or two.

What about movies or TV shows or streaming series I want to watch? And how do I keep track of how many shows in a series I’ve already watched? There are a lot of different apps and services available and I’ve tried as bunch of them but I’ve settled on It’s not just an app, it’s a service (and database) that other apps can use. So if you don’t like how works or shows information, you can go with a different app. And there are quite a few apps that use the database - they’re listed on the site for pretty much any platform that’s out there. Further, if you decide to go for a premium account, you’ll also get a calendar showing the air dates of the shows you’re following which you view in the app or integrate it into your favorite calendaring app

How about notes and things like that? Well, here you’ve got a wealth of things to pick from, and it doesn’t really matter which platform is your chosen one. From the simple Apple Notes app which can sync across all of your Apple devices to Google Keep or Microsoft OneNote or any one of dozens of others - simple notes are easy to record and keep in sync across all of your devices. Most of the notes apps allow for voice notes, too, and some will transcribe those notes to text for you.

Next up: bookmarks. Specifically, places on the web (i.e. URLs) that you want to remember and return to every so often. Every browser offers a bookmark facility and if you sign in to that browser you can have your bookmarks synced across all the devices you have that use that browser. If you’re like me you have many, maybe even hundreds, bookmarks. And, again, if you’re like me, you use several different browsers so you’ve got bookmarks spread across all these browsers. How do you keep track of all of them?

There are services that will help you do that. is one of them with a free and a paid service ($45/year as of right now). You can send items to their app for saving or you can use their browser extension to add a new item. You can even email things to them! is an email-based bookmarking service. You send it an email with the URL you want to save and it will send you an email back that has that page in both HTML and plain text. At that point, you can move the email out of your Inbox and into another folder where you can, later, search for what you’re looking for. is another bookmarking service but it can handle more than just URLs. It’s a free service with a paid upgrade and the upgrade provides a few really nice features (for $28/year): full text search, reminders and notes, and a permanent library so that, even if a website you’ve asked it to hold for you is taken down, will keep a copy of it. You can upload text files, PDFs, pictures, videos, and audio files, you can attach a note to each of them, and you can set a reminder so the app will remind you to look at the item. You can tag items to help you organize things. And it will integrate with other apps. For instance, the Spotify integration lets you sync your Spotify tracks with Raindrop. It even has a Pocket integration so if you’re a Pocket user, you can sync your Pocket items to Raindrop and vice-versa. It does not have the ability to just enter text, you have to upload a file or add a URL.

That's all for this week's column. I hope this helps you find some tools that will help you recall things. Don't hesitate to write to me if you have questions!

As always, my intent is to hep you understand the basics and equip you to search for more detailed information.

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