Remembering for Productivity Sake

What’s your name?

Of course, I know it, but I can’t remember right now.

Think brain, think.

These are the thoughts often running through my brain, and my informal polling of others suggests that most struggle with memory at some point and remembering is so, so important to productivity.

So what can we do about remembering to improve our productivity?

We have more than 70 actionable memory improving ideas at the bottom of this email, but first, we have four other items to share:

  1. Todo Cloud Product — We are making lots of long-overdue fixes in quick releases that you should expect every 7-10 days. Because we have three code bases, most fixes roll to one platform at a time.Among the fixes, we’ll have a custom sort for web, mac, and windows that makes sorting predictable. Today it isn’t. And we’ll also have a fix to our data loader for tasks in long lists that don’t appear without a scroll to the bottom of the list. We’re also working on a fix for checklist sync error. And we’re progressing well to finish a new import/export tool.We’ve rolled out a bunch of crash fixes and performance improvements for the Android app. It is now much faster and more reliable.We have several hundred tracked items across all 3 codebases and we are now very organized, tracking everything you’ve asked for.
    1. Apple — We’ve rolled out four updates in two weeks with lots of small improvements including 10.1.11 that is available today.
    2. Android — We rolled 2 releases recently including 10.4.10 yesterday.
    3. Windows/Mac/Web — We pushed out 10.4.9 a week ago. 10.4.10 will be ready next week.

  1. Lessons learned from mistakes — Where do we start? Mistakes create great insight, Eight days ago, we missed an extra space in a single closing tag and pushed out 10.1.8 resulting in crashes for 100% of those using Chinese, French, Portuguese, German, Japanese, Russian and Korean. Within minutes of seeing the crashes, we had a fix, but it took 8 hours to get it approved by Apple and in the meantime, we saw some 1,200 crashes. In that same release, we introduced new onboarding screens primarily for new users, but our ’skip questions’ link for existing users wasn’t working and there were a handful of other user experience problems that were in our blind spots, despite testing. We worked day and night to get 10.1.10 pushed live, and we pushed out more fixes in 10.1.11 yesterday.We wish we could go back in time and do things differently. We are sorry for the mistakes. We are sorry for the lost productivity. We are sorry that we lost some of your trust. And we hope to repair things.It was crystal clear to us that our testing processes needed improving and at the same time, our robust product has a complex code base creating blind spots that our testing team can’t always see, and so we are asking for your help to be part of our beta testing efforts.
  2. Beta Testing
    Would you help us to test early releases? It is quite easy. Please fill out the survey to join our group. We will then send you a link to install the new build on your device. You send us feedback. We make fixes until the release is stable and then we push the build live for all users.
    The benefit to you is four-fold:

    1. You get to shape the product with your feedback.
    2. We will provide giveaways and incentives for active contributors.
    3. We will personally engage in your work to help make you more productive. Think of this as productivity consulting.
    4. You get to rub shoulders with like-minded productivity people.

    We especially need dual language speakers with fluency in English and one of 11 other languages: French, Chinese, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Korean, Japanese, Portuguese, Hindi, Thai.

    Fill out the Beta Survey to Help


  1. Chat Support & Youtube Videos — As a part of our steady effort to improve support and education, we rolled out chat support you can find by clicking on the chat bubble (bottom right of the page) at Note: While chat creates the possibility of faster responses, currently, we are still only able to operationalize around 1 business day response times, so please be patient. Rest assured, if we aren’t able to reply to chat, your information will turn into a support ticket that we will reply to by email like all other support tickets. And for really tricky situations, we will schedule a phone or skype call.

    We also revamped our Youtube channel and are beginning to publish videos with tips, tricks, and productivity techniques. Watch our first two videos and subscribe to the channel to get notified when we publish more content.


Now let us share a few ideas about improving memory, that are key to increased productivity. Indeed, we have 70 ideas.

The science behind how the brain makes and recalls memories is complex, but here are 70 actionable ideas you can implement today to see improvements. We sourced many of them from the work of Dr. Daniel Amen, author of Memory Rescue.

  1. Live like an athlete —Treat food as fuel for energy. Primarily eat fruits and vegetables. Avoid animal proteins. Add a 12-16-hour food fast to your weekly routine. Hydrate mostly with water. Decrease or eliminate alcohol and caffeine. Exercise daily. Movement lubricates your joints. Lift weights into old age. It strengthens bones, joints, muscles and induces positive hormones. Tell yourself sweating is enjoyable because it is. Tap into the psychology of success using positive talk. Will power is an expendable resource. Use it wisely. Minimize decision making when it is low.
  2. Exercise your mind
    Learn something new, always. Play a musical instrument. Sing. Do art. Travel to foreign places. Talk to smart people. Ask hard questions. Study difficult topics and give thoughtful answers to others. Keep notes of ideas. Act on them. Never stop trying to memorize. Play strategy games. Ditch the calculator and do math in your head. Change daily routines to create variety. Take on new challenges that are hard well into old age. If it is a safe activity, eliminate the phrase, “I’m too old to . . . “ Be kind to yourself when you forget. Ask others to be patient. Don’t accept others doing the thinking for you. Be self empathetic and give your brain time to find its way to the memory.
  3. Improve your sleep — Fix emotional problems well in advance of bedtime. Empty your mind by planning tomorrow, or at a minimum make a list of things preoccupying your thoughts. Set a sleep time. Wind down by reading, not by using technology. Reduce your room temperature. Use light-blocking blinds. Don’t take daytime naps. Don’t exercise within 4 hours of sleep. Wear socks and use heating pads to warm your hands and feet before sleep.
  4. Make time for mental health —Write affirmations. Talk positively to yourself. Write three things you are grateful for. Meditate or pray daily. Make a list of people you care for. Write down what you can do for them. Ponder the will for you of your higher power. Consider your healthy subconscious thoughts as inspiration. Act on them. Go to a comedy club to laugh. Write down your worries, fears, and sadness. Work through them. Accept professional help. Get a coach, therapist. Take a walk in nature. Walk barefoot outside. Stop complaining without doing something about it. Surround yourself with positive people. Plan an awe-inspiring experience. Forgive.
  5. Use patterns to create recallable memories —Tell stories in the moment to create a recallable memory. Tie emotions to memories. Take in all your senses during a moment. What did you see, hear, smell, touch, taste, feel? Recognize time, place, people or context with a memory. Use alliteration, rhyming words, or music to create recallable memories. Rhymes help to connect disconnected things into patterns. Get and stay organized with physical and virtual items. Use physical labels. Give everything a place where it belongs. Fight the temptation to randomly set things down. Always put things back in their places. Use outlines and list categories and tags to cluster like things together. Use reminders. Leverage location-based alerts. Take pictures. Record audio notes.

I know that was a long list. Leave a comment and let us know what you think.

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