Using memory tools are extremely useful. The following are the are 2 reasons for using memory tools.
Memory tools help us remember the things we need to remember but not memorize.
We deal with three kinds of information:
- Things we don’t really need to remember. Let’s face it, there are some things we really, truly don’t need to memorize. For example, if I need to call a restaurant for a reservation, I need to use that restaurant’s phone number when I call, but I don’t need to learn that phone number by heart.
- Things we need to remember but not to memorize. This is information we need to remember for a short period of time to help us function efficiently. Such information consists of appointments, errands, and phone calls we have to make. Generally, however, we do not need to commit this kind of information to long-term memory.
- Things we really need to remember. This category consists of certain things we really must remember, such as our name, address, e-mail address, phone number, PIN numbers, cell phone number, and the names of people we work with closely. Committing this kind of information to memory is necessary.
Memory tools get us to pay attention to things we need to remember.
Using a memory tool, just like using any method to boost your brainpower, will focus your attention more actively on information you need to remember. Why? When we work with information, we pay closer attention to it.
Let’s say you’re at a planning meeting for your office holiday party. You have just agreed to order the decorations. Of course, everyone has an opinion about the party decor, but your boss rules the day with her suggestion of green and red palm trees and silver reindeer candles.
You, though, are so busy thinking how nice purple balloons would look that you aren’t really focused on what she is saying. When the group agrees to her idea you have no idea what they’re talking about. Tough luck.
You would have been paying closer attention to the discussion, if you had been using a memory tool because you would have been taking notes, which you could review later at your own pace. Just by taking notes, you would have been paying closer attention.