Skip to main content

Planning to Remember: How to Remember What You're Doing and What You Plan to Do

To Purchase

Buy direct from the author

Buy at Amazon   Get it on Google Play   Get it on Apple Books

Available at Barnes & Noble   Available on Kobo  Available at Scribd  Available at Smashwords


The paperback is also available in Large Print.

* In some cases, such as at Amazon, I get a very small affiliate commission from a distributor; this doesn't cost you anything



Do you have problems remembering birthdays and anniversaries, appointments and errands?

Do you sometimes find yourself in a room, and wonder why you're there?

Do you end up doing things twice because you've forgotten you've already done them?

Of all the memory failures that plague us, forgetting our intentions -- birthdays, appointments, errands we mean to do -- is the greatest, closely followed by those moments of absentmindedness when we lose track of what we're doing.

The special problem of these common memory failures is that they are failures that are often very obvious to others. More than any other memory failure, forgetting the future makes others feel hurt and annoyed, causing us regret and embarrassment. And absentmindedness can not simply be irritating, but dangerous.

Many people think that these sorts of problems are inevitable -- a natural consequence of getting older, or going through menopause, or because of some 'natural' personality flaw. But remembering future events, and remembering what you're doing or have just done, are memory tasks that, like any other memory task, are subject to your skills. Skills can be learned.

To learn or improve a skill, you need to know effective strategies and how to practice them. This book helps you understand these memory and attention failures, and shows you how to overcome them.

As always with the Mempowered books, this fully referenced book, based on the work of cognitive researchers, helps you permanently improve your memory skills by explaining what you need to know to use these strategies effectively and appropriately.


Why read this book?

What this book is about

What this book should do for you

How memory works and why it sometimes fails

Memories are made of this

Why people fail to remember

Know thyself: a quiz

Remembering to do things

Memory for future actions is different from other types of memory

Retrospective memory

Forgetting routine actions is not a failure of memory

Short-term goals and short-term memory

Working memory

Working memory and attention

Age and attention

Forgetting what you’re doing

Short-term memory problems are attention problems

Action sequences are why we make action slips

Common types of action slip

Situations when action slips are most likely

Have I done it already?

What makes some people more prone to absent-minded errors?

How to prevent action slips

Structuring your goals

A hierarchy of goals

Ordering your goals

The problem of suspended intentions

Circumstances that affect your remembering

Event-based retrieval cues are better than time-based

Is being too busy a valid excuse?

Wanting to remember is not enough!

Timing and complexity

Are some people better at remembering intentions?

Age differences

Individual differences

General strategies for remembering intentions

Strategies people use

Effective strategies for remembering intentions

Mental strategies for better recall

Using environmental memory aids

Strategies for specific tasks

Remembering appointments

Remembering anniversaries and birthdays

Remembering arrangements

Remembering errands and chores

Remembering to take medicine

Your master strategy

Assessing memory tasks

Deciding on your memory strategies


It’s not all about memory

We fail to achieve intentions for many reasons

Believing in your abilities

The bottom line

Appendix A: Theories of prospective memory

Appendix B: External memory aids

Appendix C: The coding mnemonic

Appendix D: Specific strategies for specific tasks

Appendix E: Questionnaire

Glossary of terms


Chapter Notes



Format: Paperback, E-book (pdf, mobi, ePub)

Size: 212 pages

Publisher: Wayz Press (April, 2010)


978-0-9876522-6-3 (paperback)

978-0-9876522-58-1 (LP paperback)

978-0-9876522-7-0 (mobi)

978-1-927166-01-7 (ePub)

978-0-473-16749-3  (pdf)

ASIN: B004LGS556