How to “Remember” Absolutely Everything

First of all, you can’t. Our brains just don’t work that way.


But, we can keep a diary. I’ve been doing this for the last 20 +/- years and I like it. I’ve looked at various products over the years and I always found them lacking because I could never know when a company might stop producing a given item. So, I came up with my own system.

Let’s think of your life as a multi-volume set of books. Each book might be one year of your life. Each book will then be divided into chapters (months) and each month divided into paragraphs (days).

Get yourself a binder. I like the 3 inch variety but any binder will do. Business supply stores sell them (they can be expensive!) and second hand stores also sell them. Get some office paper. I get the 500 sheet packages. You will also need some dividers and page protectors.

Now, fire up your spreadsheet program (I use Libreoffice Calc) and in the upper left cell type in January 1, 2024. Format that cell any way you please and repeat this under that cell for January 2, 2024.

This next bit is rather tedious but you’ll only need to do it once. Promise.

You are going to create a column of every day in 2024 right down to December 31, 2024. You can do this by using the Fill down function or you can enter all the values manually. And in between each cell you will enter a “New page” function.

When you’re happy with how the column looks, fire up your printer and print out the column right from January 1 to December 31. Hint: baby sit your printer while you’re doing this. Sometimes printers don’t do exactly what you want them to do.

You should have 365 sheets of paper printed out. You’ll have 366 sheets if it’s a leap year. Now, grab a 3-hole puncher and start punching holes into the sheets and put them into the binder. This is your book for 2024. To separate the months use the dividers. Each divider will be labelled for one of the months.

Finally, after each page (one day of your life) there will be a page protector. What goes into these? Anything you think is important: bills, contracts, printed photos, leases, calendars. Anything. I knew someone who would stash away hair clippings and teeth from her kids!

Punching the holes, putting the sheets into the binder with the dividers shouldn’t take more than an hour. And you’ll only be doing this once a year.

At the end of 2024 fire up the spreadsheet once again and repeat the process. To save some of the tedium, use the Fill right function on the first cell to create a cell with the value of January 1, 2025 and then use the Fill down function to create a second column with all the dates for 2025.

This system has been a life-saver on numerous occassions. It’s intuitive. The supplies needed are pretty much available anywhere.