Last night, my roommates and I watched Christopher Nolan’s 2000 film, Memento. If you think that Inception, or Pulp Fiction was confusing the first time through, Memento can definitely be added to the list of movies that will give you brain whiplash.
Without going into the actual story, Memento follows Lenard, a man who cannot create new memories. He remembers everything in his past, just cannot create new memories. “Everything just fades” he says.
Only being able to remember what has happened within the last couple minutes, Lenard carries around a Polaroid camera and takes pictures of the key people / places he has been. On the back of the photos, he writes down short notes – clues – to help him piece everything back together when his memories fade again.
Watching this all transpire, the slogan of my favorite paper- notebook maker, Field Notes, came into my mind:
I’m not writing it down to remember it later. I’m writing it down to remember it now.
Lenard was able to survive purely on the fact that he wrote down the things he knew he would forget. It was a matter of life and death for him.
For most of us, however, it’s not a matter of life or death, but rather whether we remember to return the Redbox on time, pick up the milk, or make that phone call. None of these things are huge, but each are important in their own way, and it is a hassle whenever we forget to do them.
I’ve been scribbling notes down for a couple years now, and I’m still refining my methods. However, one technique which is incredibly effective, and not necessarily apparent, is to write down everything. You really have to push the boundaries of what you’re used to constituting as a “note.” If you started writing down all the little things that clutter up your mind throughout the day (quotes, thoughts for a project, the first lyric of a song), imagine how much less preoccupied your thoughts would be.
Try it. Write down everything that makes you think, “hey, I want to come back to this later.” You will feel less cluttered and able to focus better on the task at hand; all while knowing that the awesome thing you thought of will still be there, and awesome, later.
—Tuesday, 29 May 2012