Part of what I hope will be a series of posts, and with that I hope some publishable output at the end; my guess is that if I write about this a dozen times I'll have 1800 publishable words on the topic when I'm done.
Reminder systems are tools - paper, electronic, physical, or some mix of all of them - which prompt you to do something in the future. The quick word check on the search engine shows up 400000+ uses of the term, and a handful of ads, which suggests that's a common phrase; you'll also see "reminder services", "appointments reminder", "meetings reminder", and a zillion others. So this is not new ground, not by any means.
The particular chunk of this space I am interested in is the "note to future self"; the message that you send to yourself in the future to do or think of something, which comes to you as a message in some way. Think of it as a time capsule that you open, or a package that you had forgotten and then reopened; some part of it will hopefully be novel and trigger some "that's easy" reaction rather than the "oh blah I still can't figure out how to do that".
My future self is a lot more capable than I am, as witnessed by all of the promises that my current self makes for my future self to do. Sometimes these are things which sound easy in the instant but actually prove hard in the future; others are things which my current self has figured out in essence but just hasn't worked through in detail, and thus it needs a little nudge to push it back to that memory of how to solve it. It always helps to have some sleep on problems.
So we remind ourselves. We put notes on the door, post things on the fridge, leave out the shoes on the steps so that they go to the shoemakers, paste sticky notes on our laptops. Elaborate tickler systems send us to the stores to buy forty three color coded folders, which get cut up and used by our children for craft projects. Facebook tells us about our friends birthdays, but not quite in enough time to send them postcards; our dentist and insurance agent seem to be the most regular, if boring correspondents.
I'll collect the various systems I've used, am using, or gave up on in this category; there are some in the previous "Calendars" section which I'll mine for ideas.