How To Remember An Appointment

A busy schedule can result in forgotten appointments. Here are a few tips to help you remember the next time you have something to do.

Everyone forgets an appointment at times. It may be an unpleasant one, like a dental checkup, or an informal one, such as a bank deposit. But missing something important can lead to consequences, like paying for a missed meeting or an overdrawn checking account.

If you need a little help in remembering your appointments, here are a few tips to try:

1. Keep a desk calendar. Chances are you already have one at your job or in your home where you make out bills or do paperwork. A desk-size flat calendar with tear-off pages for each month provides a large visible area with space for notations that will quickly catch your eye when you glance over it each day. Of course, if it is covered by files or books, that can't happen, so clear your desk each evening so you can check out the next day's schedule. A flip calendar that sits on your desk is handy, since it perches in horizontal fashion on the surface to provide instant visibility when placed in a prominent part of your desk. Though smaller than a flat calendar, marked dates become noticeable if indicated in a colorful marker or circled in a bold way. A wall calendar beside your desk or posted on the adjacent file cabinet may be hung at eye level for more immediate readability. It may be large or small, depending on your preference. Depending on the type of computer software you use, you may be able to mark an email-connected calendar for pop-up reminders as the date nears.

2. Write yourself a note. Use post-it notes or index cards, as well as colorful sheets of scrap paper to leave brief reminders on your desk chair, computer top, or kitchen table. Just be sure that air currents from ceiling fans or running kiddies won't blow the note into obscurity. You may want to tape it to the surface of whichever object it is placed on to be sure it doesn't escape before you need it. The bathroom mirror, telephone, or exit door are more places where an eye-catching note won't be overlooked.

3. Send an email. A day or two before your appointment, send yourself an email as a reminder. Put the appointment name in the subject line or simply use the word "reminder" so you will not accidentally delete the message. If you're concerned you still might miss it, send the message three times together so the repetition will catch your eye when the messages show up in your in box.

4. Leave a voice mail message. Close to your scheduled appointment date, leave a voice mail message on your home or work telephone answering service. Some people respond better to sounds they hear, like a voice, than sights they read (like notes), so this might be the best way to remind you of the impending date.

5. Ask someone to remind you. If all else fails, you can ask a spouse or other family member to remind you about the important date. This is not very efficient and family members may resent your request or simply forget to do it. But it may be better than nothing since some folks can relate more to verbal than aural or visual messages.

Get in the habit of studying your schedule for the month, the week, and the day as each one approaches. Then you will begin to form mental memories of key dates and meetings. This, in conjunction with other strategies, can help you keep those important dates and avoid disappointing those who depend on you.

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