Thursday, 5 April 2018

The importance of the map

For over six years I have been pinning images to a mental calendar as memory tags to remember every day that passes. 

To prevent these fading away, I find I have to review them within a month or so. This simply involves calling up the image, which may take a few seconds. Less, if I have a sequence of related images.

I now have over 2300 days to recall since December 17, 2011, and the review patterns I have used over the years have had to evolve as the number of days has grown.

Currently, I recall the days sequentially, aiming to cover several months during the slack time during the day, when driving, exercises, or preparing to sleep or after waking up.

Previously, I used patterns. For example, at the outset I recalled the images for the same day of the week from past months, or for a two or three day window.

The sequential approach is easier in some ways, as there is often a progression of activities or events from day to day. It is easier to orientate myself.

But recently I have found that more recent days have presented the greatest problems with recall. I have to find my way through the sequence. The images are less associated with the mental calendar that I picture in my mind's eye.

So I have returned to the past technique of recalling a two-day window per week for the past six months. Today being Thursday, I recall the images for every Thursday and Friday in this period. 

Stepping from week to week on the month-to-view calendar sheets I visualise more firmly fixes the image to the geographical location of the day on the calendar. 

This spatial awareness is an important additional tool for helping me find the images.

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