The Absolute FASTEST Way to Remind Yourself to Follow Up on Something You Find On Your Phone

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I'm always pushing the concept of the External Brain. Basically, if you have an idea in your head you need to get it out of your head as quickly as possible. I'm always looking for the fastest possible way to jot down an idea so that I can tackle it later. Now, this is coming from the guy who listens to all podcasts at 2x speed (1.5x is sooooooo last month) and who finds sending myself an email, or even leaving myself a voice message to take so long (7 seconds is a lifetime) that I often get frustrated with the process.

I think I have finally found the best way to do this. I'm usually on my phone for work, I rarely use my actual laptop unless I'm recording a Skype interview, though I may not have to even do that any more (more in a future blog post), so typically I'll come across a blog post, or I'll get an email, or a missed call, or a text message, or even a Facebook update that I think I want to do something about. Some of those items have obvious pathways to memory. I can easily forward an email to Evernote or FollowUp.cc. Facebook notifications are trickier because once you view them they are basically gone and a missed call can't easily be forwarded anywhere.

So I created an IFTTT recipe (embedded above so you can try it yourself) that allows you to simply take a screenshot, and it will forward that image to 8pm@followup.cc. You can do this on Android as well but for iPhone its a simple as pressing the home button and the power button at the same time. It takes about 1/4 of a second and I don't think I'll ever beat that. You can choose a different time for the follow up of course but for me, 8pm is a time where things quiet down in my house and I can go through the 6 or 7 things from the day that have caught my interest and in that moment decide what should go to Evernote, what should go to a virtual assistant, and so on. If you'd prefer to get it all as one email, you can use the Daily Digest channel in IFTTT but I prefer it this way since I find it easier to direct the individual emails to wherever they are supposed to go.