I've talked quite a bit about my reliance on my calendar and to-do list to get me through a given week, so Amy's question struck a chord. This is one time when adherence to an organizational system can create its own special kind of anxiety:
I'm a regular calendar user, and can't live without my digital calendar synched at all times across multiple devices. But how do you remember something that won't happen for years?
I just renewed my passport, and in 2022 I need to remember to renew it again. I added a reminder event to my Google calendar, but will I still be using Google Calendar in 2022?
I have the passport renewal problem for five family passports (all with different dates), driving licenses, ID cards (we live in Europe), health cards, etc. I'm overwhelmed just thinking how many things have expiration dates long in the future, and for which I can't expect to receive a reminder from someone else. What do I do?
I FEEL YOUR PAIN. I'm so dependent on my "system" for reminders that the thought of having to keep something like that in my head brings on a headache.
But I don't think there's much cause to worry. Here's why:
You can take your digital data with you.
Export is your friend.
Someday, when Google Calendar is as aniquated as a stone tablet, whatever Modern Whizbang Productivity System you're using will have an Import button that will slurp in your dates, reminders, and everything else.
In practical terms, here's what I would do:
Continue plugging in everything for which you need reminders, including far-off future events.
Set up another reminder to do a periodic, full export of your productivity system. Monthly, quarterly, yearly — whatever feels right.
You should be doing this anyway as a backup, but at-least yearly exports will also guard against the dreaded floppy disk conundrum: the scenario in which your backup is in an old enough format that future imports get complicated.
Corrolary for those of you still looking for the "right" digital productivity system: choose a tool that exports data quickly, easily, and in a standard format.
What about you, Parenthackers? How do you remember dates that are far off in the future?
Got a problem you think Parenthackers could help solve? Ask us for advice.
More: Hacks for sending yourself reminders