How do you track your potential activities so you actually do stuff?
April 26, 2016 3:54 PM   Subscribe

How do you keep reminders of potential events you might want to go to, or activities you might want to participate in, so that you actually take advantage of these opportunities?

Basic, practical question. When I hear of or read about exhibitions and concerts I might want to go to or places I want to visit, activities I want to try, I often write them down but I rarely remember to actually go / do them. Some of these are time sensitive, some are not.

What I don't have is a system to track these so that they're both easily accessible and I'm reminded to think about them in time to book the concert or the exhibition etc. My diary (google calendar) doesn't really work as I only really look at things at the time, and I just ignore the reminders when they come up).

I'm not sure I'm articulating this well, but how do you keep track of fun things to do so that you actually do them. I'm sure everyone has this problem, but I've not seen a simple way of solving it.

posted by inbetweener to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (15 answers total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
I take pictures of the event notice, add to my Google calendar, and set an email reminder for the day before.
posted by Ftsqg at 4:03 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: We use the old "calendar on the refrigerator" trick.
posted by SemiSalt at 4:11 PM on April 26, 2016 [6 favorites]

I put this stuff on my iPhone calendar (or on my Mac) to remind me with enough time to buy tickets or whatever needs to be done and I tend to either set multiple reminders in case I ignore it or have it repeat every day then I just delete the event after. Done this often for video game releases or movies for rent on iTunes or events. Just add it to the calandar right when you see it and you can add notes or links to tickets or address, etc.
posted by Crystalinne at 4:25 PM on April 26, 2016

Google Calendar with reminders, which is availble on my phone, Mrs. CNC's phone and my home computer.

You could also do something like Wunderlist, which has date-based reminders. I find long to do lists quickly get out of control, so I use calendars instead.

Another alternative is a whiteboard for your home, where you just list stuff on the board by date.
posted by cnc at 4:30 PM on April 26, 2016

Combination of:

To do list (for stuff I definitely want to do but which has no specific date, like "apply for course", "book theatre tickets", "email Sarah about lunch")

Calendar for stuff I am definitely doing on a specific date (with reminders set a few weeks in advance or on the to do list for stuff I might need to buy tickets for)

Notepad page for each day of the week for recurrent stuff that I may or may not go to like pilates classes, tennis social sessions, etc. My shifts change fairly frequently so if I'm on lates I might go to pilates on wednesday morning, if I'm on normal days I'll go on monday night or saturday morning instead. All the things I might ever possibly want to do are listed out so I don't forget about them. I probably only do about a quarter of things on the list with any regularity, but if I'm at a loose end it gives me ideas of fun things to do.

All in my iphone, which means I can flick through it all on my commute.
posted by tinkletown at 4:30 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

For me, it's all about getting it in front of my eyes. I use gcal throughout the day at work, so I know that gcal reminders are going to hit my eyeballs. If you know that gcal reminders are not going to hit your eyeballs, you need an eyeballs-compliant system.

For my fiance, that's a big dry-erase calendar that sits in a prominent place in the apartment.

For some people I know, it's clicking "going!" on a facebook invite (facebook will then ping you constantly about the event including giving you multiple facebook notifications day of).

There are probably IFTTT formulas that will email you or set up push notifications for this sort of thing.

Sometimes if something is SO SO SO IMPORTANT and cannot be missed, I'll set an alarm in my phone. Not sure you can do this months in advance, though? Might be a thing to try within a week of the event. Especially if it's like "the bacon festival is Saturday, but we'd have to leave by 11 AM to get there in time" and then 11 AM comes and goes and you forget about it.

At the end of the day, though, if you're hearing about these events but forgetting about them and not even really interested enough to make or pay attention to some kind of reminder, how badly can you really want to do these things? If this was your favorite band or a mandatory work event or your best friend's wedding, you'd get there, right? So maybe you have to ask yourself if you actually intend to do this stuff at all, if you can't even be bothered to remember it's going on.

(Though I will say I got a reminder about theater tickets this morning that I now can't use because I forgot all about them and double booked myself. So none of this is foolproof, and maybe I need to take my own advice.)
posted by Sara C. at 4:38 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

I find that I am more likely to ignore a computer-based calendar, even for important stuff. So I use a paper planner for my day-to-day planning. Work and obligations in pen, "maybes" in pencil.

If it's something coming up that isn't visually obvious this month, I put a reminder on the last week of the month (so something in June that I know about in May would get a note on the date in June and a note in the last week of May>)
posted by blnkfrnk at 5:10 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

For events like concerts, I add them to my "Concerts & Events" calendar, which defaults to a 1 or 2 week notification. If there's a date I'd need to get tickets by, I add that date to the calendar as well.

The nice thing is that by having the multi-week notifications, I can decide a little ways out whether I'm still interested or not.
posted by bookdragoness at 5:51 PM on April 26, 2016

Google Tasks let's you set time, date or location-based reminders/notifications for notes.
posted by rhizome at 5:58 PM on April 26, 2016

Most large events have Facebook pages so I just click "interested" and invite some local friends and then Facebook does its targeted nagging algorithm thing at me.
posted by Jacqueline at 6:09 PM on April 26, 2016

I actually schedule this stuff to a particular date. So, for example, if a museum exhibit goes from June 1 to July 15, I'll look at my calendar and pick a date that would work for me to go see it, and I schedule myself to do it on that date. If something comes up that conflicts with it, I rely on my memory to recall that that thing is a thing that happens not just on one date but over a period of time, and I Google it to see if a different date would work for me.
posted by OrangeDisk at 6:51 PM on April 26, 2016

I have a "Stuff To Do" list that lives in a draft email, so I can easily pull it up and add to it if I hear about something cool. I break it up roughly by season, then sometimes by date (if it's a concert happening a particular day, an exhibit that will close, etc.) I keep it as a running list by year, which also helps me remember things that would be fun to do again. When something is specifically scheduled, I add it to my google calendar. Like you said, I can still ignore the calendar reminders (and sometimes do) but it's nice to have a list of fun, exciting things coming up that I can look at whenever I want. Also, at least for me, adding something to my Spring 2016 list of Fun Things I Did feels better than deleting something off the list because I didn't feel like getting off my couch that afternoon and missed it. Also, instant source of interesting ideas for get-togethers with friends, so double motivation (or two birds with one stone.)

I have a similar list for bars/restaurants by neighborhood/price. Not a system that would work for everybody, but I've been doing it about three years and I definitely think it's made a difference for me in actually getting out and doing stuff.
posted by jameaterblues at 10:03 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

When I see an event that looks cool, I buy two tickets and stick it in my calendar. When I've paid money for it, I'm much much more likely to go, and it's made me get out to more fun events. I don't worry about finding someone to go with until closer to the event date. If it's a big event that I think a bunch of my friends will also be interested in, I set up a private Facebook event for the thing, and invite my friends to it, and try to set up dinner/drinks/etc. beforehand. It's hard to forget when you've got people relying on you as the organizer.
posted by loulou718 at 11:18 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

When I see an event that looks cool, I buy two tickets and stick it in my calendar.

This part. If you want to do stuff you just have to, you know, do stuff. Buy the tickets, chase the friends, make the plans. It sounds like you have tons of possibilities and you want to keep every option open until the last possible second.
posted by fixedgear at 4:13 AM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]

Reading this, I thought "there should be an app for that!" so I started searching and there is.
posted by freezer cake at 10:31 AM on April 28, 2016

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