I’ve discovered that there are some amazing products out there that can help provide reminders for forgetful people. Here’s my favorites.
I went to a neurologist many years ago because I’ve struggled to remember things… she did all of the normal tests, but joked after that she could happily diagnose me with what is simply “mom brain.” It’s not so much that I forget everything, but that I’m trying to remember so much that it’s hard to keep track of it all. Often I’ll go to start a load of laundry, see something that needs to get put away, and end up vacuuming the mudroom instead of any of the prior items.
Usually most items can wait. But some things need to be done on time.
As a mom with 6 people in the household, the other struggle is that sometimes another person does the chore… but doesn’t share that information with everyone else. For example, I have stared at a full dishwasher many times, trying to figure out if someone did the dishes yet. My son put the silverware back dirty the other day… and we had to wash ALL of the silverware in the drawer. Ugh.
Here’s some of my favorite products for remembering important things. I also keep a notepad and pen beside my bed for those midnight thoughts. Scroll to the bottom to get a FREE password log!
Reminder Tools: Useful Gifts for Forgetful People
I've found a few really useful items to use to help set reminders or to allow us to track who did what. Here are some of my favorites (plus some that are on my wish list).
This clean/dirty dishwasher magnet can be stuck on using the included double sided stickers if your dishwasher isn't metal. I just added one to our dishwasher and I'm SO excited to have this. This is a great way to communicate with other people in your household. Whenever I turn the dishwasher on, I switch it to clean so the next person knows it was run.
Honestly probably one of my favorite purchases and I JUST got it. We have six people in our family and either everyone feeds the dog or nobody does... and usually I feed him again 'to be on the safe side.' My kids are excited to flip the buttons so they're now fighting over who gets to to feed the dog.
I got the Echo Auto when it first came out. While it's not perfect, I like that I can set reminders in the car. "ALEXA Remind me to water the garden when I get home." Is it creepy that she knows where I am at all times? Yes. But so does Facebook and at this point, whatever. It's useful. There are a few negatives to the Echo Auto- ie. I need to keep Bluetooth running on my phone because it uses my phone. And she has some fairly entertaining interpretations of what I say sometimes. But overall it's useful because I often think of tasks that I need to do while I'm driving and it's just not safe to write them down.
These are NOT smart devices... they are motion detecting light switches. We use these for the bathroom where my kids often forget to turn off the light. They're set to go off after a few minutes of no motion... as my kids are super busy, no motion = they're gone.
This has been a GREAT buy for SOME items. I use these predominantly for Christmas lights, particularly for the Christmas tree. Being able to set a timer means that I never forget to turn it on or off. It's really useful and much easier than trying to reach behind the tree.
This is a good product to buy for any item that you tend to lose- keys, the remote, your wallet, etc. My husband bought me one and I waited months before setting it up. I don't really lose my keys very often (most often, I just can't find them in my bag). But when I do, this is REALLY handy. You need to install an app on your phone for it and they need to be replaced when the battery run out. The handy part is that they can also reverse find your phone (from the app). Click the Tile button on your keychain and it'll ding your phone.
This is a GREAT option for people who forget to turn their thermostat up/down when they leave for work or for vacation. You can save energy when you're not home, but still have the temperature at a good level when you're home. It WILL make it's own schedule if you don't set it up... for a while it used to notice when my husband left for work and the house would be uncomfortable for me (I work from home). I needed to go adjust the schedule based on when I am home (although installing the app myself probably helped it too).
This is the dot that we have at home. I use it for reminders, and have discovered that I can setup schedules on the app. On garbage day, it reminds my husband to put out the garbage. It reminds my kids to shower on their respective days. You can even set it up for potty training with reminders every two hours.
I want this... in case anyone is shopping for me (wink). We have a couple of knockoff smart bulbs that work well, but they were frustrating to get setup so I don't want to recommend them. I set up the smart bulbs that we have to go off at certain times... if they are already off, nothing happens.
For example, my kids leave their lights on ALL THE TIME. But usually they're only in their rooms in the morning to get dressed and at night to sleep. If they leave the light on to sleep better, I set the lights to flip off about 1 hour after their bedtime. In the morning, I have the lights set to go off about 30 minutes after the typically get dressed. It's not perfect, but it works. If I want, I can just tell Alexa to turn off all of the lights when we leave... but I don't have THAT many bulbs. In my perfect world, we'd replace all of our light bulbs with these.
These are definitely some of my favorite devices because they'll alert me of a fire, even if we aren't home. Our home is set back from the road so it's unlikely a neighbor would report the house on fire before it was out of control. I can check the Nest app and it will tell me if the battery is okay, if the WiFi is connected, etc. If I set off the alarm with my cooking, I can turn off the alarm on my app. I can also set the alarms to test mode to make sure they all work.
We bought two of these to install in my children's rooms, one for each fan. It took a bit of adjusting to get it right, but it works well now. I set these up like the bulbs... and you can turn the fan up or off using Alexa which is nice too. No guessing how many tugs to turn the fan off.
On the Alexa app, I can see what devices are on and turn them off right from there.
I don't have one of these yet, but I love the idea. You can let people in when you're away from home, such as a pet sitter or a cleaning service. This could be safer than giving people a key which could be duplicated (I know the vacation home rental companies have issues with this). If you forget your keys, you can still get your door open. If you forget to lock the door, you can lock it when you're hours away.
You can find a whole host of automatic pet feeders for fish, dogs, cats, and more. Honestly, I like feeding my pets manually because it's a way to bond with them, but these are great for vacation or when you might be home late.
If you have chickens, these gravity feeders require no electricity and hold a 50 lb bag of feed. Again- great if you're forgetful or want to make sure they have food if you're gone for a weekend. They sell some larger water buckets as well. I always have a house/pet sitter, but I like to have this setup regardless. I worry about what would happen if the pet sitter forgot or had an emergency.
This automatic pill dispenser is good if you need a loud reminder. You can also just use those simple boxes with labels for each day of the week... this helps me remember if I took my vitamins/meds already. If it's Thursday morning and that spot is empty, I took them.
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