Why read this book?
What this book is about
What this book should do for you
1. How memory works and why it sometimes fails
Memories are made of this
Why people fail to remember
Know thyself: a quiz
2. Remembering to do things
Memory for future actions is different from other types of memory
Forgetting routine actions is not a failure of memory
3. Short-term goals and short-term memory
Working memory and attention
Age and attention
4. Forgetting what you’re doing
Short-term memory problems are attention problems
Action sequences are why we make action slips
Common types of action slip
Situations when action slips are most likely
Have I done it already?
What makes some people more prone to absent-minded errors?
How to prevent action slips
5. Structuring your goals
A hierarchy of goals
Ordering your goals
The problem of suspended intentions
6. Circumstances that affect your remembering
Event-based retrieval cues are better than time-based
Is being too busy a valid excuse?
Wanting to remember is not enough!
Timing and complexity
7. Are some people better at remembering intentions?
8. General strategies for remembering intentions
Strategies people use
Effective strategies for remembering intentions
Mental strategies for better recall
Using environmental memory aids
9. Strategies for specific tasks
Remembering anniversaries and birthdays
Remembering errands and chores
Remembering to take medicine
10. Your master strategy
Assessing memory tasks
Deciding on your memory strategies
It’s not all about memory
We fail to achieve intentions for many reasons
Believing in your abilities
The bottom line
Appendix A: Theories of prospective memory
Is prospective memory fundamentally different from retrospective memory?
Theory explains many characteristics of prospective memory
Appendix B: External memory aids
Context-based reminder systems
Appendix C: The coding mnemonic
Appendix D: Specific strategies for specific tasks
Glossary of terms