Smartphones and tablets can now boast of helping people with memory-aids that can tell them what they need to do next.
A simple and yet powerful app is Any.DO that is available free for Apple's iOS and Android.
The app's core is a home screen that breaks your list of to-do items into sections for Today, Tomorrow, This Week and Later. Adding a new item is as easy as tapping on the (PLUS) icon, which leads to a new screen where you can enter the task.
After you have typed whatever it is you need to remember, you can arrange a reminder notice. You can also share the information with a friend, either by allowing the app to integrate with Facebook or via an email.
You can edit an item, mark it as important, in which case it stands out in your list in red, or file it in a folder labelled work, personal or a category you choose.
You can even add subnotes to each task, handy for jotting down gift ideas if the main item is "remember to buy anniversary gift."
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, for a more comprehensive to-do app one can use Remember the Milk, which is also free on iOS and Android. This app is similar to Any.DO and offers many of the same functions in creating and sorting one's tasks.
Remember the Milk also syncs across your devices, though this requires signing up for a free account. There is a web interface so you can see and edit tasks when away from your smartphone.
The one thing I don't like is that sharing tasks with people seems a little complicated, and to get useful syncing between your smartphone and the web you have to sign up for the Pro service, which is $25 a year.
Orchestra To-do is another free iOS task-planning app that's worth testing because of its very simple interface. But its real strengths are syncing between devices, its web app and its integration of a chat function, which is handy for maintaining joint lists with a partner.
And Astrid, free on Android, provides a kind of digital assistant that lets you organise, subdivide and share elaborate task lists and collaborate with other people.
Try them all, and choose the best one for you. They're all better than relying on a fallible memory.