The Design of Everyday Things, 1988

If the event is not personally important and several days away, it is wise to transfer some of the burden to the world: notes, calendar reminders, special cell phone or computer reminding services. You can ask friends to remind you. Those of us with assistants put the burden on them. They, in turn, write notes, enter events on calendars, or set alarms on their computer systems. Why burden other people when we can put the burden on the thing itself? Do I want to remember to take a book to a colleague? I put the book someplace where I cannot fail to see it when I leave the house. A good spot is against the front door so that I can’t leave without tripping over it. Or I can put my car keys on it, so when I leave, I am reminded. Even if I forget, I can’t drive away without the keys. (Better yet, put the keys under the book, else I might still forget the book.)

p. 108 of The Design of Everyday Things
by Don Norman

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