Add calendar reminder#

Email reminders are one way to intentionally form a new habit, if you’ve ruled out better alternatives.


Forced practiced#

One alternative is forced practice. Force yourself to practice rather than passively read. For example, can you disable keys to force yourself to learn some other keys?

Constant editing#

Every time you see a reminder you should be able to make it a little shorter; reminders should always be links to a plain text document. Would it be better to see these reminders as you come to the topic, though? Requiring practice through a reminder is much less natural (less self-motivated).

Memory Loss#

See Want to Improve Your Memory? A Decade-Long Stanford Study Suggests You Should Stop Doing This 1 Thing | The one thing is multitasking. For example, answering your emails, texts, etc. while in a meeting.


Quiz yourself so you’re forced to recall the answer. This is the “forced” alternative to letting nature take its course. In many cases you’ll also develop a habit naturally as you are repeatedly quizzed by nature and your actions.

Incorrect prioritization#

If you have a weekly reminder and don’t want to make it less frequent, it’s by definition more important to you than less frequent reminders. Publish it before other reminders; set the TODo priority to the reciprocal of the frequency (in days) to remain consistent. Still, it’s hard to have a global view of all your calendar items and set all their reminder frequencies inversely proportional to their current priority.

Time Cost#

Small emails prevent you from getting into focused work faster. When you have a commute it is more OK to have some small tasks to do on e.g. the train, though if you have a commute you should aim to come off the train (95% of the time) with zero emails and keep notes. Without a commute, every small email directly affects how long it takes to get into focused work on a daily basis.

Is the time you’re going to put into reading this reminder justified in terms of VNTE? The E is very high when a reminder comes every week. It’s easier to assess this when reminders are grouped into a learning document.

News Feeds#

New feeds are addictive, like emails. We are already addicted to short summaries of complicated topics; we can feel like we understand when we don’t (e.g. the monad fallacy).