This is a technique I have described elsewhere but not on these forums, I don’t think. It’s not really a workflow as such, but seems to fit here, and I was prompted to write it having read another thread along similar lines.
I’m over 50 now and recently lost my father and this has all combined to make me VERY interested in my and my parents’ past. I’ve started writing a personal history and I’ve been getting more curious about my early years and my parents lives before I was around.
But there’s one thing I have been doing for a long time already that dovetails into this newfound thirst, and that is the subject of this post — my History Calendar.
I use Google Calendar but it works equally well with any service that lets you create multiple distinct calendars. I created a calendar simply called “History” and on this I record events from my past as “all day” calendar events that repeat yearly and typically have “9am on the day” reminders. I record the events on their original date and set the repeat, but I also put the original year in brackets in the title of the entry so it’s more visible on reminders or when looking at the calendar in apps.
It actually started when I stumbled across the receipt for my first iPhone (from 2008) and I recorded this in my calendar before throwing it out. I’ve since recorded a lot of other major Apple purchases, but also overseas trips for business and leisure, car purchases, when I quit Facebook (7 years in January!), when my first blog post went live, when my first podcast was released, purchase and sale of my (DSLR) cameras, family wedding anniversaries, major family medical events, when my cats came to us and when they passed away, and yes, when my father passed away and also the date of his funeral.
The goal of this calendar is twofold. First, I want to ensure that particularly the important dates are not forgotten — I can at least look them up easily — but also that all of these events stay in my consciousness because every year I get reminded of them.
I need to put a lot more in it based on what I’m finding out talking to Mum and capturing in my personal history. My oldest entry is currently some travel from 1997, but I have plenty more I can put in going back much, much further.