Two Kinds of Memory

Annie Murphy Paul writing for Slate on the difference between electronic and organic memory and the evolving uses of each in fields like healthcare:

The second insight that emerges from a close look at electronic and organic memory is that E-memory is good for invariant storage, while O-memory is good for elaborated connections. If we make note of an upcoming appointment in our smartphone, its digital calendar won’t misremember the date or time, as our all-too-fallible brains are apt to do. On the other hand, if we enter the germ of an idea in our phone’s note-taking app, we won’t return after a busy weekend or a good night’s sleep to find that the idea has grown new connections and layers of meaning, as an idea planted in our organic memory is likely to do.

This explains why I find apps like Fantastical and Due to be so essential in aiding my leaky memory, but whenever I capture an idea in an app like Evernote, I rarely think about that idea again. The act of capturing gives me an excuse to forget. Perhaps someone should create a note-taking app (if it doesn't already exist) specifically designed for capturing ideas, which then periodically reminds you to think about those ideas.