Once upon a time, I remembered everything. I never lost things because I remembered where I left them. Every paper in a stack was retrievable, names matched up instantly to faces, and birthdays were always noted. Along the way, I think my brain got too full and began closing the doors of its storerooms, tacking up a notice: full, access denied. Gradually the filing system fell into a shambles. Now it is anybody's guess what is in that stack, or what you told me to do five minutes ago. Now the only thing that keeps me on track is lists.
I have always made lists. Now they are essential - shopping lists, packing lists, to-do lists. As we prepare for our annual New Year's Day party, I found I had made an excellent list of what we actually used at our last party along with our favorite punch recipe. This has saved us from overestimating amounts of food or forgetting items. I like lists - they give me a sense of control.