How good our memory is?

Hi guys! This is Max, the author of this Productivity newsletter.

I write this email to help you get better at managing your time and achieve more.

In this issue, I’ve picked & wrapped some ideas that I find interesting for you. So, let’s dive in!

⚡Framework: Never miss twice (and never beat yourself)


  • Every decent goal needs constant repetition of actions and hard work.
  • Constant repetition requires doing the similar kind of actions regularly, day by day
  • It is extremely hard to maintain in the long term because there is no instant result that could motivate us:


  • At some point in time, we can easily miss a day, gaining no progress toward our goal
  • When we miss a time we should perform our habit, it breaks our streak
  • This makes us feel bad + calls blaming ourselves for not being consistent
  • It may lead to further demotivation and lower confidence that we can achieve our end goal in the long term, harming our habit even more


To keep your habit active, I suggest following the 3 simple principles:

1) “Little better than nothing”:

  • It’s much better to do 10% or even 5% of your plan than to do nothing at all and miss a day.
  • For example: if you planned to learn 30 new words, but you don’t have the willpower to do this – learn 1 or 2.
  • It sounds too small to even get bothered, but that’s simply not true.
  • Remember: making even 1 step towards your goal brings you closer than making none at all.
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2) “Never miss twice”:

  • If you’ve missed doing your habit the first time for some reason – do your best to not miss the second time
  • For example: if you missed your words learning routine for a day – make sure to do it in first/higher priority tomorrow, to avoid missing it twice
  • Just remember: it happens that we miss showing up sometimes. It’s normal. Just make sure to get back on track as soon as possible

3) “Never beat yourself”:

  • When we miss our habit (even once), the feeling of guilt may come
  • Blaming yourself for not showing up is the easiest thing that comes to mind
  • It’s the most dangerous one as well. Blame is not a productive feeling in this case – rather a destructive one.
  • Make sure to calm your internal policeman down and say: “Missing one day is normal. I’ll just fix this by showing up tomorrow”.
  • That’s it

🧪 Experiment: How quickly we forget things?

The basic idea:

  • A group of scientists created a set of cards with meaningless three-letter combinations (eg, AHS, TGH, or CLS)
  • The cards were shown to participants one at a time
  • After some period of time (3, 6, 9, 12, 15, and 18 seconds) – the participants were asked to recall combinations they’d seen


  • After 3 seconds, 80% of combinations were recalled correctly
  • After 5 seconds, this result fell down to 50%
  • After 18 seconds, participants managed to recall correctly only 10% of the combinations


  • These scientists were Lloyd and Margaret Peterson. This experiment helped them prove that human short-term memory is pretty limited.
  • It is good because it helps our brain to avoid wasting storage for unnecessary information
  • However, it means we should use extra tools for storing important information
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You can read more about this experiment here.

⚒️ Tools: How to memorize information easily?


  • Backing the takeaways of the experiment with three-letter cards, I can confirm that our short-term memory is relatively weak
  • In my day job, I work as a product manager. It means I deal with different people (development teams, executives, clients) on a daily basis.
  • Some of these people can share ideas, concerns, or suggestions on various subjects.
  • I noticed that I can’t work effectively without having the ability to store these ideas and organize them in some scalable way.


  • For collecting all information from different stakeholders, as well as storing my own ideas, I use Google Keep
  • It’s a free note-taking app from Google, which allows you to have quick cloud-based notes with tags and coloring feature
  • I use it both on mobile (Android) and in a Chrome browser on my laptops.

My workflow:

  • All the random ideas, comments, or suggestions for the day I note into Google Keep
  • I mark it as ‘work’ or ‘blog’ tags, depending on what area it is coming from for easier sorting
  • This helps me empty my short-term memory immediately, allowing me to focus on the next thing (and be certain that I will not forget anything)
  • At the end of the day, I go over the notes I have and decide, whether I need this information or not
  • If this note may be helpful, I put it into my Notion – a long-term memory alternative. Here I wrote how I use it in more details
  • After this, I clear my Keep to keep it clean & empty for more ideas

I don’t use Notion directly, because:

  • it would become quickly cluttered with lots of irrelevant notes
  • it loads slower than Google Keep (which is a big deal if you want to write something literally on-the-go)
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I advise you to try Google Keep as well. It’s a good tool for listing ‘quick thoughts’ or some other ‘instant information’ that you are not sure how to organize properly at the moment.

📖 Worthy reads: Useless advices we love


  • Want some business advice?
  • Find 10 people who are willing to pay you $1,000 every month
  • Congratulations, you are earning $10,000 per month – a pretty decent income to start with. /s


  • Sounds a bit stupid, right?
  • That’s exactly what Jakob Greenfeld points out in his post on Reddit. He refers to the idea that people get inspired too easily from advice like this.
  • Besides, they praise such advice givers and buy their books, and courses, provide positive reviews, etc.
  • All this leads to a lack of confidence among those who actually try following this advice and realize why they don’t work so straightforwardly.

✍️ End note

Thank you for reading this letter, I hope you enjoyed it.

Before you close it, I have a little ask for help for you. Could you do me a favor and reply to this email? It can be a simple ‘hi’, a quick introduction, or even your feedback about this newsletter.

This means a ton to me 🙏