It might sound strange, but unusual cues that actually distract you can make top reminders for that to-do list. When trying to save more money or pay off a debt, a carefully thought-out plan can really improve personal finances. But it all takes time – and it can be so easy to forget the detail, or otherwise not follow through with a strategy. There’s no foolproof way to remember everything, even when it’s to do with money; memories fade and present bias keeps the focus on the here and now. However, research by Todd Rogers at Harvard and Katherine Milkman of the University of Pennsylvania reveals that certain types of reminder work better than others – sometimes improving the ability to remember tasks on schedule by as much as 32%. Matching the right cues Rogers and Milkman found that making up unrelated, striking cues and matching them up with tasks we need to be reminded about can help. In a first small experiment, the team aimed to get people to remember a promise to donate to charity.