Remember vs Don’t Forget

This post is a “word hack.” Word Hacks are better ways of saying something.

“Don’t forget to go to the store.”

“Don’t forget you have an appointment at 2pm.”

“Don’t forget to brush your teeth.”

This is completely easy to understand. The “Don’t Forget” is exactly what you want to do.

But there is a problem. Our brains aren’t very good with negation. They first must think about the thing you are negating, which means you are spending time thinking about the very thing you don’t want to do.

Solution: “Remember”

Remember is also easy to understand, and says exactly what you want. But it only requires the brain to think about the outcome you want. There’s no side trip into forget land.

“Remember to go to the store.”

“Remember you have an appointment at 2pm.”

“Remember to brush your teeth.”

It is a habit to use one of these phrases over another, but I think you’ll find “Remember” more effective at getting people to, well, remember.