Word processors were not in common usage until the late 1980s, early 1990s.
The context of how a memory was originally stored is important. Using a pen instead of a word processor might be helpful when you are trying to remember the good-bad-indifferent-ugly old days and to write down lists of memories.
Or, if you are working with an older person — and perhaps one whose memory is failing — you might want to hand them a pencil or pen like the ones they used when they were much younger and ask them to write down what they remember. Having an old-fashioned pen or pencil in their hand might help open some memories. And, if you look in an old dresser or desk drawer of an older person, you will probably find some cherished pens in the top drawer that were birthday presents or work awards or something they received when graduating from school.
Putting a pen in someone’s hand and seeing if they remember better is a very inexpensive and easy thing to do. Most people started taking notes when they were children using handwriting tools and continue to this day. Recreate the original experience and see if the association helps unlock some memories.
Mind Models are also known as Mind Maps. By my definition, a mind model is a very sophisticated form of mind map that incorporates expert information and state-of-the-art communication and thinking techniques.
Now here we have an interesting topic.
Consider these “facts” …
I have dementia, probably still in early-mid or mid stages. Every morning I spend an hour or two obsessing about what color ink to put in my fountain pens for doodling later in the day. I spend hours avoiding some fairly simple things (calling the pharmacy for prescription refills, calling my neurologist and getting an appointment, calling a few dentists and getting an initial appointment as I have not had preventive dentistry since being diagnosed with brain disease, etc).
I’m still contemplating at almost noon today showering, getting dressed, and shaving.
I don’t think all that well — ideas are coming in very fast but being ignored because I cannot grab an important one and think about its implications and develop a plan.
I start to mind map/model at mid-morning. With the window to iMindMap open, I start to pull together some ideas I have put together in the omnipresent notebook I have in my pocket along with a few pens with the really cool color inks I selected for the day after an hour of great indecision.
I get some ideas going fairly quickly. Within 10 minutes I am generating ideas and typing them into a map. The ideas come rapidly but not too fast to get into the map (80% of the time).
I shut out anxiety, irrelevant troubling thoughts, distractions.
I typically produce a map/model like that just below in about an hour or less.
I save the file. I close the window. Pretty soon the ideas I have in the map/model will almost certainly escape me and I will not really remember the details of the map, what it was about, or much of the content at all.
Periodically some of the information in the map/model will come back to me and then typically be forgotten again hopefully after inspiring some new thoughts to rise up to consciousness.
If I open my browser and look up one of these blog posts I will immediately understand the mind map and know why it has the content that we all see. If I open up the mind mapping program, I can remember the map, its logic, why I used the style it appears in, and issues I considered in depth while developing it (down to the reason I chose a specific font or color scheme).
If I close the program or the window to the online blog, away goes that information. I can recall big points later with great difficulty.
The mind mapping process is a very enjoyable one. It lets me think like I used to before receiving the diagnosis of brain disease. I can no longer think in that way without using mind mapping or several alternate techniques.
Knowing how to use mind mapping related thinking techniques has — I believe for myself — permitted me to retain a fair amount of independence (not all of it, but more than I would have predicted from the published clinical literature) and enhance my quality of life.
If you are in a similar situation to me or are concerned that in 5 or 25 years from now you might be, consider learning to mind map, especially using Buzan-style organic mind maps and Huba-style mind models. You will potentially gain great benefits now or in the future.
Consult your mind maps/models. The past comes back whether it was years ago or 20 minutes ago. This is especially for that “current thinking” information you lose almost immediately if not documented as you think.