How to Use Cameras to Develop a Digital Photographic Memory
A great option for this is Evernote. Once you set up an account and install the iOS or Android app on your phone, you can use the app to take pictures of anything. These will be uploaded to Evernote's servers and automatically scanned for any words that appear in the picture. You can take pictures of your personal documents, bills, posters, signs, menus, whiteboards, product labels—anything you'd like to find later via search. It's like having your own private Internet filled with personal details, which you can search with your own private Google. This sounds simple, but there is actually a way to make it even simpler. I use an app from IFTTT called Do Camera, which is available for iOS and Android. The app lets you automate all kinds of tasks with your camera, including uploading images to Evernote. Just install the app, choose the Evernote recipe and you're good to go. Just pressing the button brings up the camera, and pressing the Evernote icon button takes the picture and uploads it to Evernote with one tap.Best of all, you can access these memories from most major smartwatches, including the Apple Watch. Narrative Clip If you're ready to take it up a notch, an even more automated way to get a photographic memory is to wear a product called the Narrative Clip. It's a tiny wirelessly connected camera you clip to your clothes. It takes snapshots constantly throughout the day—which gives you a rewind button for your life. The product has been around for a while. But a much better version called the Narrative Clip 2 will become available for $199 in three or four months. You can pre-order it now. The Narrative Clip 2 lets you set how often it takes pictures, say every minute or every 10 seconds. It's got an 8-megapixel camera and built-in WiFi. So when you're at home or work or in range of some other friendly WiFi connection, the pictures are automatically uploaded to the cloud. It also connects to your phone via Bluetooth. A built-in GPS enables the clip to record the location of your photos. You get 30 hours from a charge, according to the company. The idea of taking pictures constantly may sound strange and even excessive, but the intelligence applied on the back end makes it a really interesting way to augment normal memory. The service automatically sorts all the pictures into both "moments" and "highlights," and you can sort and flip through these very quickly. You can also add captions, not only to individual pictures but also moments and highlights. You can also choose any to share on social media or send off to your Evernote account. The process of recording everything is called "lifelogging," which is the ultimate way to augment your memory. The three techniques I've talked about in this column mention three specific products. They're the best product in each category of augmented memory of which I'm aware. But there are other products available, which you may decide you like better. The real take-away is that you can use cameras to capture your "to do" list items instead of pen or keyboard, and by doing so capture them faster and with richer "data." You can capture words with your camera and have them automatically converted into searchable text. And you can create a lifelog by taking pictures constantly. All these approaches have powerful benefits and can enhance your ability to "remember" everything you always want to remember. You can have a photographic memory that is far beyond just remembering to scribble things down with a quill pen or the modern equivalent of typing it on your smartphone. Just take a picture. And remember everything.
There's no downside to uploading any number of pictures because they'll be categorized by search. You can't take too many. So when in doubt, capture everything.