The 9 clues we use to recall things we saved

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The 9 clues we use to recall things we saved

It is an undeniable reality that in our busy lives we have come to rely on technology to save everything from our favorite book and film recommendations to videos we like or tools we want to try. The problem is that remembering what we kept and where it is can be pretty challenging.

The 9 clues

The most common way we recall our saved data is through the people who shared it with us in the first place. We also might remember whether a colleague shared a document on Slack for example, or that a friend sent us a link to an article in an email. The category of the data such as “film” or “shopping” can help us remember, as can the topic it is related to e.g. a project or place, or any part of the message or content we saw; its title but occasionally it’s just random words in the document or the message that come to mind. Additionally, the time the data was shared can be another helpful clue; if we know it was shared two weeks ago, we can narrow things down. The domain, the name of the website or the app, or the format, whether it was a video, photo, a Google sheet might also help us. For example, if we know it was a photo shared on Instagram, we are two clues closer. Finally, we can remember its relationship to us, its status, and its rating. Whether it’s a to-do item or for instance a movie we already watched and rated. Overall, having a few clues or a combination of those clues is often enough to help us remember where we saved the data and how to find it again. In summary, whether it’s people, dates, categories, topics, words, or locations, a few clues can be enough to help us recall things that we saved, making our lives much easier. Despite all of these nine clues, when we can’t recall what we saved, it can be a real struggle to find it again. We may end up spending hours searching through our emails, our saved items, and all of the various places we have stored data.

How do we start?

Usually, we can only recall two or three of these clues e.g. we know we are looking for an article that was shared by our friends, and it was health-related. From there, we may be limited in our search capabilities as we may not remember the precise title, website, or location of the saved information. This can be especially frustrating if we had saved the data for a particular purpose and now can’t recall where it is located. Despite this, having a few basic clues can be the difference between searching for hours and finding the data we need within minutes.

Furthermore, it is remarkable to see how as we begin to think about the data, more and more clues can start to emerge; first, it’s the format, then the who, then the category, and finally the domain. In some cases, the most interesting part is that it can be a different thing each time; sometimes we may clearly remember the title but not the domain, or we may remember the sender but not the title.  Therefore, having multiple clues to help us recall saved data is essential to find it quickly and efficiently.  Without these clues, we would be hard-pressed to find what we were looking for.

The dynamic nature of recalling information

It is also important to note that what we remember depends on many things and the context we are in. This means that when we are looking for the same thing multiple times a day, our clues might be different each time. It is this ability to adapt our clues and thinking that helps us recall the data we saved and find it again.  Overall, having a few clues or a combination of those clues can go a long way in helping us to remember where we saved the data and how to find it again.

The point is, we all have this information in our heads and while some clues are often stronger than others (like who shared something with us), the way we recall things is unique and ever-changing.

So, sometimes the best way to recall what we saved is to search for something because we recall some very specific words or categories, while other times the concept in our minds is so abstract that the only solution is to start browsing as a way to remember. Yet other times it’s a combination of all these methods; we start with a few cues and then browse or search until we can remember the details. In any case, having some clues or a combination of them can make the process of finding our saved data much easier.  Moreover, it can help us save time and energy, allowing us to focus on more pressing matters.

Your shortcut to your needle in the haystack

Over the years, we have tried many tools for saving things, however, none of them offered the universal approach that we were looking for. That’s why we built Haystack. Haystack helps you save and then recall things based on all of these 9 clues. If you know the category you can filter, if you know who you can find it quickly, if you know what you can look for it in just a few clicks.

But that’s not all. There are three additional problems that need to be solved: of course, the most important thing is to ensure that we save our data in an organized fashion to avoid the issue in the first place. However, even if we do this, sometimes we just don’t remember what we saved, which leads to frustrating searches. Not to mention, even if we save things in a way that’s organized and makes sense to us, we may still forget that we have saved something in the first place. This can be especially frustrating when we know that the information is probably out there, we just don’t remember where it is. To add to this frustration, it can be difficult to piece together the clues we do have and start the search process.

We can certainly change some of our habits and start saving things consistently, and Haystack has plenty of features to help with this, including auto-categorizing and tagging content. All of this will certainly help to ensure that we are able to find what we need quickly and easily. Additionally, with Haystack, we can create our own personal search engine with saved keywords, and keep track of what we’ve saved in an organized manner. All of these features help us to save our data in an efficient and organized way.

A giant leap forward

But what about the countless times we forget to save something, or don’t have the energy to do so, or just don’t think it’s worth saving, even though we’ll be looking for it perhaps just minutes later?

That’s where the more advanced Haystack features, such as integrations, come in. Haystack not only allows you to save things manually, but it also allows you to connect all the tools you use daily, such as Chrome, Gmail, and Drive. This means that you can save all the information from these tools automatically and access it from one central place. With this feature, you never have to worry about forgetting to save something, or not having the time to do so.

But, most importantly, as frequent users of Haystack, we can tell you that you will gradually develop a sense of peace of mind and the idea that searching for anything related to yourself or the people you are connected to is a possibility. 

This feeling of freedom and empowerment comes from being able to access all the information stored in one place, and having the confidence that you can find what you need quickly and easily. This is why we created Haystack, to give everyone a powerful tool to save and recall everything that matters to them.  Haystack provides a simple, yet powerful way of saving and recalling all of your important data.


So, to recap, the 9 clues we use to recall things are, people, the channel it was shared in (e.g. Drive or Gmail), its category (Work, life, entertainment or something more specific like that it’s a Podcast), its topic, its content, when it was shared or saved, the domain of the website or app it was shared in, its format, and its relationship to us (status and rating)

Haystack makes use of all these clues to help you find the information you need. With the range of automated and manual tools that Haystack provides, you can easily save and recall the information that matters most to you. Thanks to these helpful features, we can all now save and find anything we need quickly and easily.

We hope that even if you’re already in the habit of saving everything like many of us at Haystack are, you’ll still give our integration features a try. With Haystack, you will have the confidence that all your important data is easily accessible when you need it. Not only can these features save you even more than an hour a day, they also provide a unique peace of mind. 

Ready to start using Haystack

Haystack syncs and organizes the photos, news, documents and other files and links from your applications to help you find what you’re looking for more easily.


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Search, organize and share all your documents, files, links, images and videos from different sources in one place.
Picture of Haystack


Search, organize and share all your documents, files, links, images and videos from different sources in one place.

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