Some external aids only exist to remind you that there is something to remember. They don’t actually tell you what it is. If you forget why you have a string around your finger, then it’s not doing you much good. To fix this problem, you can use visual imagery to associate the aid with what you are trying to remember.
For example, if you need to remember to get gas on the drive home from work, you could put your watch on the wrong wrist. Then visualize yourself stuffing watches into your car’s gas tank, or something else equally silly and memorable. Now every time you notice your watch being out of place, you will remember the silly scene and that you need to get gas.
One aid can even be used to remember multiple things. Simply use the link method to chain everything together, starting with the physical reminder. If you need to remember to get gas and pick up some bread and milk, you could use the above association to link your watch to gas. Then visualize yourself driving a loaf of bread away from the gas station while all of the sudden it starts raining milk.