One of the biggest problems we all have is remembering what really happened. If we keep no written records we can pretend to have "perfect" memories. But real memories are not like that.
You learn by what you do. A great memory is cultivated by doing things that enhance memory. Writing things down helps us to remember them. But even more is involved. Remembering ten thousand unrelated things is not very useful. Ten connected and related ideas are likely to be far more valuable. In the process of discussion and debate the key ideas will emerge in relationship to each other. To learn you need to engage with the subject.
One of the key ways to archive this is to work with others who share your interests and concerns. Try to join a community of practice. You may find groups of many kinds across the Internet. If you can't find what you need, start a group.
Practise makes perfect. Better still, is perfect practise. You can do perfect practise in your mind. This lesson comes from basketball, and I apply it to dancing and public speaking. But it could be applied to golf or selling raffle tickets. Here's how.
Practise the skill you need to improve. When you've done it well; Stop. Remember what that felt like. Play the full sequence in your mind, go through the steps slowly in your memory. If you can't do that, try it again as a real practise. Try to remember what it felt like. Once again stop and mentally rehearse the practise. Keep at this until you have the ability to "perfectly" rehearse what you need to do in your mind.
Now in the process of practise, rehearse in your mind before you rehearse in action. You will have seen high jumpers do this in competition. They visualise a successful jump before they begin the run up. Do that. Once your ability to visualise the activity gets developed, when you can do it "perfectly" in your mind, at least half and preferably more than half of your practise can be mental. This will produce much better results than 100% real practise.
Every mental practise is "successful" while most of the real practises are less than perfect. The mind and body respond well to high levels of success.
A story is a small set of closely related facts. People find it easy to remember stories. Use stories to contain the things you need to remember. A journal is an idea place to record your own personalised version of these stories.
Most people never think to gather data from the daily things they do. One of the best ways to understand what's happening is to keep a score of some kind. Counting is one way to do that. Measuring is another way of counting.
Take the raw data from your counting and measuring and use it in some way. Work out percentages, or measure the variation or compare one number with some other variable. Draw a graph. Make the results visual and explain them to someone else.
My way of keeping written data is to write a journal. I do recommend that. The journals don't get lost. The data remains available months and years later. I also write things on sheets of lose paper. That helps immediately, but the sheets get lost. Sometimes good data is lost.
Most professionals keep a diary. I find a diary is useful for day to day records, but not so useful for notes I intend to use weeks or months later. That's just about my style of working. You might be able to keep a diary that has a journal form, but I don't like to be constrained by the set space for each day. I keep my journal in an ordinary hard covered exercise book.
Written data doesn't change. Keeping written records gives you the possibility of long-term memory.
Far from being a waste of time a good social network is a source of information and inspiration. Of course you need to choose your network. My criteria for choice is to look for sources of "rich data" or interesting information. You know what interests you, look for that. Life is too short to spend on topics that are not worthy of my time.
Having found a source of quality information, it's a mistake to focus only on the information. This information comes from people, and one of your essential tasks it to pay the people enough attention. If you do that, you'll make friends. When you need help, those friends will correspond privately with you. They will answer your question. If you choose the people well, that can be enormously helpful. (But don't be too choosy. When you first meet people your initial impressions can be wrong. Err on the generous side.)