Six months - yes I have been tying to learn Chinese for six months, which means that I ought to write a progress report soon. That has provoked me into thinking more about my learning process.
Thinking about how some things are easier to remember than others I had a sudden realisation about tones and writing pinyin.
Thinking about  written with the tone marks it looks more professional. Written as [ ] it is easier to remember the tones (for me, maybe not for you).
After some thought about it I have realised that if I don't know the tones for something I am saying and I try to remember them from a memory of what I read then I have much much more chance of remembering if the pinyin was written with tone numbers. The number almost becomes a another letter.
Maybe it works this way for me because my first language doesn't have accented letters? The difference in the ability to recall the tones by 'remembering' the writing is significant.