Increasingly, we are confronted with having to process multimodal formats of information. In the past half-century, technology has pushed the development of hi-tech information presentation much faster than theory on processing such information could progress. This is not likely to change. As I argue, information processing psychology (IPP) and its successor, complex information processing (CIP), remain an excellent choice for spending scarce research monies, because they accomplish methodologically rigorous, reliable research on this subject that will lead to solid theory with predictive possibilities. Findings on the importance of external memory (in brief, human-recorded information) and its formats for processing information illustrate this.