Using vi/vim properly, you don’t use it modally. You are always in normal mode, and only enter insert mode for short bursts of typing text, after which you press
to go to normal mode. Thus, the remembering-the-mode problem just doesn’t exist: you don’t answer the phone in insert mode to get back to vi and not remember where you were. If you are typing text and the phone rings, you exit insert mode and then answer the phone. Or you press when you come back. But you never think about insert mode as a mode where you stay. — Why, oh WHY, do those #?@! nutheads use vi?