The Joy of Lists
Day 15 of National Blog Posting Month #NaBloPoMo
I’m a big fan of lists. I like to think of myself as a fairly organised person. I make lists for a lot of stuff, at work and home, and get a little kick out of crossing things off. Yes, I’m one of those people who add tasks to a list post-completion, just for the pleasure of seeing it crossed off. This sounds completely pointless, but it’s actually a good motivator! I’m more motivated to tackle the rest of the list if I already have the sense of achievement that comes from already-completed tasks.
I’ve tried various attempts to move my lists to a digital format over the years, but I’ve always gone back to good old pen and paper. A couple of years ago I enthusiastically organised my life into Notion boards, only for things to, well, stop working. I’d open up the app on my phone and it would hang for ages, only for me to eventually forget whatever it was I was going to add to the list.
My lists aren’t pretty. I don’t have nice notebooks. I use scrap paper — old envelopes, school newsletters, the back of a child’s drawings begun and subsequently abandoned — folded and torn into small A6 rectangles, clipped together with a bulldog clip (a tip I learned from my mum). I tried bullet journaling for all of five minutes. Now I embrace the scrappiness, and relish the impermanence and total lack of perfection. And it means I can blue-tack them to any available surface. The fridge, calendar and kitchen cupboards are all peppered with lists.
I still keep a few digital lists too. My husband and I coordinate our shopping list through Alexa, and regularly shout things like “Alexa, add satsumas to the shopping list” across the room. That works great, until it doesn’t. We’ve learned from experience that the poor signal in our local supermarket means we frequently need to screenshot the list before leaving the house. Perhaps it's time to go back to pen and paper.
For more complex project coordination, spreadsheets serve me pretty well. I probably wouldn’t use them as the primary project management tool within an organisation, but for organising something like a list of blog topics (like for this series for #NaBloPoMo) they do the job and, crucially, can work offline. This means I don’t have to remember whichever app it was that I was using for a particular list.
That said, I still use Notion for some things, like organising my upcoming freelance work, and this blog. But lists don’t always need to be high tech, and I still write daily “to dos” despite the Notion board. There’s something about the physical act of writing that helps me remember. Digital can’t quite match that.
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@michelle Very nice; love the aesthetic.
Re:pen-and-paper lists, have you ever tried running a Bullet Journal? I used to (although I did eventually move it off paper and into markdown). YMMV, but I found it super helpful- tomhazledine
"My lists aren’t pretty. I don’t have nice notebooks. I use scrap paper — old envelopes, school newsletters, the back of a child’s drawings begun and subsequently abandoned — folded and torn into small A6 rectangles"
Glad to know there are kindred spirits ????- Donny Daniel :mastodon: