Weekend Things: Lists

October 19, 2013

hand written to do lists and getting organizedI am desperate for a few systems and instead of getting more into apps on my phone, I’ve decided to go back to old ways. I miss the days when I felt productive and organized with my crumpled  ‘to do’ list folded up on a sheet of paper in my pocket.  Every couple of days I refreshed and rewrote it and that was all I needed.  And I am pretty sure that is all I need now.

Life has gotten much more complicated since then with kids, more works projects, houses, and technology and it is even worse when the phone is constantly at me.  New tweets, emails, msgs, calls – and I find myself drawn in to interactions I just don’t have the capacity for, instead of sitting quietly when I have a few spare moments.  It is killing my creativity and I am eager to make a change.

This morning I pulled out an old notebook and wrote down all the things that my husband and I need to address together around the house.  After dumping out a 2 page list in under 10 minutes (a task I could never complete in that time on a phone or even a tablet), I instantaneously felt physically better, but more importantly, I was suddenly less overwhelmed  and paralyzed by trying to keep track of it all.   I knew in an instant that I need to go back to paper.

My old lists used to look a lot like this one by ario.  You just can’t doodle like that a cell phone and I need to doodle.  I’m looking forward to seeing what my new lists are going to look like.  I’m curious, are you a smart phone convert or tactile list maker? Or something in between?  How do you keep track of things?

A quick list of things I enjoyed this week.

 image by ario by creative commons flickr.

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  1. Debbie Feely says:

    I like paper. It seems no matter how many other systems I set up I don’t use them. I love Post-its, but let’s face it, Post-its get a bit crazy. I recently found a printable to-do form that is a step up from plain paper because it has categories. I like being able to see at a glance what must be done today, what errands need doing, and so forth. I wonder if it is old school and what we trained with, or just tactile preference?

  2. Doug Green says:

    I’m with you – I’ve tried more apps and productivity methods than I want to think about – and finally gave ’em all up. I have a small spiral ring notebook that I can write in (and yes! doodle) and most importantly – cross out the done tasks. Done? Slash with the pen? Every few days, I take the list – celebrate the done and move the undone to a new page. I have sticky notes sticking out where I really want to remember something and it’s quite efficient. Things get added, slashed, noted, drawn, jotted and simply enjoyed for the physical joy of putting words on paper instead of the e-format the world would have us use.

  3. Naomi Brooks says:

    I have paper lists with columns: Go, Do, Call. The Do is sometimes divided into tiny sub-tasks so I actually tackle them. The tactile writing and re-writing keeps me honest. It just irritates me to no end to have to continuously copy over that un-tackled task. The trick is remembering the list is in my pocket before the washing machine starts.

    I also use a “notes” app on the smartphone to keep track of hours spent for various clients, and a “next” list which includes tools needed.

  4. Ann of Monona says:

    Thanks for the link to the Colin Nissan article – it made me really laugh! And I like paper lists too.

  5. Amy Murphy says:

    I too prefer a paper To-Do list. I like to physically cross off things that are done, it gives me a sense of accomplishment, and, like you, I like to start fresh every few days or so. Electronically, to do lists never seem to get smaller. They always look the same, they always have something to do on them, but they never get any smaller!

  6. Mike Mintz says:

    Thanks for the comment on lists. I am right with you on the value of physical lists.

    However, I do use both type. For example, my list of people to give honey to is electronic(you are on the list). I put a “*” when they get their honey.

    My daily list is in two places. My whiteboard and a more detailed one on paper.

    Also, on Wednesdays, I start “the weekend list”. Already there are nine things on it. I’ll probably get to three or four.

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