Lists in peace

I finally updated my life into the digital.  My lists, at any rate.

The last incarnation of my “list system”, in a beloved orange clipboard, was a masterpiece of design.  I had tabbed pages (different colours), and each page had topical lists on it.  Books and Movies, Big Dreams, Sewing projects, Want list, Long-term projects, etc. The top page was always the current, top of the heap need-to-do things.  The beauty was any page could easily be replaced, top page most often, when it needed significant changes or got used up, and the overall system retained its order.  Crucially, everything that I would need to write down or collect in a list in any way had a place in my system.   See, I’m still proud of it.

Its fatal design flaw was that the orange clipboard was sometimes not conveniently around, while my laptop nearly always is.   I get why people might put everything into their phones for the same reason, but I hate typing on a phone.   So I transferred all those lists into the Journler program (Mac) that I use every day.  I made a folder – LISTS – with a master lists file that has many many short lists – old projects, new projects, current to-dos, wanted things, things to look up on the internet, etc.  Addresses and Birthdays; Books and Movies have their own files.

It’s so elegant!  I’ve no idea why it took me so long.  My husband did this ages ago.  It’s so easy to delete things, add things, scroll through with a flick and find any list one needs. It will be with me nearly everywhere, as my MacBook is, without an extra book or device.  The clipboard was starting to fall apart anyways.  Of course, it does make backing up that much more crucial.

Also, I kept some lists on my computer already – anything blog related, or often things I found online.  That causes list division – the state of having items that should be compiled in one list existing in two different lists.  Oh, shudder! Another problem that can arise is list redundancy, when there are multiple versions of the same list.  That’s why I’m not likely to ever make grocery lists on my computer; those will stay on the sticky note in the kitchen.  Likewise with the margin-scratched things to do today lists, that if they don’t get done today, will need to be done tomorrow.  Those will stay on paper too.  Who could give up the satisfaction of crossing things off, after all? Deleting is not the same thrill.

I got a surprising charge of liberation – an organizing high – off of this.  It only took about an hour, too, which is a very big payoff for such a short project.  Naturally, it was so easy I postponed doing it for months before I actually did it.  But now, I feel like it’s easier to breathe.  I know where my lists are, and anything I need to jot down to not forget, do later, or rent sometime – there’s a perfect place to put it.

“Now there’s a frood who really knows where his towel is” – Ford Prefect in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams

Leave a Reply