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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Lists I loathe; lists I like.

Loathe:
To-do lists, which remind me of things I don't want to do anyway
Shopping lists, which I always forget to take to the store
Lists on paper, which I am likely to throw away as dusty clutter

Like:
Lists of things I've already done
Lists to keep track of things I really want to do
Lists online

A friend was talking about her to-do list today, updating it.  If she had erased the unaccomplished items and just listed the ones she's done, it would have looked really impressive, but she didn't do that.  She told us about the things left undone.  Very honest, she is.

I've never been a list maker myself, but in the past couple years, I've developed a love of two online list making services:  Ravelry and Goodreads.  On both of them, I can track what I have done as well as what I want to do, and they create no clutter.

Ravelry is for all my knitting projects.  I love that I can track what I've made, in what yarn, with which needles, for whom, with photos, and as much as I want to note about it.  I also have an unrealistically long queue of projects I might like to make one day.  This is brilliant, because when I am thinking, I'd like a new hat, I can instantly look at the 35 hats I've already identified as desirable and choose one.

Goodreads is for books.  Again, I can track both what I've read and what I want to read in the future.  It is even handier now with the droid phone, because if I see a book when I'm out, or a friend mentions a book to me, I can instantly add it to my to read list.  I cannot tell you how many times I've run across a book at the library and thought, "Oh, yeah, I remember wanting to read that three years ago when I heard that radio interview."  Makes me wonder how many other books I've meant to read that never surfaced in my memory again.

As a little bonus, both of these easily feed into Facebook, so I can share my projects and books with friends far and near.  I'm not much of a status updater, so these two lists are  of my FB usage.  I was hesitant at first, wondering if people would tire of seeing my books and knitted items, but it turns out a lot of people like to talk about books to me now that they see my lists.  They don't necessarily talk about the books I'm reading, but about books in general, what they're reading, what they like to read.  I love it; that's why I started posting my book thoughts here, too, rather than just list them to the side.  The more people talking about books, the better.  

I wonder if there are any other lists I'd like to keep.  Do you like lists?  What kinds?  Use any good websites for lists?

3 comments:

Tracy said...

Very cool! I love lists....and checking them off!

The Reader said...

I really am a list-lover. I forget stuff otherwise.

What I really need is a blog post idea list -- I think of something to blog, don't write it down, and never can remember what I wanted to say.

I need to check out the reading list site; you mentioned it before, and I forgot.

But I agree, an Already Done list is way more fun than a To Do list.

Missus Wookie said...

I ADORE Evernote - I have lists for emails to send, phone calls to make, reports to write, presents to buy. Web Articles (copied to read offline) to study.

We also use Wookie's choice of Zenbe lists which we can both add to and sync up.