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Our Lust for Lists

A journalist from Chile who works for La Tercera sent me interview questions for a story she is writing on lists (since I am the author of To-Do List: From Buying Milk to Finding a Soul Mate, What Our Lists Reveal About Us and the “world’s leading todolistologist” :). Once her story is published, I will share it. I also thought I would share my answers with you. Especially because I am planning to offer an upcoming todolistology course; this might inspire you and you might want to join me. To stay in the loop and find out more about the course, please sign up here.

New Year’s Resolutions of a Brooklyn 16-Year-Old Girl, 1956

Why do we need to make checklists?
We make to-do lists because we would be lost without them. We have too many things to do to remember them all. Writing a list relieves anxiety because we record everything we have to remember and get done. Once it’s down on the list, we can stop worrying about it so much.

Why people still prefer the tactile experience of writing their lists with pen and paper?
Although I use an online to-do list program Things, I am still a huge believer in writing a list with pen and paper. Eighty-nine percent in my listmaker survey also prefer writing lists with pen and paper. The tactile experience of writing a list in your own handwriting is a chance to settle down and detach from the infinity of the Internet and settle into yourself, to feel more grounded. Now you are in own world, thinking about what you need to today, tomorrow, or in this lifetime.

A list written in your own handwriting is more personal, like a contract with yourself. It carries more weight. I accomplish a higher percentage of the items on my handwritten lists than my electronic ones. Plus when you handwrite you can doodle and be creative, and our lists are one of the everyday places where we can be creative. Read more ›

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Posted in Lists, Press, To-Do List

Birthday Wishes 2012

Birthday wishes 2012

The conventional wisdom may be to keep your birthday wishes secret, but I believe there is a power in having your wishes witnessed, especially in list form. Here are my birthday wishes, snapshot-of-a-moment-style, 2012. I forgot one item: I wish for my memoir-in-progress to continue percolating in a way that I enjoy so that my readers will enjoy it too and get something deep, true, thought-provoking, and inspiring by reading it.

Oh. P.S. Here is a post I wrote about birthdays two years ago when I was in Colombia. I am a big believer in celebrating birthdays as much as possible, and even moreso as we get older.

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Posted in Lists, My Life

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