Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Listmaker

You would think that making lists would make a person more organized, right? Well, I think this is only sometimes true. You see, I'm a habitual list maker. I make lists in several places on my computer. I make lists on several notebooks at home. I also have several different sizes of post-it notes filled with lists, all scattered around in my purse, school bag, and various rooms of my house. There's no question that it helps me to unload my mental lists on paper, so that then I can focus on whatever is before me without those thoughts cluttering my brain. But this doesn't necessarily mean that I can actually find that list again when it's time to use the information that I wrote down. Better mental clarity? Absolutely. Perpetually organized? Not so much.

There IS one component of my list-making behavior that is both deliberate and discriminating. That's my list filing system. Yes, I actually have a list filing system. This is where I keep a very small number of my most treasured lists. At one time I kept a list of baby names that my then-fiance and I had whimsically written down one evening. I've also kept a list of local businesses I discovered on trips that have websites for online shopping, so that I can order from them later on.

Most of the lists that reach the coveted filing system status, however, are lists that I don't actually create myself. My next treasured entry will be this list of affordable hotels located all around the world, courtesy of the New York Times.

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