Do you listicize?

by Health, Productivity

We exercise, we philosophize, we accessorize and we may even incentivize. But how many of you listicize?

I wish I could say I made up this word but I didn't. It came from a friend's 6 year-old daughter who, with great clarity, asked her mother “Did you listicize it?” when she was spouting off all the things she had to do that day.

I'm a listicizer. I live by my task list. I use the native Gmail task list and pull it in using GoTasks as an app on my phone. I like the Gmail tasks because I can change an email into a task and assign a date to it. If I need to follow-up with someone I simply change it to a task, assign a date and then when that day comes, I can open up the related email. The downside of Gmail tasks is that I can't mark items as repeating, which many of my tasks are. I have to go into GoTasks to do that. Not a big deal, but hopefully if more people request it from Google, they'll change it.

Some people see it as a point of pride to keep everything in their head. They point to their noggin and say “I keep everything in here”. Well, good for them. I have enough brainmeat spilling out that I don't want anything else in there that I could possibly forget.

Electronic, Paper or Hybrid?

Electronic

The benefit of electronic is you can set it and forget it. All of your repeating tasks can be set up once, you can see your tasks from any device (I use two different computers and my iPhone), and you can share your tasks easily with someone else. There is no disadvantage of an e-task list for me.

Paper

I use paper to jot down notes in the moment. When I am working Pomodoro style and get a brilliant thought or remember I need to get toilet paper (which may be brilliant if you run out when you are in urgent need), instead of writing it in my e-list, I'll just jot it down on a little notepad beside my computer and then carry on until that Pomodoro or task is completed. Then if I need to put it on my e-list I do but sometimes it's just something quick that I didn't want to forget that I can address right away. For example, today while I was in the middle of this blog post I remembered I wanted to ask my sister if she had my tripod. I jotted ‘tripod' on the notepad and then when my Pomodoro was over, I sent her a text and then marked it off the paper. I use paper task lists only for things I can get done that day. Disadvantages are that the paper list can't be shared and if you do share it, the chances they will be able to read the chicken scratch may be minimal (I did not inherit my dad's beautiful penmanship!).

Hybrid

The tactic I mentioned above is the only way I use a hybrid list. You should only ever have one main list. Sometimes when meeting with someone, it is nicer etiquette if you jot something down on paper rather than type it into your phone or computer. This depends on the type of meeting and the person you are with. I do one or the other, depending on the circumstance. Why not just put it into your phone? They may feel that you are also checking your email or texts and no longer engaged with them. However, if it's something I can just quickly type in, I prefer that method because I don't need to do double-duty.

If you aren't an electronic person and use a paper planner (nothing wrong with this if it works for you), at least have a few lists laminated. It costs next to nothing at an office supply store and you can just use a dry erase marker and wipe it off when you're done.

Examples of lists that you shouldn't keep rewriting:

  • Travel checklist – everything you should do prior to leaving and when you come back
  • Packing checklist
  • Shopping staples
  • What people/family/sitters need to do when you are away

What do you listicize? 

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Your Weekender Snapshot and Tim Ferriss’s Five Bullet Friday are my favorite emails I receive.
jim west

Principal and Managing Director, GFF Architects