I love todo lists. Always did, always will do.
ToDo-Lists and me, we’ve got a long, fruitful relationship.
These days I house them in the iPhone-app Things. It’s pretty neat little program; swift, does what it’s told, doesn’t do what it’s not supposed to do and using it makes me happy. Weee. My notes for Traces of Chaos live in Things and so do my blog ideas, my shopping list and even strange, small reminders like “write your diary” and “take your thyroid medicamentation” and “remember to transfer your student loan payment.”1.
At first Things seems to be a pretty complicated system, with projects and project areas, active, inactive and timed tasks, the ability to tag tasks and blah, blah, blah2 – but in the end using it boils down to two little rules:
One thing Things3 does is to put a smallish, but tremedeously ANGRY red Böbbel at the upper right of your Things Icon showing you how many tasks you’ve flagged as “Do Today” are still left. It’s prolly a good thing for many people.
Now, I’ve got quite a contrarian nature. I’m stubborn. I know that. Try to tell me what to do, no matter how you phrase it, I’ll resist out of principle. It’s a streak that has gotten me into as much trouble as it has solved problems, but there you go. I’ll happily work on my own, puzzle around until a solution is found or I am ready to ask for help – but try to force something on me, advice or otherwise, and I’ll out-stubborn a mule.
And now there was that angry red Böbbel full of righteous indignation, yelling “Here! HERE! So many tasks you’ve flagged! LOOSER. So much stuff you’ve still got to do. Can you hear me? LAZY ASS.”4
And I went, “Piss off. I know what to do. I’m going to play WoW. :P”
Anyway, Things is a sweetheart and a life-saver. It has settings for little-angry-red-Böbbel. You can make it even more angry or you can shut it up and sent it to bed. So I turned it off and I’m happily ticking off my todo-lists again, only checking upon my ToDo lists when I want.
Choice, it’s important.
And sometimes the stumble blocks on the road of productive creativity are small and silly and just as easily overlooked as they can be fixed.