I love a todo list. It captures my goals and desires in a semi-succinct and concrete way. There are hundreds if not thousands of todo apps and methods. But to me personally, one stands out above all the others.

A simple 3x5 notecard.

This is a how-to or a help article. This is a love letter.

A love letter to paper.

The simple idea of writing down your list of things to do on a physical surface with your own hand is something I love. There’s something very physical about it that typing out a list or keep track of tasks in a gantt chart or burndown pile doesn’t quite match. And more importantly, it takes effort on your part to get rid of a paper todo list. It isn’t something that be easily deleted like it never existed.

This isn’t me just hating on electronic todo lists. There are many fantastic app that sync across devices and offer alerts and all sorts of customization. And I think they’re great tools that I wish I was able to use better.

But when you add a reminder to your list of things to do, it disappears. Not in a literal sense but a cognitive sense. The screen quickly shows something else and in my mind the list is conceptually pushed back to the ones and zeros it really is. Even with alerts and noises all, it is easy to forget a digital todo list.

Additionally the fact that you’ve used your muscles to write out your list helps you remember the list better .

However, a simple 3x5 notecard has its own share of issues. It’s hard to edit tasks or break tasks apart. Culling duplicates requires effort. And communing ruins the whole thing if you left your todo card at home. Not to mention the physical waste it generates.

I’ll talk about my particular todo methodology in a future musing, but for today, I just want to declare my appreciate.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash