My name is Maryann, and I’m a compulsive list maker.  When I’m excited, I make a list, when I’m bored, I make a list, and when I’m blue/happy/angry/confused/hungry/agitated, I make a list.  You better hide your notebooks, because Tornado Listmaryannia is on the loose!  Pretty much at all times.

Here’s a list I made today:

Does anyone else feel like watching
Say Anything right now? 

When I made this, I was trying to figure out all the ways a person could spend their time, and if any of these ways were/are inherently “better”.  I was indeed having an existential crisis on behalf of humanity, but no longer!  It’s just such a relief knowing I have the power to capture the complexities of the human condition so concisely and in about 5 minutes.  Right?  Right.

What, would you say, ya do here?

MORE Lists

(1) Things to notice about the above list:

  1. Most of the “THINGS TO DO WITH LIFE” are broad terms encompassing a veritable menagerie of activities.  For instance, “Raise Things” includes (but isn’t limited to) farm animals, crops, children, and barns.
  2. That grid with the T’s and W’s is a pictorial representation of a maze data structure and is completely unrelated to my list.  Matt was using this board to do some design work, and he left too much whitespace open and vulnerable for hijacking.  This is your final warning: hide your notebooks, hide your loose-leaf, hide your whiteboards, and hide your pens – I am coming for them.
  3. Those out of context items on the right are indeed another list.  Blogger, Accountant, Comic, and Nursing Home Worker are occupations that I wanted to verify were somehow represented in “THINGS TO DO WITH LIFE”.
  4. I seem to be missing a provision for leisurely fun. Or maybe I was thinking this falls under “NOTHING.”  On a scale of 1 to Full Metal Jacket, how hardcore am I?

(2) Criteria to use when evaluating a list

  1. Accuracy
  2. Relevance
  3. Completeness
  4. Conciseness
  5. Organization

(3) Things I like to do with lists

  1. Make
  2. Evaluate
  3. Check twice
  4. Complete, as in TODO lists (rare)

Till next time – Toodaloo!

9 Thoughts on “Listomania

  1. I wonder when people started keeping lists. The Genesis creation story had a list. Let’s see, God’s todo list for the week:
    Day 1: The heavens, the earth, light and darkness.
    Day 2: Heaven
    Day 3: Dry land, the seas, and vegetation.
    Day 4: The sun, the moon and the stars.
    Day 5: Living creatures in the water, birds in the air.
    Day 6: Land animals and people.
    Day 7: Sleep in, take it easy, think about upcoming week, make a list.

    I wonder what people did before they could write things down – maybe they had better memories – they had to keep all their lists in their heads?

    • I’m thinking before people could write things down, they probably just didn’t have a reason for long lists. Limited options, no grocery stores, and you did less things in a day – 1. Milk cows, 2. Water the plants, 3. Raise the barn, 4. Gather the berries, 5. Eat when hungry, etc.

      Admittedly a lot of the lists I make are just for the mental exercise of it – I never even refer to them again.

  2. Anjali on January 27, 2012 at 7:04 am said:

    At first I saw that side list of accountant, blogger, comic, nursing home worker, and I thought those were potential jobs that you wanted to do. Nursing home worker, yikes!

    Anyway, what categories did you put those in? I see nursing home worker as possibly protect things or fix things but the others are stumping me. I’d suggest changing “Build things” to “Make things” or even “Create things” because then that could encompass artists, entertainers etc – now those people don’t seem to have a place, at least not one that’s jumping out at me.

  3. Anjali on January 27, 2012 at 7:06 am said:

    Also, is there a way to get replies to my comments by email? That’d be a good feature to add, if it doesn’t exist already. Since I have this in my feed reader, I don’t come to the actual page often.

    • I will add a “subscribe to comments” button at some point so you can get comments in your email. Usually that lets you subscribe individually to the comments of specific posts you’re interested in.

      In the meantime though, you could subscribe to the comments feed:
      Then you should get all the comments from anywhere on the site showing up in your feed reader. Maybe this is what you want anyway?

  4. Pingback: Pi Pie Pie! | Mad-Eye Maryann

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