Make Lists. Not War

There was an interesting question on ‘Quora’ – “How can I change my life in 30 days?”

You can read my answer at here.

My Answer: Make Lists 🙂

  • List of things you need to do
  • List of things you are currently struggling with
  • List your problems and frustrations
  • List things you want to do and want to have (a dream list? or a bucket list?)
  • Make an ideas list
  • Anything goes…

As I wrote at Quora, ‘Slowly try to strike out items as you overcome (once in a while life does helps us out), things you get done, etc. While one hand you feel like your list is getting knocked down, you will indeed add more to the list as the days pass by. But in those 30 days I’m sure you will gain momentum to take you places.’

There is some power in making a list. You are trying to figure out the unknown, bringing sense into the non-sense, certainty to ambiguity and giving shape (literally in the form of a list) to the shapeless.

List making gives us the ability to do a brain dump. I learnt from David Allen of Getting Things Done that ‘our mind is not to store information, but to process.’ Brain dumping aka list making frees our mind space for more higher order functions like processing the information, analysing and ideating. Besides list making, I am also a great fan of freewriting, which I wrote about it elsewhere. 

I Use Workflowy

Make lists, not wars. This is the interesting tagline for the web application called ‘WorkFlowy‘. It is a calm reminder for us all in using the power of the simple list to take things forward. While you can find enough resource about the app, here are things I found interesting.

  • One can add tags with # and @ which can help one to immediately categorize tasks or ideas. You can add anything anywhere and simply tag it for later re-organisation
  • Workflowy has this interesting ‘collapse/expandability’ with ‘breadcrumb navigation’ that helps you to navigate and visualise the lists both as micro and macro picture all in one tool
  • Open Workflowy to be opened in 2 different tabs – one works like a to-do list for that particular day and the other can work like a ‘capture all’ list
  • You can also use workflowy also to capture ideas and take notes. In that way it could be a powerful tool. I don’t use Evernote, while OneNote is becoming cumbersome to navigate. I am now migrating myself to Workflowy for note taking purposes. 
  • Use Workflowy hyperlinks to navigate between tasks and ideas/ info page
  • I have started to use the Android app as well. You can work on this offline as well, which syncs later on net connectivity. It is easier to use it when travelling and capture ideas/ interesting notes that one comes across

So. Make lists. Make peace.


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