Keep a Checklist Notebook

Record your processes into lists.

Do this for Future You, when Future You is tired or distracted. It makes a huge difference for your peace of mind.

I used to keep checklists on apps, but realized I didn’t want to turn on a Distraction Machine, I mean, an internet-connected device, every time I wanted to consult a list.

Especially when the point of the list is to keep me focused.

Enter the checklist paper notebook.

This is a notebook I picked up because I liked the feel of the paper, and figured that I would find a use for it.

Also, the cover of this one is screaming yellow. Very easy to spot.

What better for a checklist notebook?

I numbered the pages and set aside some pages for a table of contents and wrote down what I need to do, to keep myself on track.

Remember That Checklists Are Always WIP – Works in Progress

Checklists are records of your processes, and processes change. Recently I changed my job and am updating several checklists for my personal processes.

Keep Checklists Where You Are Actually Using Them

Because I start and end my days at home, I keep these lists in a paper notebook. I have other checklists for work processes, and some are digital.

Set Up Your Checklists to Help Future You, on a Forgetful Day

Your checklists are that friend who says, before you go out the door for a hike, “Hey, you wanna grab the binoculars? We might see a cool bird.”

Your Checklists Are Your Path to Being Peaceful and Unhurried

Let’s make a distinction between being hurried, and being fast.

Checklists make you faster at getting things done, because they help you not to have to re-do something, because you forget a key item.

My natural pace is quite slow, but my checklists ensure that I get things done efficiently and effectively: my checklists are what allow me to live at my own rhythm, my own pace.

But a state of hurry is inevitably a state of mindlessness.

In order to live in an unhurried way, I have to plan ahead, and set physical things up ahead of time, before I do them.

Here is the checklist I follow at the end of the day:

handwritten checklist includes check calendar for next day, check weather for next day, choose clothing for next day, lay out supplies for next day, pack lunch for next day, charge phone for next day

Checklists can bring you a lot of peace.

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Wondering how to manage your paper-based or hybrid paper-digital systems? Ask me a question.

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