Monday list.

A couple weeks ago, I discovered that there are 3×5 cards with squares instead of lines. More accurately, they are printed as graph paper rather than notebook paper.

I was thrilled.

I think in pictures, in charts, in drawings on napkins. Ideas are related to each other as blocks rather than as lines. These cards let me capture that.

What they don’t let me capture is what needs to be done.

That isn’t the fault of the cards, that is the “fault” of the card creator, the thinker, me. I’ve been jotting notes and lists and blocks of information on cards for the past two weeks and none of it was getting onto a coherent list of tasks.

So I took my pile of cards, of scraps, of notes (lower left in the picture) and they are all in a google documents file called “list for may 11 week.” (If you really want to see that list to find out if YOUR project is on MY list, email me and I’ll share the file with you). I’m starting to work through the list in my usual non-linear manner.


1. Find the way to capture thinking that suits how your brain thinks. If pictures, use picture capturing paper. If mindmaps, then use mindmapping software. If lists, use lists. If on a really big white board, then have Matthew hang your new whiteboard on the wall of your office. (Wait. Sorry. That was something on MY list).

2. Find the way to interface that capture technology with kind and timing of output the rest of the world needs. Some of my thinking needs to be available in the form of emails, posts, summaries. Some of it needs to be available in the form of answers for other people. Some of it needs to be available in the form of gifts and affirmations. Some of it needs to be available in the form of timeliness. I need to process that through to how THEY/YOU need the information.

3. Make the list isn’t doing the work. I’m going to try the “change the world in an hour” technique I used last week one day. Enough hours will get something significant done.

4. Writing the post about the process isn’t doing the process.

Oops. Okay. Bye.


4 responses to “Monday list.

  1. i write lists to free my brain from burden, but being very visual I find the lists aren’t enough. I haven’t resolved that issue but love that you too are sorting that out still

    my dad was an index card person = i am too – i like the neon ones

  2. Karen, I’m convinced that for some of us, there is not an absolute organizational system because part of what we are about is novelty and creativity. So I’m afraid that we have to build in the lists to blocks to lists to blocks.


  3. I used strictly blank 3×5 cards. The catch, I have created and downloaded templates to make the cards I want as I need/want them. I can print my existing software based todo list straight to cards (sorted by project or context). I can print graph paper. Horizontal lines. Vertical Lines.

    It gives me the flexibility of having dozens of different types of cards available without nailing myself down to one.

    Of course my favorite is still just the blank card. Noting better than a clean slate to create on.

  4. Chris – thanks for stopping by. I know what you mean about the blank cards. The simplicity can be powerful. But on 3×5 i get lost in the blankness. Give me large sheets, however, and a sharpie…