tools: communication part Ic

Communicating with yourself: lists & handwriting.

Many of the “trendy” gurus talk about lists and inboxes and processing and writing everything down and not keeping it in your head. I couldn’t agree more!

I keep tons of lists of projects I’m working on, things I might want to read someday, the shopping list, what fires need to be put out today… When I write these things down I find that even the process of doing that gives it a few more seconds of active process time in my wacky brain and that might either help me decide to bite the bullet and to do it or to postpone it for a better time or place.

I think typing all of this would work for many people, but I type fast and brainlessly. I was given a manual typewriter when I was 6 and I still think it was a wonderful present, but typing doesn’t require any thought for me — I can type something and have a conversation about something else at the same time.

However, writing by hand does still require some thought on my part, especially if I’m paying attention to my handwriting, which varies from neat to giving a prescription a run for its money in legibility. Sometimes I write my things in English with alternate alphabet scripts such as Hebrew, Greek, or [junior] quikscript (which I’m not good at yet). I’m not sure why this helps me but it does.

When I suffered through pre-calc in high school over a decade ago (yay!), we were allowed one sheet of US Letter sized paper to put anything we wanted on for use during an exam. The teacher also didn’t check to see if we had anything stored on our TI-8*’s … I asked him why this wasn’t considered cheating and he said that hoped that in the process of writing (and cramming with small handwriting) formulas and notes onto that one sheet hopefully transfered what we wrote down into our heads. I believe that is true even though today I couldn’t tell you one thing I learned in pre-calc. ;)

I do need to get better at organizing all of these lists as they are scattered on many different mediums — in notebooks, on index cards, sticky notes and most importantly to referring to them after I write it down!

My friend Dave just posted on To Do Distinctions I suggest you check it out .. it may require familiarity with some of the awesome forms Dave has made.. they are definitely worth looking at and trying!