I use Ta-Da lists. I really like keeping lists on-line because I can update them from any computer or my iPhone. What’s great about Ta-Da is that you can keep many, many lists. I’ve got 25 at the moment.You can also share lists with other users. I find it very useful to share the grocery list with my husband, for example.
Some my dissertation lists:
- the “my dissertation argues . . .” list. When I have a big idea about the purpose of my project, this is where it goes.
- the “freewrite” list. When I get stuck writing, I can refer back to that list for topics that need some more exploration.
- the “reasons why I’m writing a dissertation” list. This one is handy in moments of doubt.
- my “professional” list. This keeps track of things like paying dues to professional organizations and other tasks related to getting a job.
- the “anecdote” list. When things happen in my daily life related to my dissertation topic, I write them down for later use as paper/talk anecdotes.
If you have a habit of forgetting to write things down, you might try Jott. You can call their 800 number and leave yourself messages that are transcribed to your desktop application and available on-line. Edit: Jott’s services are no longer free as of February 2009.
Real Simple had two cute paper list makers in their January issue. One was a small notepad that said “I will do one thing today.” It could be perfect for the overwhelmed. One thing is so much better than no things.
The other one I liked was the List ME . . . Doodle ME pad from Broadway Paper. As Real Simple suggests, “Doodle to get those creative juices flowing; cross off items to stay on task.”