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The Power of Good Old Checklists

The Power of Good Old Checklists
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I left my house for work this morning, knowing that I’m going to go from the office into a whole other world: PodCamp. So, I had to have everything read, because I wasn’t coming home. I said to myself, fleetingly, I should write a checklist. I didn’t.

So far, here’s what I forgot:

  • Videocamera recharger – cost for batteries $20 minimum.
  • USB for iPod (recharger)- cost for recharger at Apple store $30.

I’m already down $50 and I haven’t bought anyone a beer yet.

Checklists Have Value

So, I’ve been writing about this theory called Small Boxes on one of my blogs, and what I think is this: the very physical form of using something like a paper 3 x 5 index card as an organizing/executing building block. Were I to have built simple checklists on paper, I’d have caught my error. Checklists are a way to ensure completion, and this would’ve been of great value to me.

Checklists Are Searchable

If you save the cards, you can sort back through various checklists. Not as useful as 37 Signals’ Backpack or something, but very useful to your headspace.

I’m no luddite, but I’m starting to lean towards paper for certain headspace activities. Brainstorming was first, and now checklists.

What’s your take? Are you going digital? Do you really use your FranklinCovey all the time? What’s your organizing/execution tool of choice?

–Chris Brogan wishes he had listened to this advice before running PodCamp this weekend. If you’re coming to VON next week in Boston, get in touch. Chris would love to hang out with Lifehack readers and practitioners.

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Last Updated on July 12, 2021

Lifehack Reviews: 50 Best Life Hacks for Your Life

Lifehack Reviews: 50 Best Life Hacks for Your Life
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Do you want to be as productive as many of us, but missed a lot of actions at lifehack.org during the year? We’ve selected the best 50 life hacks, based on their popularity and contents in different categories. Invest your time – read them. Bookmark this page and mark reading them as one of your new year resolutions.

Communication, Writing, Studying

  1. My Best Presentation Tricks
  2. The Business Card Game
  3. Persuasive Writing for Students, Webmasters, Bloggers, and Everyone Else
  4. 7 tips of handling your Emails without feeling overwhelmed
  5. Writing as a Form of Self Healing
  6. Advice for students: Writing by hand
  7. Yes, But Do People Like You?
  8. Writing – Just do it!
  9. A good place to study
  10. Blog your way through Writer’s Block
  11. 14 Tips for Communicating Ideas

Productivity, Creativity, Motivation

  1. 9 Top Secrets of Naturally Born Organizers
  2. Fight The Flab!
  3. More Fight The Flab!
  4. Limit Creativity, Get Innovation
  5. Precious Moments
  6. 5 Ways to Improve Your Productivity in the Office
  7. A Geek’s Best Lifehack
  8. What Kind of Paranoid Are You?
  9. Being A Creative
  10. There’s No Time!
  11. The Mysteries Behind Motivation and How To Manipulate Them
  12. Time Management: Handling Disruptions in Daily Schedules
  13. Productivity Hack: Write Mini Process Flows
  14. Design an Online Workflow

Management, Self-Management, Entrepreneurship

  1. Bare Bones Project Hacks
  2. The 10 Beliefs of Great Managers
  3. The Simplest Path to Success
  4. Letting Things Go
  5. Closet Entrepreneur
  6. Time To Discard The Portmanteau
  7. 5 Important Keys to Bootstrap Your Entrepreneurship
  8. The Most Underutilized Tool for Effective Communication
  9. Everyday Performance Reviews
  10. Meetings, @&!!$*@ Meetings!
  11. What Are You Worried About?
  12. How to Ruin Your Career In Five Easy Steps

Procrastination, Goal Settings, Life

  1. 9 Steps to Define your Goal Destination and Devise a Plan to Get There
  2. Pro-Active Steps to Prevent Procrastination
  3. Improve Your Life By Following A Schedule
  4. The Causes of Procrastination And How To Conquer Them
  5. How To Make Resolutions You’ll Keep
  6. Literal Life Hack: Cut your window of time in half
  7. New Year’s Resolutions and Deficit Thinking
  8. 6 Sleep Tips
  9. Risks versus Rewards Worksheet
  10. 5 Tips for Getting Out of Debt (and Why)
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Are there any lifehacks that you’ve learned over the past year?

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Featured photo credit: Rainier Ridao via unsplash.com

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