To Do: Read about lists that aren’t to-do lists

This article from Art of Manliness has been sitting unread in my RSS list for a couple of weeks now (Maybe a ninth list they haven’t thought of, RSS to-read). The list is titled Beyond the Standard To-Do: 8 Lists You Should Be Keeping.

The lists are as follows:

  • To buy
  • To
    • watch
    • listen
    • read
  • To cook
  • To eat
  • To give
  • To talk about

(Author’s Note: I was having trouble seeing where 8 came from until I split out watch, listen and read)

This is an extremely interesting list, and I already keep a few of them.


I already have a media recommendation list. If I hear of a movie or book I want to consume, I take note of it, along with who recommended it. This lets me not only download new audiobooks from the library but also lets me find something to watch on Netflix. I need to do a better job with this list of putting TV shows on. Not only for the recommendation aspect of it but also for the “What show were we in the middle of” questions to my wife.

Buying and Giving

I keep a couple of lists of items I need to purchase, whether they’re straight-up presents for myself or things I’ll need to accomplish a project. This is a very selfish set of lists. I’d rather not talk about it.

The better life-hack/tip is to keep a list of everything other people say they want. Then you can pull that source of knowledge out come their birthday or Christmas. That has helped me with my wife for the last few years.

Cooking and Eating

My wife has all of our favorite meals on index cards. Instead of “What should we have for dinner this week?” she’ll sometimes just shuffle the index cards, and flip over the 4-6 meals we’ll have for the week. It makes meal planning a lot easier and removes one decision from our lives.

She is also constantly speaking to people about restaurants we should try. Here is the place where a more formalized list could actually help us. I could see creating a Notion database that not only has the restaurant’s name, but also a generalized location around the city, to help filter recommendations when we need them.

To Talk About

I have never thought about this list. It’s not something that would enter my mind to do. As such, it’s probably one I should begin to keep. I’m usually at a loss for topics of conversation when face-to-face in large gatherings. Having a “to talk about” list could remedy that. Or it could just make it super awkward as I take out my phone to ensure I’m a good enough conversational partner.

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