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Listmania

March 18, 2008

The other day I mentioned that I need to start a gardening journal. I started one last night.

It isn’t the first journal I have, or even the only one. It’s only the most recently started. Although perhaps journal is the wrong word for what I’ve got; maybe ‘log book’ or something like that is more accurate.

I don’t keep a diary or a personal journal per se; for the most part I use the blog for that. It’s good for the random ranting, too , and when I need to get existential or contemplative or self-analytical I talk to my husband; he’s a great listener.

I used to write a little summary in my planner/pda when I did something memorable, like “got Bosstones tickets!!”, or “climbed a 5.9+ at Rumney“, but not only am I not that interesting anymore, I only carry a small Filofax, and can’t be bothered to write much in it aside from birthdays and doctor’s appointments. Again, the blog pretty much takes care of this.

At work I keep a notebook for to-do’s and tasks, and use the calendar system there for work appointments. I use a tag team of Google Calendar and a paper calendar for the family calendar, and Remember the Milk for recurring tasks like bills and shopping lists.

All of these things, and a lot of what follows, used to all happen in the planner, but keeping everything up to date became too exhausting; I find that keeping everything separate works better for me.

I have one book for home improvement projects; I started it when we were house-hunting, and just continued with it through the various projects that have ensued, seemingly unceasingly.

I have another for my knitting; it’s not so much for the things I want to make (I use Ravelry for that), but rather for the blow-by-blow process for each project. I track the needles and yarn I use, as well as notes on the process – like, when the instructions say “knit in stockinette until the piece measures 6 inches”, I write “46 rows” or whatever. When there’s a technique I haven’t used before, I write a description of how to do it. So basically it’s an expanded version of the pattern instructions for each project.

Then there’s what we refer to as ‘the book of lists’. I keep it in my work bag, and it comes with us when we go away, too. It’s a random collection of stuff, and an ongoing thing; I’ve had a variation of the book of lists since I was about 18. It’s got everything from Christmas and birthday gift ideas to things I want to spend the tax refund on to places I want to visit to things I want to try to grow someday. Oftentimes portions from the book of lists wind up in the other books.

Case in point, this garden book. This year’s seed order is listed in the book of lists. I had some information in my house journal – what we dug up when we bought the house, and what we planted that first year. Then I went back through the blog posts from last season. So I’ve got a solid three years’ worth of information in the book; granted, this year’s stuff is the most detailed, but going forward things will be all in the same place, at least.

I should also mention that I don’t use anything fancy, either. The knitting book is a Moleskine, just because I like them, and the elastic band keeps the pages from getting ruffled up by the yarn in my knitting bag, where it lives. The rest are a collection of spiral-bound notebooks; many are freebies from random conference goody bags.

Now, don’t think for a second I’m an organized person; I keep all these lists because I’m extremely dis-organized. My friends laugh when they hear that I write my grocery lists in order of the aisles at the grocery store; but too often I’ve come home with $80 in groceries only to find that the milk, butter, and eggs that were on the list were never purchased.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. March 18, 2008 5:48 pm

    I’m just glad my bulbs are breaking through the surface. Soon, we’ll have clematis and daisies and lavender and basil. Ah………………

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