When you’ve lost your list

Years ago I kept a list of my todos in a Field Notes notebook. I carried it around in my back pocket and loved having my list available to review and edit. 

At the time my oldest was a toddler, and as curious as toddlers are he was fascinated in my notebook. In an instant he grabbed it and dropped it into the filled-with-water bathroom sink. 

In a second I saw weeks worth of tasks disappearing before my eyes. I panicked, realizing that my carefully thought out plans for that day, as well as upcoming tasks for the days and weeks ahead, could be lost instantly. 

Thankfully, I was able to dry out the notebook; and despite some pen smudging, recover all the data. 

That, though, cemented in my mind the importance of trusting my systems and knowing that when I recorded something I’d have a means of knowing my task was properly sorted. 

This is why I’ve switched todo and note systems over the years. At one point I was an avid user of Evernote; but due to some issues with syncing I couldn’t trust that my notes were safe. I had the same with Apple Notes at one point and moved exclusively to Bear Notes for years because of this. 

For the last few months I’ve kept a list of every article idea I wanted to write, and dutifully crossed off items once I’ve written (or decided not to) write on a specific topic. 

Last week I made a mistake on the Apple Note that holds the main list of article todos. I didn’t realize the mistake until I’d gone too far to undo. As a result I now have a list of hundreds of article ideas, a certain percentage of which are things I’ve already written on. 

I’ve attempted to search up each item and cross reference against my past list of articles. However, it’s not as easy as I would expect, and I’d rather spend time writing new content than verifying against old content. 

So, if over the next few months you see a repeat of an idea I’ve written on before, please forgive it and hopefully my new take is better than my first! I’m going to move on and let go a little, trusting that even though my system broke down a little, on the whole it has more value than not.