List of Lists

A few thoughts on list-making. When I read, I make lists. When I walk in the woods, I make lists. I think best in lists. God forbid I find myself without a pen, because I’ll get downright cranky. Perhaps that’s why I dislike long showers. I fear that I’ll forget those small flashes of thought that tend to flicker through my head as my eyes are shut and the water rushes down my face.

There is little I like better than writing my lists, except perhaps, reading other people’s lists. You could say I’m a list voyeur. I love reading other people’s lists. I’m partial to lists of goals and bucket lists, and year long roundups. I love reading about people’s resolutions. Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings, is filled with the lists of creative people throughout history.

Lists always give me a great starting point and reference for projects of all kinds. Simply the act of writing a list helps me to organize my ideas and shape my thoughts productively.

And then there is the joy of choosing what to write your list on. I have lists on my computer, hundreds of lists in Evernote. I have notebooks big and small. My favorite, usually, is my smallest Moleskine, which has a pocket to keep the lists that didn’t make it in the book and were scribbled on the back of an old envelope, receipt, or library slip. I’ve since upgraded my daily notebook to a Cambridge Action Planner, which has lined pages and a few inches of blank space on the left of the page to write lists.

Lists on The Second Lunch

There are quite a few lists on the Second Lunch; some written, some visual, mostly because it’s the best place I’ve found to put things like this in a searchable place. I’m working to update this page, but here are a handful of them.

Self Care Shortlist: updated summer 2024

Reading ListsQ1 2017, summer 2010, Fall 2011 cookbooks, alternative food reading,  2014 Man Booker Long List, 52 Personal Development Books for 2018, Q1 2020, Q1 2023

Food Ideas: very quick comfort meals, things to do with: ground meat; bulgur wheat ; broccoli ; tomatoes ; beans

Quests: Lobster Roll Quest ,1000 new fruits and vegetables to try

Kitchen Resolutions: 2012, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2020, 2022, 2023

Travel: Savannah (1, 2, 3, 4); Texas; Mount Washington; Race Point Beach

Joy, happiness, and gratitude: Small Comforts, Things that Spark Joy

Seasonal Lists: winter 2011, October 2014 Goals

Advice: hosting a dinner party

BBC Big Read (not my own list)

Elsewhere: 2022-2023 Winter Good Things Guide (20 pages, downloadable pdf)

Lists that I’d like to write (or update) this year

  • quarterly reading lists (Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4)
  • books to read for an alternative MBA
  • my favorite personal development books
  • monthly lists of in season fruits, vegetables, and favorite meals
    • (Jan, Feb, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December)
  • seasonal to-do lists (winter, spring, summer, fall)
  • an emergency preparedness kit
  • a year of great documentaries to watch each month
  • a list of challenging recipes to try
  • a list of music history to work through
  • a completed outline of my Turkish cookbook
  • a completed outline of my everyday eating cookbook
  • seasonal cookbook reviews (winter, spring, summer, fall)
  • 365 prompts for my wellness journal
  • Update to my wellness wisdom reading list
  • a fitness and races bucket list
  • an outline of my ideal day
  • a travel bucket list
  • 52 ideas to cook in the InstantPot
  • 52 recipes from cookbooks I already own
  • 1000 new fruits and vegetables to try
  • an updated list of resources for women in business in New England
  • an updated packing list for Reach the Beach and other relay races
  • update my personal achievements bucket list
  • ways to embrace the woo
  • 100 Michelin restaurants to eat at (arbitrary number there)
  • Year end review