Letters From the Editor


I am surrounded by so many to-do lists that it seems like I always have a lot more to do than I’d prefer to believe. In fact, as soon as I cross something off—or, in my case, because I keep my lists in text files on my computer, erase something from—my to-do lists, another thing or three is added to its tail, adding additional tasks to the work of my workflow of my life. I suppose there are any number of better ways I could organize these lists, make them look niftier or appear more efficient, but a cold truth remains at the very center of my to-do-list problem: I’m not sure if they really work that well.

Because for all the software and life-hack solutions that exist for to-do lists, it’s still true that it’s hard to tell if the item on the list is being crossed off because it was simply done, completed, or because it was fulfilled in the best possible way it could have been.

These kinds of tasks, however, go beyond the simple “drop off laundry,” “buy milk,” or “visit P.O. Box” kinds of items. In fact, many of them belong to a much larger whole, to the task of completing a greater work, such as our current site redesign, which I am happy to report—and I believe you will be happy to hear—is nearing completion, and rapidly.

And in working on how some of the new site launch will actually happen I’ve developed new to-do lists that are based on single, easily voiced goals. For example, the goal “Migrate articles to new content structure” has within it certain tasks such as “Import How-To Articles,” “Import New York, New York Articles,” and many, many more—as you can imagine—in an order that allows the lists to serve as my guide, and my checking it off to signal to me that it’s done, at least insofar as I’ve planned it. While this seems simple enough, and could be accomplished by software and other such solutions (and probably should be), it does make me wonder about the milk.

Because those small projects, which are part of that great project-we-call-life-maaaaaaan. Yes, those projects are too often accomplished without enough planning involved. Which is, yes, why the new TMN will be live very soon—because of good planning—but the inverse of which is why the quart of milk I picked up like you asked sat in my bag all afternoon. Sorry about that.


Andrew Womack is a founding editor of The Morning News. He is always working on the next installment of the Albums of the Year series at TMN. More by Andrew Womack

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