Traditionally, we make lists starting at the top-left corner, going right and down. But given that we don’t think in sequence, our lists should be more haphazard, says Ben Schott, author of Schott’s Original Miscellany, a compendium of lists.
Photo by puuikibeach
Writing at Real Simple, he says:
Varying the format can make a list far more useful. Start in the centre of a page and write items in spatial relation to one another, so that you create clouds of related tasks; draw a Venn diagram for party invitees so you can note how people will interact. During the 18th century, sailors in the British navy would sign petitions of grievance in a circle so that ringleaders could not be identified.
Non-linear lists can be a better alternative when you don’t know where to start. We have shown how using mind maps can unleash your creativity.
Schott’s full post has several other cool ways of tackling the traditional list.
10 Ways to Rethink Your Lists [Real Simple]