Sunday, December 21, 2008

Don't forget your toothbrush! Or the tickets!

I think it's well established around these parts that your humble TNRLM editor is a bit OCD, and that making lists is the Sun around which the Earth revolves. (Unless, of course, you take it on "faith" that the Sun revolves around the Earth).

There are lists for all the logical things, like the running list of things to purchase at the grocery store. (Everyone keeps a running list, right? Rather than creating one from scratch right before the trip to the store? So when you run out of -- or run low on -- an item, you just add it to the list as you go? Maybe not? Chaos, I tells ya). Or the list of things to pack you make when you go on an out of town trip. Or the wish list at Or the Outlook Task List for things to do at work. Or the Google notebook list of things you want to reference for a "potpourri" post later that week. You get the idea. Lists are good.

We got into a debate of sorts around these parts earlier this year, when one of my compatriots forgot something that might have been helpful, or even necessary, when attending a major college football game: the tickets.

Back when I was one of the primary drivers and organizers of the tailgating expedition, I developed a handy pre-launch checklist that looked something like this:

And when I travel, I use a checklist (that's both on the PC and the CrackBerry) that looks something like this:

But for those less inclined to generate their own lists, there's a great service that will help you create a travel checklist, called "Don't forget your toothbrush."

All you do is create a quick user ID and password, and the service will walk you though developing a comprehensive list. It's mainly designed for our of town travel, and has some awesome features. Of course, there's the "check off items you want to pack" part. But it also systematically asks you about other pre-trip preparations you might want to make (arrange for a babysitter, what to do about the pets, check your passport to make sure it's current, charge all your batteries, stop the papers, pay bills that will come due while you're gone, empty the fridge of stuff that will rot, turn off the pool heater, adjust the thermostats, set the alarm and lock the doors, etc.). At the end, it will generate a printed checklist for you for all the activities and packing you need to do, AND email you reminders (with associated activities) leading up to the departure date.

Some folks I know might want to add signing up for this service to their To Do list.

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