Thoughts on the Long List - Preliminary - What system to use?
Wednesday, October 4, 2017 at 7:00
Mark Forster in Articles, long list, simple scanning

Much of the work I have been doing on the subject of the long list has been testing out various long-list systems to see which would be the best for my purposes.

What I required was a system which fulfils the following criteria: 

Not a lot to ask.

I came to two conclusions:

  1. Only one system ticks all the above boxes and that is Simple Scanning (scanning round and round the list doing whatever stands out without any formal method of clearing undone tasks). This is a very annoying conclusion for me because I first started using Simple Scanning in 1997 and have spent the past twenty years trying to invent a better system. The reason I did this is because at the time I didn’t understand what it was the best system for.
  2. More important than which system you use is that once you’ve chosen one you stick to it. None of my theories about the long list will work if one keeps changing systems. Again this is a very annoying conclusion for me because I could have spent the last twenty years becoming a multi-billionaire and secret ruler of the world. Not too late now perhaps… mwahahaha!

Finally, a bit more background reading:

Natural Selection Changes the Emphasis

Article originally appeared on Get Everything Done (
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