I love the smell of vindication in the morning! I have often stated my predilection for making lists using just pen and paper. Some have scoffed at this as being too “old fogey” for today's high tech world. Be gone, you doubters. My “less is more” approach has been validated. 


An article on, “This Is the Single Most Powerful Productivity Tool I've Ever Used,” bolsters my position. “I've tried out apps, but none of them worked quite the way my brain did. Finally, I've found something that works--a piece of paper.”


Why is a paper list superior? “The physical act of writing on paper actually helps (you to) think in a way that's different from typing on an iPhone or laptop. Writing things out forces you to be intentional about what you're writing and that increased amount of time helps to focus and prioritize things. A blank page in a notebook can hold ideas or todo lists or sketches. Even apps that try to do all of those things don't do it well. Paper has no agenda on its own. It has no software engineer making decisions that impose structure that might not work the same way your brain does.”



So there you have it. I have been “cutting edge” all along. That todo list on my desk is looking mighty smug right about now. 

Related to this, I began to wonder about those who don't make lists and wind up saying things about which they probably should have given more thought. So, I went to that Interweb thingy and sure enough struck pay dirt. 


One list was titled, “The 50 Dumbest Things People Have Actually Posted On The Internet.” This list contained some gems (verbatim): “1) Help! What's the name of the boat in titanic? 2) Why doesn't the earth fall down? It just floats in one place. Science doesn't make sence.  3) Why can't the police ever figure out who the murderer is like just ask the person who died is it really that hard? 4) The government is getting powerfulll! What happened to the first and end ment? 5) Ain't had time to play on my phone becayse I work 24/7 5 days a week. 6) When I was six my sister was half my age. Now I'm seventy. How old's my sister? 7) Why are the bears not hyper mating?  8) If dinosaurs went extinct 65 million years age, how come the earth is only 2021 years old? 9) Looking for a Tudor for 12 year old specialist maths, physics and english. 10) My daughter just tried to tell me plutonium doesn't come from Pluto. At least she's pretty, huh?” (


Social media posts also revealed some interesting thoughts on a list titled, “ “The 50 Absolute Dumbest Things People Have Actually Said On Twitter.” Obviously, some people need to think before they post: “1) My sister is pregnant. I can't wait to see if imma be an aunt or an uncle. 2) I ran into a glass door and think I might have a caucasian. 3) My joints really hurt. I think I may have Arthur Writes This. 4) How did Beyonce go number 1 in 100 countries when there's only 7? africa, europe, asia and I can't remember the rest. 5) Just finished sanding my tires so that my car will ride smoother on the interstate. 6) Heating up making cheese in the Michael wave. 7) If you don't know the difference between there, their, and they're, your a idiot. 8) Just made me some synonym rolls. 9) Why do the women never have to take a DNA test to see if it's their child. 10) In the end we are all human beans.” (


Hilarity aside, another list contained some nostalgia, “23 Common Things We Did 15 Years Ago That Seem Weird Today In Retrospect.” Do you remember: “1) Making a mix CD for your friend and printing out the tracklist for it. 2) Making sure you took your digital camera with you if you were going somewhere and knew you wanted to capture the moments. 3) Having to watch MTV to catch the premiere of a music video of an artist you liked. 4) Waiting until after 9 p.m. or 7 p.m. (depending on your plan) to call your friends on your cellphone because you were out of minutes for the month. 5) Forgetting to send back your Netflix DVDs and only realizing it when you started wondering why you hadn't gotten new DVDs. 6) Watching the TV Guide Channel to see what was on. 7) Printing out Mapquest maps whenever you needed to go anywhere (and being upset if you forgot to print them out in black and white and wasted color ink on them).” (


I wound up my search for lists with one that turned out to be my favorite, “Chocolate’s Rich Rewards” on Hooray for us! “Recent studies have revealed new health benefits of eating chocolate. There’s an expanding body of research outlining the sweet treat’s power when it comes to staying healthy and keeping your mind sharp.” (


It turns out lovers of chocolate have much to celebrate. “Chocolate can play a key role in reducing your risk of heart disease. Chocolate’s antioxidants seem to protect against plaque buildup on your artery walls. Eating a small square of chocolate that contains fifty to seventy percent cocoa on a daily basis can help lower your blood pressure, especially if you have hypertension. Drinking two cups of hot chocolate each day can improve brain health and prevent memory decline. Regularly eating chocolate can actually help you make healthy diet choices.” 


Finding vindication for my paper lists was great. Better yet, now I have  proof that the jug of M&Ms, dish of Heath miniatures and container of Pearson Chocolate Parfait Nips on my desk are are essential for my physical and mental health.


Jim Neff is a local columnist. Read Neff Zone columns online at and