Brian Bailey Preface to the Revised Edition

List Not Want Not

Just in time for the season of resolutions comes the launch of 43 Things, a website that helps you find others who are trying to accomplish the same things you are. The boys at 37 Signals helped with the site development and pointed me to the launch [for the record, I believe 37 Signals will work on any worthwhile project, not just ones with numbers in the title].

The Bailey's are such over-the-top list people that it's a bit frightening, even though it brings us great joy. I would hesitate to tell anyone but my closest friends, such as yourselves, that one of our family gifts this Christmas was a To Do List notepad (yes, we've corrupted our sweet boy as well).

As list people tend to do, we make unending lists for work, home projects, and, of course, shopping. But we do have a few clever lists that may be of use to some of you. Really. Aren't you a little curious? I know, I'll put them in a list!


Believe it or not, I have a list of every movie Lori and I have seen since we started dating! No kidding. We started dating in our junior year of high school so we have now seen movies together for 17 years! For the curious, our first movie was The Secret of My Success and most recent Napoleon Dynamite. Would anyone like to guess how many we've seen? [hint: Napoleon Dynamite was a nice round number] As Pedro said, if you win, all of your wildest dreams will come true!


Lori and I have fairly complete lists of the books we've read, but since our parents weren't nearly as neurotic as we are, we're missing our entire youth. Well, we certainly weren't going to make the same mistake, so Ben does indeed have a list of every book he's ever read! Now, as funny as this sounds, he absolutely loves it. Not only does it give him a great sense of accomplishment (the boy read 86 books this year!), but it places real significance on reading. Can you imagine if you could look at a list of the books you read when you were 9? Highly recommended!


We love our annual favorites list. Lori and I started this 10 years ago and promise that even normal people will enjoy it!

Each December, we make a list of our favorites from the previous year. Here are the (somewhat eclectic) categories: TV Shows (3), Movies (3), CDs (3), Book, Magazine, Hobbies (3), Food, Dessert, Restaurant, Store, Place to Go, Least Favorite Thing to Do, Favorite Thing to Do, Game, and (recently added) Website. As with all of these lists, they are fun to make, but the true payoff comes five years later when you see that you used to watch Ally Macbeal and dream about the ultimate web start-up (didn't everybody?).

And, yes, now Ben is fully loving this. It was a wonderfully fun part of our Christmas break as we thought about the past year and read through the past ten.

Feel free to share any clever list ideas of your own (anonymously if necessary).