The Big List

I did a lot of stage management and theatrical production in college. I loved it, and I imagine a lot of that is because it allowed me to organise everything ever. Perhaps this is why big projects don’t really freak me out too much – they’re just opportunities to corral madness, which is an activity I seem bizarrely drawn to.

I don’t really have any involvement in theatre these days, unless you count being present in Edinburgh during August, but there are SO MANY production things I use on a daily basis, particularly Stage Manager-y things. My favourite and most useful of which is the Big List. You may have many, many little lists on scraps of paper, in your email, and scribbled in pen on the back of your hand (guilty), but the Big List is the glue that holds the show – and post-college, my entire universe – together.

The Big List is what it says on the tin. And EVERYTHING goes on it. It’s really just a way to keep all the smaller lists you have running at once friendly with each other. It’s dumbed-down project management. It’s simple. It’s soothing. It works.

Whenever I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed, by a single project or ALL of the Life Things, I remember that all I need is a Big List. When everything is out of your head and on the list, you can breathe because you don’t have to actually keep track of all the things anymore. The List does it for you. And then you can break it down.

Back in the dark ages of college, before iPhones and shared calendars and apps and all the tech business we have now, my Big Lists were always in a Word doc, updates periodically printed to be placed in the front of my notebook and scribbled on. Now I’ve moved on to Big List of the Future, first in a Google doc, and very recently in Trello. (I’ll review Trello in a later post, but I will just say right now, after only a week, I am loving it.)

In any case, this is the Big List for my epic trip. I wanted to lay it down here so you can see what I’m dealing with. Right now it’s just high-level categories, but it will soon sprout details. I’ll update it as I progress, and I’ll link out to all the bits I write about along the way.

Adventure prep GO


  • Clear credit card debt
  • Student loan management
  • Savings
  • Money on the road
  • Permanent address


  • Current job
  • Current freelance work
  • Location independence


  • UK citizenship
  • Gear needed
  • Tech upgrades
  • Medical
  • Getting rid of all my extraneous crap
  • Storage of the crap I don’t get rid of

On the road

  • Accommodation
  • Transportation
  • Insurance
  • Data storage and backup
  • Rough route plan

Leave a Reply