Listing and Learning

For many in the poker world, July and August is tantamount to New Year’s. We set goals, we feel like we’re starting anew, and, in the brief reprieve from the onslaught of tournaments, many of us set our sights on self-betterment.

I am always setting goals this time of year, but this year I realized the internet has taken my presumably undiagnosed case of OCD and let the super ego dictate every facet of my life. You see, there are endless web sites that allow you to track, list, and follow your own progress about everything from your weight to your movie acumen to what books you’re reading.

I’m a sucker for all of them. I spent three hours the other day doing nothing but indexing everything I have read on GoodReads. There is something cathartic to me about lists. Part of it is I am always striving to be a better person. This goal is rather vague and difficult to quantify, but with apps and sites like Goodreads, I can create a definitive representation of exactly how well read I am and put it on display for the world to see.

You would think this love of lists would make me a Pinterest-holic, but I don’t really enjoy lists which are purely aspirational. I like tracking progress, feeling like I am getting more out of reading a book than the pleasure that comes with reading because I get to check it off a “To Do” list when I am done.

Most importantly, as someone who takes a tremendous amount of pride from her ability to refer restaurants, books, movies, TV, and music based on someone’s personal preference, I like to have sites that indicate my opinion on a wide array of just those things.

If you’re obsessed with list making, here are some sites I am fond of and where to find me should you want to track my progress too:


This movie-centric social network is fantastic because not only can you log and review movies you’ve seen, you can make and follow lists from other users, which is great when I decide to binge and address my gaps in the canon. Really though, my favorite part is how they tile the movies you’ve seen with posters, creating a beautiful visual of all the movies you’ve seen.


This is my latest obsession, as I have been very actively trying to return to my bookworm nature of my childhood and adolescence. There was a time in my life where the new Harry Potter was a six-hour read, as I can fly through a novel when I am reading at peak. Since Mom passed, I find it difficult to concentrate on only a book, which means the benchmark of what I am willing to spend time reading is higher than usual, but as you can see from my lists, there are still plenty of books to be read.

Amazon Wish List

I’ve kept items on this for years and, about a year ago, my decade-od list was somehow erased, taking the very first item, a fancy KitchenAid mixer, along with it. I’ve been building it up again since then mostly because my family never has a clue what to buy me for Christmas and birthdays, and because the Amazon algorithm of things I might want is so good and I spend countless hours mindlessly revising it to keep the recommendations as ideal as possible.

My Fitness Pal

I am certainly not on a strict diet and, as someone who still refuses to eat vegetables, so I am obviously not concerned with my health, but I do track my progress and meals on here just to keep up a sense of accountability. I have always thought if I gain five pounds, I’ll notice and do something about it if I track regularly, whereas if I don’t, I will potentially gain 15 pounds, not notice, and have to work really hard to get back down to the weight I want again.

What other list apps should I try? Is Salt worth its weight in…salt (ew)? Is there a good TV tracking site? Anything for stage shows or music you enjoy? Tell me about it or tell me if you have a Goodreads or Letterboxd account so I can follow and get some more suggestions!


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