Finally I've begun keeping my life list in a more systematic way, rather than adding to the lists here and manually counting each bird to discern my total. I copied my list into a spreadsheet, which I eventually hope to expand from just an alphabetical listing to several variations, including family and species groupings. Nonetheless, looking at the list this way is enlightening.
One benefit, of course, is that it gives me an accurate total of the birds I've seen - I'm afraid my accounting has been off and I'm two birds lower than I'd previously totalled. The relieving part of this is that at least I've not duplicated any birds on the list, so I can move forward updating with assurance. With recent additions to my birds - which I'll detail soon - I'm now at 173 species, and hoping to grow as often as I can.
I highly recommend some uniform way to keep a life list. Whether you choose a birding journal with an integrated list, a checklist in your favorite field journal, a computer spreadsheet, or some other variation, as long as it works for you it can be a valuable and interesting tool for your birding. I've been petrified that this blog, which has been the only complete record of my sightings, would become disrupted, but now my life list is safe and free to expand. Let's get birding!