Why I love lists

Come Blog With Me – Day 26

I love lists. I have no idea how people who don’t write lists ever get anything done. Perhaps they don’t? Maybe that’s why they need people like me who love lists!

So why do I love lists?

1. They look nice
Well the ones that get created at I Love Lists events do – I’ve not managed to get to one yet, but it sounds fabulous! Some of my lists are fairly ordinary and biro scribbled, some turn into great works of art with colour coding and doodles.

Plus lists are a great excuse to buy new stationery. I love stationery too. As much as lists. Maybe even more than lists. Notebooks, coloured pens, funny shaped post it notes. *Disappears into Paperchase fantasy about lovely plain paper notebooks with fabulous textured covers, all wonderful colours and nice smells*

2. I love crossing things off them!
Anyone who loves lists will appreciate the satisfaction of crossing off a task, especially if it’s been a tricky one. And particularly if it’s the last item on the list, which signifies time to relax.

I’m not one of those people who adds things to lists specifically to cross them off though, but occasionally I am tempted!!

3. They help me remember stuff
I have to write things down to remember them. If I sat through a meeting without a notebook, I’m sure I’d have a fascinating time, but nothing would get done afterwards. And I’d lose all sorts of nuggets of information. So having lists is an essential part of my organising toolkit.

Blank to do list4. They help me prioritise
When I’m in an ultra-organised phase, I have a daily list of priorities. If something important has to be done on a specific day, or is a critical step in a project and needs me to request some information to get it moving, it becomes a priority for that day. I never put more than 3 items on the list, or it loses its power.

Having this list reminds me not to waste time on replying to unimportant or non-urgent emails, or doing trivial tasks before anything else. It means that I know that’s what I need to get done, and nothing else really matters.

I always have a weekly list on the go – sometimes a few essential items, and sometimes a list of things I’d like to get done if I have time. I’m part of a small accountability group on Facebook, and we share our weekly priority lists every week to focus us on our priorities – and we report back every week to share how we’re getting on.

5. They give writers a structure
I’ve just realised the irony of this blog post. It’s a numbered list about lists……

But yes, writing a list is a great starting point for a blog post, magazine article or even a book. You see all the books like “1001 places to get eaten by a shark before you die”? They’re just fancy lists with pictures. My blog post 7 Facts Everyone Knows About Me? That’s also based on a list. Of course.

I’m a logical person who loves putting structure around things, so this suits my natural writing method. As well as enabling me to write blog posts about all sorts of weird and wonderful topics in the guise of a useful list. I do love lists…….

So that’s me and my love of lists – do you also love lists? Why?

Do you have any tips on list-making or stationery to help with list-making?

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6 thoughts on “Why I love lists

  1. I do like lists, but instead of actually doing anything on the lists I seem to use them as a dumping ground for more items and just end up adding to the list and creating a longer list. I never really cross stuff off them and I have lots of lists everywhere!

    • That’s why I started the weekly and daily lists, to try and focus my mind a bit! I do also have many lists in many notebooks and in evernote though Helene šŸ™‚

  2. Lists help me feel in control of my world. My friend Sue would say they are another of my responses to the death of my mother when I was 6 years old. I am sure lists got my Dad through that time and I was brought up to think there was nothing more normal than a list of what needed doing over the weekend, in the week ahead, to go on holiday etc etc.

    I have to admit to being one of those people who occasionally puts one or two things that I’ve already done on a list so I can cross them off.

    • Yes, I think lists are definitely about control – for me it’s about making sure everything’s covered and not forgotten! Interesting to hear how your dad used lists to focus at a difficult time.

      I suspect I also come from a family of list-makers – although I don’t remember lists specifically in my childhood, our summer camper van trips round Scandinavia must have required a lot of lists!

  3. I love making lists but I end up with lots of lists in various notebooks and on scaps of paper and don’t cross enough things off them. I need to get more organised with my list making!

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