Saturday, November 1, 2008

we interrupt this list




I love making lists. This little compulsion has been mentioned before, and I went into greater detail in the very first Thursday Three, which, by the way, is coming back next week, hopefully for good. Something about lists soothes my soul, in addition to making me feel productive and organized. The graphic above is cute, but would never work for me. I need something way bigger than a post-it. I do those kinds of lists.


But sometimes I think I'm in the real minority in the way I feel about lists, and that most people don't care for them at all. So I have a question to ask. I've gotten kind of an interesting idea in this godforsaken book I'm stupidly attempting, and it's all kind of convoluted and still falling into place, but in the meantime I'd really like to know.


What are your thoughts on lists? Grocery, To Do, 50 things I want to do before I die, 10 favorite baby names - any kind of list.


Love 'em, hate 'em, couldn't care less?

17 comments:

ped crossing said...

I don't know how I would survive without lists. Mine are generally project lists, grocery lists, book lists, important info lists, things I need to remember. Most are on electronic sticky notes. But I do also have a great big To Do pad with categories.

I don't understand people who don't use lists. How do they remember everything?

ciara said...

i'm a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of girl. my husband is a list maker...but i've noticed that most (anal)ytical people do lists. he always plans everything out, too, like if we go on vacation. things go haywire if we deviate from his plans. he's been like that the whole time i've known him and i know he's been like that forever. he's a creature of habit.

@ ped crossing-list or no list, i can't remember anything! lol

Maggie May said...

I make lists all the time. I have been known to set off for the shops and realize that my list has been left on the table!
One of my most useful lists is the one I use when I have to pack to go away. I usually use one sheet of paper folded in half and on one side I write Harry & on the other side I write me. I then list all our clothing requirements down & the things we will need for the duration of the holiday.
For me, lists are essential.

lv4921391 said...

I make lists and use them but my EX was "the list maker"...she had a little spiral book for her lists and of course it was off limits to me. Lists of jewelery to buy, cameras and accessories to buy, and reasons to stop smoking...for YEARS the fact that I hated her smoking was reason #1.

Eventually the last time that little book jumped into my hand, asking to be read, I was reason # 25 or so. Eventually she quit, after, I had picked her up and off the couch as she was flopping around like a fish out of water...and 3 or so hours in the Emergency Room of the local hospital. (never had a cig again and for years she did 3 1/2 pacs of Kents (70) a day.

Did the list help her quit smoking ? No but it gave me a good Idea how the marriage was working out! haha

-Ann said...

I LOVE lists. I absolutely love them.

My grocery list is a combination grocery/to-do list and takes half a page. I can't even explain it. I'll have to take a picture of one for you.

When I clean the house, I make a to-do list that is broken down by room.

When we go away, I make a packing list similar to Maggie May's in that I have one column for my stuff and one for Peter's. I also have a separate column for items that have to go in the carry-on bag.

When I'm at work, I keep a list of blog ideas to work on when I get home.

Yes, I really do live for lists. And calendars. I love calendars too.

softinthehead said...

I couldn't survive without my lists - they are my security blanket:
1.Lists of chores to get done over the week
2.Over the day
3.Groceries
4.House fix ups
5.Project lists
I love to check things off my lists - a very gratifying feeling - are we sad or what!! :) Yes lists definitely!

Anonymous said...

i used to love them. feel reassured and in control because of them. these days the length of the list and seeing all the thigns to do at once starts me hyperventilating. but i am becoming increasingly inefficient without them...so the list gets longer and the vicious circle picks up speed!
i have come to the conclusion that lists are a necessary evil. but i would like to see more things on them crossed off.

Flutterby said...

I am a lister, too, and like Maggie May and -ann, I make travel lists. In fact the travel lists are kept in a spreadsheet on my computer. There are permanent lists for traveling internationally, lists for stateside travel and lists if we are setting up short-term housekeeping in a vacation rental.

I even like to add completed tasks to a list just so I can cross them off.

Kaycie said...

Other than my grocery list, I'm not a big list maker anymore. When I worked, lists were necessary. I've given them up, mostly, since I stopped working. Paying the bills, taking care of the house and the kids and the animals, these are pretty routine things for me that don't change enough to require written reminders. I do admit to the occasional appointment reminder on Outlook, and I keep a family calendar.

The last time I had multiple lists was the trip lovely daughter and I took to Paris. I wrote absolutely everything down for hubby so the house would not implode while I was gone. He followed them nicely and the only casualty was the result of me trying to make watering my plants and seedlings easier for him. There is still a ring on my kitchen table where one of the pots leaked through the layers of newspaper and sheeting.

Aoj and The Lurchers said...

Lists and I have a love hate relationship. I love the idea of them but I hate actually doing them. If I do write one, I usually lose it or, if it's a shopping list, forget to take it with me.

Lists in my hands are wasted, and that does really irritate me!

Irene said...

Almost the only list I make a few times a week is the grocery shopping list. That is a toatl must, because I don't trust my memory and I don't want to trudge tghrough each aisle trying to remember what I need and being tempted to buy other things that I can't afford.

In the springtime I make a chores list for things to do around the apartment, but I never finish the list, it just makes me feel better to know what is in need of doing and makes it look all manageable and in control and not so bad after all. I usually decide that these things are not important enough to me and that I'll get around to them sooner or later. It doesn't cause me any anxiety when they on't get done and then one day, I spontaneously do one of them out of the blue.

Lists are here to create order in your mind, not necessarily to create order in your life.

Rudee said...

I only make lists for work. Last night's list:

Call attending to report death -done
Fax Kronos to boss-meh-I'll get to it
Call pharm-report death-done
Call DME-report death and equipment pick up-done
Transfer Data on Comp.-done

Stop making lists, it's the weekend-done.
Don't forget Kronos-it's payroll Monday!!!!!!!!

Graham Cracker said...

Lists are what makes life work! I have all kinds of lists. When there is a whole lot going on I keep a list of the lists I am working with. I'm with Flutterby in liking to cross things off. I will add things I've done so I can cross them off. I also sometimes break it down into little steps. Somtimes I write laundry and sometimes I write wash whites, dry whites, fold whites etc. It looks so much more productive at the end of the day.

Anonymous said...

I have made lists forever. I have little pieces of paper all near the computer. Drove Marti nearly crazy before her wedding with my lists, and saying to her, if you dont get this done there wont be a wedding!!!!!
If I didnt have my todo lists I wouldnt accomplish a thing! Martis Mom

Iota said...

I bonded with you ages ago when you confessed that you sometimes write things that you have just done on your "to do" list, so that you can cross them off. I thought I was the only person on the planet who did that.

Devon said...

Yes, Yes, I do have a list obsession! I usually try to hide it like a man in super large panties from Victoria's Secret!

I even have a master grocery list for the major grocery stores I shop at... Trader Joe's, Costco, etc.... When I am going to be at one of those places I print out the list and use a highlighter to indicate what I need to buy... I am often prompted to get something I am out of that I forgot I needed.

The friends who have seen me do this either tell me I need a 12 step program or get all insecure that I will judge their lack of obsessive organization! I won't, as I am sure there must be something wrong with me!

Tiggerlane said...

I have three lists going at any one time. One at work, that helps me remember all the things I need to get done. One at home, to help me get motivated to get things done during the weekend. And another for counting my daily calories that I started last month. LOVE lists.