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Friday, February 4, 2011

{a place for everything}

If I had to choose one overall way I keep myself, my family, and my life organized, it would be through making, keeping, and following lists.

Actually, I'm probably addicted to lists. I love them, and I have been known to add something to a list that I've already completed, just so I could mark it off. :) I keep a pencil and paper in my nightstand, because it's not uncommon for me to be laying in bed and think of a million more things I need to do the next day.

Maybe it's the loss of brain cells after pregnancies and having kids, but quite simply, if it's not written down, I will not remember it. So, for my life to function, lists are my saving grace.

I make a list each night for the following day, divided into 4 basic categories:

Action Items



This covers pretty much anything, in conjunction with the calendar. I also have a Weekly Items section, for things that need to be completed sometime during the week, but don't necessarily need to be done on a certain day.

I know, some of you are probably thinking about how much you are not a list person, and how you would rather chew on nails than make one. You may even be a person that doesn't need one. However, if you're looking for a way to be more productive and organized, I would challenge you to start with making lists.

I'm an old-fashioned girl, and I like mine on paper. However, I have been known to send myself to-do e-mails, so I'll remember to add new items to my list. You can keep one any multiple of ways--just find what works for you.

Here's what my list for tomorrow looks like:

I like using an Excel spreadsheet and printing it out, but most often I use a notepad and pen that I keep on my kitchen desk. It's next to the phone and the calendar, my other two favorite things. :)

I also have lists for pretty much everything else, but those are all Excel files that I can refer to as needed. Keeping a notebook in my purse has also been key for me--I use it as much as almost anything else!

I know that making lists is just about as basic as you can get, but I also know that if you live by one, and really follow it, it can make a huge difference.

So, happy list-making!



Blogger ~Rosanne said...

I acually just started a "journal" list book.
I have cute journals that I pick up here and there and now I am using one for a list.
I write down anything that needs written down,
groceries list, Hobby Lobby list, to do list and it is all in one place and it is harder to lose a whole book than a peice of paper.
Thanks for sharing.

February 4, 2011 at 6:39 AM  
Blogger Kris... said...

Love lists! I even love your lists of lists! Beautiful :)

February 4, 2011 at 8:22 AM  
Blogger Haute Deb Designs said...

I am the exact same way with lists, but mine are post-its stuck all around the house. And, I do the same thing (with writing something down that I already did but forgot to write it on my list just to I can cross it off!). I thought I was the only one ;)

February 4, 2011 at 11:41 AM  
Blogger The Duckworth Family said...

lol, I for some reason prefer a notepad of paper too! But I just created a new file to have printed that has the daily stay the same things (read my scriptures, write in my journal, take my prenatal!) but then room to add. We'll see how that goes. I have done that before, but really often end up reverting back to the pad of paper! I have started keeping a pad of paper on the stand next to my table so when those things going through my mind are keeping me awake....I can write them down and hopefully forget about them until the next day!

February 4, 2011 at 12:01 PM  
Blogger Emily said...

I love to make lists, but I tend to be over-zelous on what I can actually accomplish in a given time-period. When I was teaching a class of 30- 5th graders I could get all my lesson plans accomplished and all our "activities" completed, often with a little time left over at the end of the day... but at home, I have a problem... I get distracted by , um, everything... any helpful hints about actually accomplishing your to-do list?


February 4, 2011 at 12:07 PM  
Blogger Jill@Barnes Yard said...

Making lists is one of my favorite pastimes! Right now I've got several going in preparation for my baby's arrival next month. After I have a few items marked off, I like to rewrite the whole thing so it's shorter and more organized. :)

February 4, 2011 at 12:40 PM  
Blogger Thirty-One Trendy Totes said...

I am a new follower! I would love it if you followed me back at

February 4, 2011 at 2:23 PM  
Blogger Drama queens mum (Kimberly) said...

I'm a list girl too. I love to write, so I have about 40 lists going on in a notebook.

February 4, 2011 at 3:32 PM  
Blogger Cindy said...

I'm too a list person! I also will write something on my list even if I did it already just so that I can mark it off. Love a day when my list is full and I've completed everything and my husband asks how my day was...I can show him my list.

February 4, 2011 at 3:50 PM  
Blogger Yvonne said...

I'm a list maker, too. It always gives me such a feeling of accomplishment when I check something off ; )

I hadn't thought about categorizing it--that would make it easier. Thanks.

February 5, 2011 at 7:03 AM  
Blogger Katie said...

I'm a list person too, isn't it so gratifying to mark off what actually gets done? I love it! Thanks for sharing these ideas.

February 5, 2011 at 11:56 AM  
Blogger corners of my life said...

I am a passionate list-maker. Even thought I rarely complete any of them it feels good to write it all down.

February 5, 2011 at 1:12 PM  
Blogger Jedda said...

I have no brain. But with my lists and calendar I at least feel like I have one :) I just got 2 new book to keep them in and they have TABS-I love that feature to keep my lists separate :)

February 6, 2011 at 4:03 PM  
Blogger Kayla said..., I was introduced to her by a friend. She has a book you can read, but her website is amazing at organizing and motivating. (I also would love Kierste to tell me how she does it all with five kids!! I have four, and my "power to do" has not "increased" yet! :) I love lists and on my everyday list I have: Pray, Scriptures, Exercise (ususally skip that one!!-but shouldn't :>) Shower, hair, face, dressed with shoes, breakfast for family, check calendar, boys off to school, take vitamins, brush teeth, drink 4 cups of water, kitchen counters, and more that fly lady has recommended. These are things I pretty much do anyway, but when I can cross them off, it motivates me to keep going, seeing that I really am getting things done, that do take TIME!! It is hard to finish the list every day, but, practice makes perfect...
When I am not home and think of something I need to do, I call my house a leave a message for myself.
Wow, this really makes me sound organized, but I am not - still trying though!!!
I love your idea to separate into categories!! Going to try that way for sure!

February 7, 2011 at 1:16 AM  
Blogger Jo Lynn said...

And I thought I was the only listmaker who wrote things already done on my lists, for the feeling of accomplishment it gives me! My husband's daughter is a counselor...and she told me that list making is a "coping" mechanism. My life can be 100% CRAZY, but it is so calming when I sit down with my paper and pen and start making my various lists:)

February 12, 2011 at 11:13 PM  

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