I love lists. All kinds.
To do lists. Bucket lists. Fun things to do lists. Lists of places to eat. Lists of books to read. Lists of things I love about my partner. Christmas card lists. Lists of goals and dreams.
My day begins with a list. The things I hope to achieve and the things I have to do. Sometimes I’ll do a chore and then add it to a list. For the simple joy of striking it off.
But lists can be overwhelming, fearful things if you give them too much power. Lists should be helpful and inspiring – full of the promise of order and getting things done. They shouldn’t leave you wanting a headache tablet and a good lie down.
Here are some of my favourite kinds of lists to help bring some organisation into my busy life. Yes, this is a list of lists (be still my beating heart).
The 3am List
Ideas race around my head at an alarming rate. They tend to gather speed at about 3am in the morning. It’s when all sorts of inspiration strikes. I keep a little notepad and pen near my bed to pin those ideas down. Sometimes they aren’t quite as amazing as they seemed in the wee hours. But at least I don’t spend all day wondering if the idea of my life slipped through my fingers. If the idea is good, then it gets transferred into the relevant notepad.
I have a notepad for each of the big projects in my life. This blog has one as does my consulting business. I also have a generic things-to-do notepad. I pop down ideas, random thoughts and things that I think I might like to try. I write down blog ideas, draft points and ideas for tweaks. I review those ideas, and if they become something I want to start doing, I transfer them to them into the general to-do-list and then into my bullet journal.
The Birthday & Anniversary List
If you have ever been inside the tiniest room of the house in a home belonging to a Dutch person, you have seen the perpetual birthday calendar. I think it’s such a great idea. A lovely Dutch person has even created a free printable for you, and shared the story of the calendar. We have gotten a bit lazy with remember birthdays thanks to Facebook. But I think a perpetual calendar of birthdays and anniversaries in a spot you can’t miss is the way to go.
The Reverse Bucket List
Sometimes, when you are climbing a seemingly insurmountable mountain, it’s a good idea to look back and see how far you have come. The reverse list is where you list the goals and dreams you have already achieved. It can be quite surprising – in a good way.
The Bullet Journal
I love this way of organising information and having both a micro and macro view of what needs to happen. You can find out more here. Let me know if you do it, and how you find it.
The Mind in Order List
Sometimes I feel like I just need to take a step back and assess my life. I like to look at the various areas of my life that are important to me and spend some time with each of them. I do this when I feeling overwhelmed and anxious. At times I can drown in the minutiae of things – I can’t see the forest for the trees. This exercise allows me some clarity. You can use this printable to help if you want to do the same thing.
The Shopping List
The weekly shopping is much easier with a concise list. This is template my family uses. You are welcome to use it too.
The Weekly To Do List
I like a clear idea of what needs to be done within the week. I use this template daily. You might find it useful.