for the Love of Lists

a love of lists

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.

The Notepads

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.

Getting things sorted - JPEG

click on the image for the PDF

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.

M&M Shopping List JPEG

click on the image to download PDF

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.

Weekly Schedule

click on the image to download PDF

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Are you a lover of lists? What do you use to help get your life in order? Do you bullet journal?

21 thoughts on “for the Love of Lists

  1. Claire (Pillarboxblue) says:

    I love lists and actually use a list app In my phone for day to day lists. I have a note book of lists which consists of all sorts of things, from favourite meals, songs, cities visited, jobs I’ve had etc. I just add a new one every so often. I suppose it’s kind of a list diary/memoire. The only list I never make but probably should do is a shopping list, hence I always forget something and often open the fridge and think what the hell am going to make for tea with that !

    • Robyna says:

      My husband LOVES a shopping list and I actually made that printable for him (a little more manly). I’m more of a fly by the seat of my pants kind of girl but I must the list does keep the spend confined to what we actually need rather than all the yummy on sale.

  2. The Hipsterette says:

    I love the idea of lists, especially those with tick boxes that you can mark off once a task or goal is completed. But, as you say, they can be overwhelming and anxiety producing. I have a selective photographic memory and somethings are imprinted in my brain that I couldn’t forget, even if I wanted to – but having said that it took me years to learn my own phone number. P.S. you have formatted some very lovely looking lists!

  3. Reannon @shewhorambles says:

    I am obsessed with lists, even if I am only writing them to make me feel more organised/in control in that exact moment I can’t live without them.

    I’ve taken to writing my shopping list on our blackboard & then I just take a photo of it before I go to the shops. I’m sure other shoppers must think I’m one of those phone obsessed people walking through the shops constantly checking my phone but I was so sick of losing my paper list that it’s the only way for me now!

    • Robyna says:

      Isn’t amazing how just writing everything down can suddenly make the impossible seem achievable? I need them as a mental dumping ground as much as anything. Great idea with shopping list!

    • Robyna says:

      So glad that I am not the only one to do that! If you achieve a task, and you don’t strike it off a list, have you really achieved that task?

  4. Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid says:

    I love lists. I’m a big fan of the shopping lists, to do lists and when I’m a bit overwhelmed, a “can do” list which is just like a To-Do list, except that it only contains three achievable goals. I love the idea of a reverse bucket list and we have a digital version of a birthday calendar (courtesy of Google) because we were forgetting so many birthdays it was embarrassing. And yes, like Karin, my current list is for what to pack for ProBlogger!

    • Robyna says:

      A can do list is a great idea! I still need to get onto the ProBlogger list – but so looking forward to meeting you. I was thinking of putting a list together of bloggers I really want to meet – but you know what? I want to meet everyone. 🙂

  5. Flat Bum Mum says:

    Robyna, I am a list lover too! I have a calendar, a weekly planner and a daily to do list. I love all your ideas, especially the reverse bucket list. I might give that one a go. Bron x

  6. Clare says:

    Yes to all the lists! I write a list in the morning with all the fun things like vacuum the floor, mow the grass, as well as the more interesting things like write a blog post!
    My shopping list is always in order of the shop and has to be written twice.
    I have a calendar on my kitchen wall with birthdays and appointments etc and when I get a new calendar I transfer all of the birthdays to a new year.
    I have heard of bullet journaling, but I don’t really know what it is, so I am off to follow your link right now.

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