Making lists


I have never been a very good listmaker.

Well, I can make the list, but I usually lose the list in about 5 minutes.

My list(s) tend to be virtual lists, which isn’t always a good thing, becuase I have a tendency to forget things in about 5 minutes.

I’ve reached my limit, though, and I’ve just made myself a list of things that are going on.  My struggle is with how detailed to make the list.  Currently, the list has 25 items on it.   Some of those are pretty simple, one or 2 steps and the task will be done.

Others, though, could be expanded to lists of their own with about 25 things on each list.

I have to watch the temptation to add tasks to the list purely for the sake of being able to cross things off.  Stuff like:  take a shower.  Eat breakfast.  Brush teeth.  Go to bed.

Lately, I’ve been flying by the seat of my pants, working on whatever happens to bring itself to my attention, or seems the most interesting or…

Sometimes I can hyper-focus on a project, but most of the time, my attention span is pretty short, and I need to work a little bit on a lot of things.  I’m going to try, though, to see if I can stick to a list.  A list that will have variety to keep Easily Distracted Girl happy, but yet help her get some tangible progress made on all of these different things that keep distracting her.

So here’s what I want to know from all of you: what are your tips for making/using your lists??  Technology?  Paper and pencil?  What goes on your lists?  Do you have lots of lists? Or do you struggle like me with lists?  Tell me about it!

Everybody who posts a response (before Sunday at 5PM) will be entered in a drawing to win a handmade fiber postcard.  I’d show you a picture, but I haven’t made it yet.  Well, it depends on who the winner is:  if the winner is participating in the MQResource Aesop fable postcard swap, I’ll make you a NEW postcard.  If you aren’t, you’ll get a postcard depicting an Aesop fable, because I can’t count and I made an extra one.  I can’t show you the picture, yet, though, because I haven’t mailed them yet.

edited at 5PM Sunday:  the drawing is closed, but if you still have list ideas, please post and let me know!


  1. Melinda says:

    I like the idea of lists but I am like you. Once I make the list I usually lose it and never see it again. I would love to be more organized and I think making (and using) lists is important. I think I will try again. I have found that if I have a specific place for my lists I do better so I will get one of my fabric covered steno books and dedicate it to my lists. I think this might help me – do you have a special notebook or something like that to write your lists in?

  2. Mary L says:

    I like lists and in my working life they were essential…too many deadlines and due dates to deal with. I like to be able to cross things off a list, but lately I’m becoming more and more easily distracted too. My finish rate has gone way down and my attention span keeps shortening.

  3. Diana Wilson says:

    I am a big list maker. I keep a running To-Do list in word format on my computer. I like to see the items crossed off. It gives me great pleasure to see the crossed off items. I update it every day. I can plan out a week or so and often move things around or move to the next day if it didn’t get done. The only time I delete something unchecked is if it can’t be done, like a guild meeting I missed, or something like that. I will delete the finished items when I am making the list for the next week. I find if I don’t write things down on a list then I have them continuously going through my head. Writing them down allows me to “rest my thoughts” I still accomplish a lot this way.

  4. Deb says:

    I have a technology suggestion. It would be even better if you had an iPhone, but it’s still a good online list I think.

    I keep track of the names of the new people we meet, the things we need to buy for the house and the things I need to get done.

    • Suzanne says:

      No far suggesting I need an iPhone. If I could have one in this small town, I probably would, but apparently Apple and AT&T have decided we aren’t worth their trouble.

      But I will check out the website!

  5. Kathy E. says:

    I LOVE Post-It Notes! I have them everywhere. The ones on the refrigerator are used for shopping lists. I have a post-it cube on my desk and the doors on the desk are covered with things I need to remember or “to do” lists. If you want to get fancy you can color coordinate your lists… one color for shopping, one color for “to do” things, one color for things to remember, etc. I often grab the note when I head to the other end of the house to do the task listed. WHY? That way when I get there and can’t remember WHY I came to the other room the note will remind me! Kat

  6. Caron Mosey says:

    Here’s a list you won’t lose.
    Go to If you don’t have a Google account, create one. It’s free! Set iGoogle up as your home page. Use the app called “My ToDo List” and fill in what you want to accomplish. It works for me to keep track of my sewing projects, website goals, etc. I don’t use it for stuff like grocery lists or errands, strictly for sewing and business. I LOVE it!

  7. Kathy W. says:

    I am constantly making lists, from grocery store, people to call, appointments to make, appointments to keep, things to do today, things to do tomorrow and so on and so on… I use any piece of scrap paper I can find, or post-it notes, or notes on the computer. I have lists everywhere for everything! It’s kind of ridiculous but it works for me. Unfortunately, for every one thing I cross off I seem to add two more. Such is life.

  8. Jami says:

    I use the old fashioned pencil and paper for my lists. I have found that I’m to easily distracted (like you) lately and if I don’t have it wrote down, it doesn’t get done. I try not to make a long list…it’s to discouraging to look at! Right now, my list has…to go Traer, pack for the quilt retreat, line up dog sitter, quilt 4 quilts before retreat. That’s enough for now! I’m hoping it all get’s done by Wednesday!

  9. Jo Ann says:


    I make lists and have done so for many, many years now.

    Good ol’ fashioned pen and paper (spiral notebooks for two of the three lists I keep) work best for me. I keep three…one for my quilting business, one for my “To Do” stuff around the house and for family, and one for groceries and errands that I need to run in town. (When I worked outside my home, I kept a list there, too.)

    I love being able to cross items off my list(s). It’s such a good feeling and looks like I’m accomplishing something!

  10. Warty Mammal says:

    Yep, like everybody else who posted, I’m a list person. Maybe it’s in our genes?

    Some lists are on the computer. For example, in my Quilts folder, there are lists of future project ideas and lists of shows or exhibits I think are neat. The latter gets turned into an Excel spreadsheet deadlines or dates and is on my bulletin board, where I see it each day.

    Other stuff gets scrawled on paper, on these motley-looking pads I make from the backs of junk mail and used paper. Grocery lists, hardware store lists, people I need to write. Items get crossed off of those. When the page is full, I transcribe the things that haven’t happened yet to a new piece of paper, and see if I can whip through the ones that have “aged” while I’m sitting there.

    Sometimes I find old lists that got away, and they serve as kind of a humorous reminder of what I was doing six months or five years ago. “Gosh. I still haven’t cleaned out that sock drawer yet, have I?”

  11. Nini Morris says:

    I am a list maker…paper and pencil or computer or PDA…it doesn’t matter. Once I see it in black and white I can remember it…which is good since I usually loose the list.
    I have bout two pda’s off ebay, and both have died..hmmm… so now I am off to get a new TMobile Dash. It will hopefully help me with my schedueling issues…which are far worse than my list making!

  12. Alycia says:

    Hmm – interesting replys – I learned something! I use Post it notes, and a spiral list. The post it notes are all over the place, and the list stays right where I sit to eat. That way everyone can find it, and remind me what I am doing…sometimes. But then I get distracted too, by having to pick up a child sometplace, or realizing we are out of white clothing, or seeing that the dishes are really really dirty…. Good Luck – and tell us what you come up with!

  13. Kim s says:

    The only list I make are for shopping… If I don’t have a list when I’m in the store I get home with everything we don’t need and nothing that we do. I use note pad specially for making list that has a magnet on the back. I keep it on the side of the fridge with a pen near by. Dan has learned the hard way that if it’s not on the list it…. I don’t buy it.

    I’m easily distracted too. mmmmm maybe I need to make more list!

  14. Carla Riggs says:

    I used to use a Calendar; then I began to forget to check the calendar… so now I use 3″x5″ cards. The size is small enough to put into your shirt pocket or purse, so I can always carry some with me. No matter where I am, I can jot down a note to myself (I have to catch these thoughts when they appear or they’re lost forever). When the card is filled & items crossed off, I toss it. If I’ve copied a telephone # or birthdate, I can transfer it to my computer or calendar when I get home.
    Easy peasy.

  15. Jan says:

    I always buy the envelopes that go on sale at the card shops. It seems there are always more envelopes than cards for some reason and the sell them downright cheap.. I put my list of things to do and any erands and shopping lists on the outside, then put all my reciepts, coupons, dry cleaning stubs and the like on the inside. Then, as I complete my tasks, all the information and documentation is on the inside. Makes it really easy and I can make it home with all my receipts in the envelope and not floating free in my purse. The envelopes are all pretty colors to, so I don’t have to search through my purse for it.

  16. Susan says:

    I use a 3/5″x5″ graph paper notepad that stays on the end of my counter. I write my list for every day and the previous day, I save by flipping the page over and keeping it in place with a rubberband. I love finding my old lists because there a huge source of history. There is a fun book called the Book of Lists: what your to-do list says about you and an interesting blog too all about lists by the author…

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