Friday, June 24, 2011

household management (2b) more on lists...

Woke up, read this, and just had to post it. I do love a list-lover. Thanks, Meredith! :)

What's your favourite kind of list? Well, there's a red rag to a bull if ever I saw one!!

Can I tell you about my book of lists? I can't function without a list. I've been like that forever. Which can mean that I have several lists on the go at any one time. Which can be dangerous if there are too many scraps of paper lying about the place.

So in recent years I have taken to having a notebook on my kitchen bench. A5, spiral bound, $4 from the local supermarket, nothing fancy. And I write my lists in it.

My TO DO list for the week. Which usually includes all the weekly preparation I need to do (Sunday School, Scripture lessons etc), people to email, people to ring, people to write to and then all the things that need my attention at some time during the week. If I am not making much progress and feeling overwhelmed then yes, I add "cook dinner" and then proudly put a line through it when it is done!

And then if we are going on a holiday the packing list gets written in the book. There is also the list of possible holiday locations and other holiday planning.

The list of things I need to take to school/church/an event.

The list of books I'd like to read. On-going and added to frequently. Added to faster than items are struck off.

The list of present ideas as inspiration comes to mind.

The list of blog post ideas.

And I just scratch things out as I go. It's pretty untidy but in between the scratchings out it makes for interesting reading when I get to the end of one notebook and have to start a new one.

I also use this book to write down phone messages, prices from quotes, those bits of info you get off the phone or the internet... Basically everything that would otherwise go on a scrap of paper goes in that book.

The result - no more scraps of paper. And it is the "no more scraps of paper" that increases my efficiency in the organising and outworking of my day.

Lists are good. A whole book of them...glorious!!

Tell us about your favourite kind of list.

image is by Aunty Cookie from flickr


Fiona McLean said...

I am a list-maker too, and also have a spiral-bound notebook with list - a list of what needs to get done each week (sometimes a daily list, if things are getting very busy), a list of things to buy at the op shop or Savers next time I go, a list of books that the kids might enjoy reading, etc. Like Meredith, I have found it really helpful to have all my notes in one place, rather than on little scraps of paper - so my notebook currently includes notes for a speech I have to make next week, quotes for getting turf laid in the back garden, notes from a meeting I attended recently, and so on. I like to tear out the pages when they are obsolete. Thanks for all these ideas that you've collated, Jean!

Tasmanian said...

Yes I have the same. For the open A4 page I've divided it into days of the week and stuff that MUST get done that day. At the bottom of the page I have four more lists: "Anytime but important", "Not important/not urgent", "next month" and "projects" which are things that have a whole lot of smaller steps involved, and that I chip away at gradually! I write the days of the week and the headings in pen, then everything else gets written in pencil so I can (joy of joys) rub it out when completed.

I have a separate set of lists on my phone which is always in my pocket. There's a "to-do capture" list which catches all the to-do's that pop into my head when I'm not near my desk - then I transfer them to the desk book when I'm next there. My phone also has shopping list for groceries, shopping list for other kinds of shops (ie hardware etc.), and things to remember next time I'm at school, at work etc. Also there's a list of kids clothes I already have in each size so when I am op-shopping I don't end up with 17 size 3 boys shirts. Ok. Now I'm scaring myself.

Jean said...

:D loving these lists! Jean.

Sarah said...

Before I go away, I make an 'everything I need to take' list. Before I go into town, I make a list of all the places I need to visit (post office, bank etc). When you live on a farm, you need to do everything in one day, especially with the price of petrol.

Oh and I have a list of blog posts on my computer. I'm glad you mentioned this because I thought I might be a bit weird by having one, but I find it helps me remember those lightbulb ideas for a post type moments :)

Jean said...

A helpful link and another way to use lists: Weekly planning that works...for me.

Valori said...

Lists are GREAT! I love hearing how different people do things. Currently, my all-in-one place for my lists is my laptop computer.

The way I function weekly is mainly through my gmail calendar. I also have a TO-DO document on my laptop where I put things I need to do soon (ie. this week or next) and then a section for things to do "in the future" -- long-term projects or things I want to squeeze in. Of course, there are all kinds of other lists as well, but these are my regularly used ones.

For my daily lists, I have 3x5 index cards in my kitchen drawer which I pull out to jot down little lists that I carry with me or leave on the kitchen counter -- quick grocery lists/errands to do that day/a quickly written time schedule to make sure I am able to fit things in on a particularly busy day/a list to leave with the babysitter, etc.

I also have a master grocery list that I can refer to when about to do a major shopping trip. To be honest, I used to use that more when I did bigger shopping trips, but now I am more in a season of needing to do small, quick stops. Currently, I have a white board on my refrigerator with a running list of what we run out of. I got tired of trying to remember everything, so if someone says, "Mom, I need more toothpaste," I just say, "Write it on the white board if you want me to remember it!"

Apart from lists, I have a broad overview "schedule" -- what are my "routines" for the week? I am not very good at meticulously keeping a schedule (ie., at exactly 8:30, I will sweep the floor!), but knowing about how much time I need for my normal weekly responsibilities and leaving room for those items really serves me. For example, I know it normally takes about 1 1/2 hours total for dinner prep, about 30 minutes a day to keep up on laundry, about an hour for lunch prep and clean up, about 4 hours a week do run errands, 1-2 hours for exercise, depending on whether or not I do something at home or go to the gym, 40 minutes to shower and dress (I used to think 30, but then I'm always late, so it's better to be realistic!), etc., etc. When I put all these things together (kind of like doing a puzzle), I realize that it's no wonder I don't get any "special projects" done! And I haven't even added in devotions, home-schooling, family time, eating, and (very important) sleeping!

mattnbec said...

My husband calls me List Girl!! I LOVE a list! Or two. Or three...

My diary is my best friend in this department. I got it when we were in the UK and found it here too. It has space for a shopping list, a to do list (both tear out) and next week each week. Each day has a space to write the dinner idea. There are pages for Christmas cards, presents, budgeting, family timetables, shoe and clothing sizes for each family member, to do lists for each month, a pocket for miscellaneous school notes which need dealing with... And it has many spaces for my lists!