Why Not . . . Make Lists? 20 Lists to Keep in Your Everyday Life

Jul 10, 2019

“The secret to success is not just about what you put on your list but what you intentionally leave off. Less is more. Leading with intention and how you’d like your life to feel is key.” —Paula Rizzo, author of Listful Thinking: Using Lists to Be More Productive, Highly Successful and Less Stressed

As someone who regularly makes lists, finds that many of The Simple Sophisticate podcast episodes are organized in lists and makes available notepads with lists on them and on which to make lists, I am surprised such a post has not already been written on TSLL. But today that changes.

Making lists for some people, I include myself, is quite satisfying. But it is not just in the list-making that I find satisfaction, but rather what the lists assist me in accomplishing. Let’s look at five of the major benefits of making lists in our daily lives.

The benefits:

1.Preserve necessary mental energy and willpower

2. Develop a wealth of resources to reflect upon in coming years

3. Reduce stress

4. Improve focus which leads to improved productivity

5. Make better decisions

Regardless of the jobs and responsibilities we have in our lives, becoming a list making can greatly improve the overall quality and thus deepen the satisfaction we have in our everyday lives.

Types of lists to keep

1.The Daily To-Do List

2. Grocery and Market Shopping List

3. Clothing List – capsule wardrobe, etc.

4. Gift Ideas List – holiday, birthday, anniversary, etc.

5. How Maintenance List – weekly, seasonally, etc.

6. Places to Visit List – organized by city, country, activity, etc.

7. Dinner Party Menu List – to ensure you don’t serve the same “favorite and dependable” recipe to the same guests, to mix up who you invite, etc.

8. Hobby Lists – yard and garden, crafts, anything that involves details in which you love to explore and spend time doing

9. Goals List – short and long-term goals, broken down into small steps, etc.

10. Curiosity Lists – books to read, movies to see, plays to watch, restaurants to dine at, exhibits to visit, etc.

11. Logs of Information Pertinent to Your Life to Help You Grow – Activity, Eating, Exercise, Books Read, or any information that provides data to help you assess growth and areas needing attention or celebration.

12. Passwords or Log-In Lists – this may be a list you keep in a safe or locked space, but you know you have it should you or someone else need it.

13. Recipes to Try List – sometimes this list in my life includes stacks of paper that has been ripped out of the newspaper or a magazines or printed from the computer. However, having the list to accompany it may be a helpful way to know what you have in that pile of papers. 🙂

14. Gratitude List

15. Quotes List – this would be a separate notebook in my life, but it is usually organized in the format of a list.

16. To Be List – I thoroughly enjoyed creating, developing and then adding this idea for a list to my new book.

17. What Not to Do/Let Go Of Lists

“Sometimes our stop-doing list needs to be bigger than our to-do list.”
Patti Digh

18. Home Decor Lists – From what you need to what you are dreaming about, keeping a list is a great way to make sure you only purchase what would work in your home. For example, this past week I had the opportunity to visit Marché-au-Puces in Paris for the rest time, and if it wasn’t for a list I may have purchased repeat items or unnecessary items as it was all so mesmerizingly lovely and magical.

19. Necessary Tools for the Kitchen List – Each of our kitchens will need to be stocked with different tools to enable us to move smoothly about creating the meals we love. This is one of the lists I add to and cross off regularly, especially once I realize I want to add a new recipe to my repetoire. Equally as necessary is editing our kitchens so that what we have is truly what we need without the excess.

20. Contentment List – knowing what brings you contentment, and keeping a log of when you recognized this is an intriguing list to keep as it allows you to reflect and see how you have evolved, discovered and changed what it is that truly brings you contentment.

Each of the lists mentioned above are slightly different in how and where we might want to keep them or write them down. For daily to-dos, a planner or simple notepad words wonderfully, but for more permanent lists that you never want to lose or toss, a sturdy notebook is a wonderful way to ensure you will always have the information you need on hand allowing your mind to relax as the necessary information is easy to find and safely secured.

The English Home magazine’s regular contributing columnist Mrs. Minerva, recently shared ideas on the art of list making, and in the article her suggestion of using Papier hardback notebooks for the more permanent lists in our lives caught my attention. Papier has all sorts of designs and even offers customization, and what better way to not only be organized yet also create your own unique signature library of ideas and past memories that you always want to have on hand?

As I sit down after returning from my recent trip to France, making lists is at the forefront of my mind to organize all of the ideas that are running about in my head as I do not want to forget one single thing. I will admit, as soon as I have placed an idea on a list, I relax a little bit knowing I have “put it in the bank” so to speak and no longer have to retain the information should I forget it for some reason.

“Rename your ‘To-Do”’list to your ‘Opportunities’ list. Each day is a treasure chest filled with limitless opportunities; take joy in checking many off your list.” ― Steve Maraboli

Each of us will choose to write lists (or not write lists) when we see them adding to the quality of life we enjoy living. We will choose the types of list that help us gain the clarity and pace of life we seek. However you choose to include list making in your life, make it a pleasurable ritual. Carve out 30 minutes or an hour or an afternoon or a morning or maybe an entire day for those grand idea days, pour yourself a cup of something soothing and relaxing, plop down in a favorite part of your home or your favorite bookshop or library or coffee shop or wherever you can focus and unwind, and dive in using a notebook or notepad that encourages you to write.

Below is a list of some of my favorite notepads and notebooks to make lists in:

Happy list making!



9 thoughts on “Why Not . . . Make Lists? 20 Lists to Keep in Your Everyday Life

  1. Thank your for your Blog. I am a new subscriber and have downloaded your book. Very inspiring! In commenting on the above blog, may I suggest that we also “remember to remember” and “collaborate” with a trained mind, so that our lists do not become a “modus operandi” but a compliment to our lives.
    Vive la France!
    Margaret

  2. Welcome back and thank you for the list inspiration, Shannon! I especially like the Not to do-list. I always get inspired to work on my lists during and after a holiday as I have gained some distance to my life and see things more clearly.

    Have you ever tried Evernote for your list making? I have a feeling it would appeal to you. You can access your notes from all your devices and browsers and add everything from text, handwriting, photos and web clippings. For instance, you can clip recipes you would like to try into individual notes, then organize them in notebooks such as “breakfast” or “drinks”, and tag them as you like with occasions such as “entertaining” or “summer” if those are things you would be likely to search for. In the end you can organize all your notebooks in a pile and name it “food”. Just a tip!

    Wishing you a lovely summer!

    1. You know, I have learned I am a pen and paper person, but Evernote’s concept is a great one. Yes, the Not to do list is a great way to apply what we’ve learned no longer complements or supports the life we wish to live.

  3. On this subject, I just want to recommend the book: L’Art de la Liste by Dominique Loreau which has some wonderful ideas regarding list-making. She also wrote L’Art de la Simplicite (I have no idea how to type an acute accent or any accent for that matter..) of which you are no doubt aware as it’s all about living the simply luxurious life.

  4. Wonderful post. As an avid list maker, I am often at a loss (and overwhelmed) by my bits of paper everywhere. This post has given me some great (doable) ideas to help me get it all organized. Side note, I have been using your Capsule Weekly Menu pad, such a time saver.

  5. I actually tore out “The Art of Making Lists” article to revisit her clever approach to lifelong lists. And the Liberty notebook is just so beautiful too. I’ll put that on my “Wish List.” Great article, Shannon! And I had your cooking tutorial going in the background. Lucky me, I have chicken defrosted!!

    1. Have a wonderful meal! And thank you for tuning into the show. Yes, her article in the latest issue caught my eye immediately! Thank you for stopping by and have a great week. 🙂

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