My list-making methods for an organized life
Lists on lists on lists… Are you a list-maker, too? Do you want or need to be? From napkins & dry-erase markers on windows, to notebooks, to fancy list-making apps, Chad and I make ‘em all. As I sit here re-organizing my life & business today, I thought I would share with you my favorite list-making methods that help keep me organized [and sane].
I’ve got a zillion unrelated ideas and tasks racing around my head at any given moment, so if I don’t record them and track them, they'll be lost or forgotten. (Also, I’ll drive my coworker crazy, which is extra rough since he happens to be my husband!) There’s proven power in hand-writing your thoughts on actual paper—your brain works harder, builds stronger conceptual understanding and it’s much better for short and long-term memory. Writing out my raw thoughts, goals, to-do’s and plans by hand is ALWAYS my first step.
From there, I'll often transfer the small, handwritten “don’t forget’s,” shopping lists or random thoughts into a note on my phone or will just take a quick phone pic of them so the looseleaf isn't lost or misplaced. But for anything larger that needs organization and accountability, the Wunderlist app is my absolute favorite! It’s accessible via computer, tablet, phone and more. Plus, it's free!
With Wunderlist, you can create multiple lists with tasks/ideas, set repeating tasks, due dates, receive notifications and even assign tasks to others for smooth collaboration. It’s the best way I’ve found to organize all my lists (personal, professional and otherwise) into manageable categories and share specific lists with family members or coworkers. And because I set due dates on almost every item I enter, I don’t have to feel overwhelmed by seeing every single task that's been entered at once—I can view only what’s due “today” or “this week” or even “assigned to me.” It might also be worth mentioning that when you check items as completed, Wunderlist makes the most ego-boosting and self-fulfilling, happy sound effect. In my mind, a little burst of confetti is tossed in the air when that little ding sounds! It basically makes productivity addicting... This app has been such a lifesaver—even of our marriage at times! Ha!
In addition to the random to-do's, and some boring lists you probably won't care about, here are some examples of lists I’m currently keeping in Wunderlist: 2016 Goals, Administration (to organize the paperwork & bookkeeping side of our business), Connecting (reminding me to touch base with people in my life on a recurring basis), Langhoff Creative (for all my business tasks), Social Media (for scheduling strategic messaging online), Blog Topic Ideas, Research/Read/Learn, and—recently added!—House Projects and Buy for House. Once we move, I’m also excited to add a Cleaning recurring task list so I don’t get behind on that.
Well, those are a few of the methods behind the madness in our neck of the woods regarding organization and sanity-keeping. What are your favorite lists to keep or methods to keep them?