one woman’s obsession with lists

This website may earn commissions from purchases made through links in this post.

I am the first to admit that I’m a little bit obsessive with writing lists. But I didn’t realise the extend of my obsession until I started writing out a list of lists (is that taking things too far?)

Apart from the satisfaction of crossing a task off madly when it’s been completed (I find a thick black texta to be particularly satisfying), I don’t like to think. Lists mean I don’t have to do a lot of thinking.

What are we having for dinner tonight? It’s on the list. What do I need to get at the shops? It’s on the list. What housework do I need to do today? It’s on the list. What craft project should I start… you get the idea.

I thought I would share my list of lists and a few details. Maybe you can add one of my lists to your lists. Or, if you keep a list for some other reason, I would love to here it. I think I’ll start collecting them.

List! I hear a list

  • The fortnightly menu plan is one of the most used lists in the house. I refer to it every day. Other food lists include:
    • The ‘what’s hiding in the freezer’ list
    • ‘Things to go on the shopping list’ list
    • The shopping list
    • The family favourite meals list (I keep this one in excel)
  • I use iGoogle’s sticky note function to keep a craft or a to-make list.
  • I have a multitude of to-do lists with a specific hierarchy. At the top of the to-do, list hierarchy is the yearly goal list. I haven’t looked at my goals this year like I normally do, so I’ll be refocusing more on big picture goals next year.
  • After the goal list there comes the monthly, weekly and daily to-do lists, each one a reflection of the list ‘above’ it, the idea being that at the end of the year, I have gotten through the usual daily tasks and achieved some of my yearly goals. These lists are supplemented by a weekly household chore planner and a calendar that schedules infrequent household maintenance chores that need doing like cleaning out the pantry. I also write a ‘today in the kitchen I need to’ list particularly on big cooking days where I am preparing, cooking and freezing food in advance for both us and the little fella.
  • For around the house, I also have a declutter list, a list of clothes that I own and need, a list of home improvements that I would like to complete and lists taped to boxes describing the contents so that if I’m looking for something, I don’t have to open a whole heap of wrong boxes to find it.
  • I keep a list of exercises to do each day.
  • I keep a wish list of stuff for myself as well as an Amazon wish list.
  • I use Google’s library to keep a list of books that I want to read.
  • I keep a gift ideas list.
  • Lists for this blog include post ideas, a list of permalinks, a separate to do list, a list of categories, a list of improvements and an editing schedule.
  • I keep a list of contacts and phone numbers.
  • When I travel, I write out a packing list.
  • When planning events, entertaining guests or cooking for more than just our family, I write a list.
  • We kept all sorts of lists when we go married, like a guest list.
  • I keep a list of ‘frugal’ things that I want to try, like make my own soap or my own compost.
  • And finally, I’ve just written a list of lists.

I’m sure there has been others, but that will do for now. What lists do you keep?

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. I too love making lists, it helps me feel relaxed knowing that I havn’t forgotten something because I already planned everything out and it’s written down in front of me to see. Not really a list, but the way I organise my working day is to make notes of what needs to be done or whats happened, I can’t always write it down and note the time to do it or when it happened, as I don’t have time or space on my slip of paper that I carry. So to keep it a little more organised and help me remember what time I wrote my notes so as to plan for handover to the next shift I have my own little code. I use different colour ink from my 4-pen to denote what time of the day it is. The beginning of the shift is green ink, after morning tea is blue ink and after lunch is black ink. Anything that is really important gets done in red ink. Why don’t I carry something other than a slip of paper, like a tiny notepad? That’s all that can fit into the tiny pocket of my uniform and I am on my feet all day so that’s all I can carry. I use a little square box next to the “to do’s” to tick when I’m done. I don’t know what I’d do with out my 4 colour pen. lol

  2. Well… and my husband says ‘not another list’. I’m afraid I have just about the same amount of lists that you have although some go by the way sometimes. Because I’m a gardener I also have a list of plants and what to shift where. My favourite list is the Christmas dinner list, mainly because it’s not just about food but the table decorations and games for the day. I do have one list that has fallen into decay in Excel. I wrote down all the food we eat and then set up columns to work out how much we would need for 3 months/6 months/ a year. When something was on sale I knew how much to buy. I also kept a record of the price but having seen prices escalate so much in the past couple of years I decided to just go to round figures and then my enthusiasim petered out. Most of it is in my head. I get satisfaction from making the list, not necessarily crossing things off. I feel organized. But I don’t have a list of lists:)

  3. I love a good list or two or three, when ever I have a spare moment I,m revising my lists. I have even been known to jump out of bed in the middle of the night to add something to one of my lists. I use a bright pink highlighter to mark off what,s been completed from my list. Hubby thinks it,s all a bit Anal.

  4. I like a good list but I think you beat me by a good dozen or so!

    I do tend to keep lists of projects and tasks at work. At home shopping, packing, Christmas. That’s about it. Oh and my Ravelry Queue for knitting projects!

  5. Hi all. Thanks for all the comments! I’m glad I’m not the only one who keeps lots of lists. Tara, I love the idea of coloured pens, I think I’m going to have to incorporate that somehow.

  6. Thank heavens – there ARE other list makers who think they may be a “bit obsessive” about lists.

    I am sitting here with a writing pad alongside me to jot down any ideas I get whilst I am lookuping up the “frugral and thriving” website.

    My (and my husband’s) joke/quirk about lists is to (if I have achieved more than expected for the day) add to my daily list — just so I can cross it off!!

    More PERMANENT lists have, in the past included:

    what was needed in the Nappy Carry Bag (binned this over 30 years ago)

    just kept adding to as we learnt by experience

    Things to do, pack, etc

    I also keep a notebook and pencil in the drawer alongside my bed – saves getting up if you wake with a worry about something you might forget (or have forgotten to do) at work

    1. Hi Penny,

      Thanks for your comment. I’m also glad it’s not just me who write lots of lists although I have to admit that I have friends who read this post and thought I was a little crazy.

      You preempted an upcoming article – keeping a notebook on hand near the bed – I also do this, it makes things so much easier!