spencedaniel

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Making Lists

I love lists. Recently, my daughter and I were talking about our mutual love of lists. Since we are both avid list makers, we start many a day at home with pen and paper in hand (along with a cup of coffee) to write down what we hope ‘to-do’ or need to accomplish with our day. We make lists for when we have errands to run, to not only maximize our time and plot out the best course, but also so we don’t forget anything. We make lists of ideas for presents and to keep track of the presents already purchased, for holiday cards or assorted correspondence (even when we may be late sending them out), and for planning the menu and timing for special gatherings and dinners. We even make lists for what we want to talk about the next time we get on the phone with each other, and sometimes we send the list via email ahead of time, so that we both have time to mentally sort through the topics or maybe to send a quick email reply instead.

We also love finding colorful and unique paper, notepads, and assorted books for our lists. Not to forget that a great pen also cements the deal. My current favorite pen is a Foray Advanced Ink Ballpoint Needle Tip 0.7 mm in black ink. Just writing that sentence kind of cracks me up. I recently bought a couple of them and gifted one to my daughter and her husband, who now love it too. They gifted me with a wonderful stocking gift of a mini Smash tablet of 30 decorated sheets for making… wait for it… 30 lists. I love it!

List Making Supplies

List Making Supplies

Oftentimes, I find assorted pieces of paper and post-it notes with random words and lists scribbled on them. It can take a bit of deciphering to see if there are any words worth saving or any ‘to-do’ items still waiting to be done. Occasionally, I use a different version of a to-do list that I refer to as my ‘done’ list. Instead of making a list of all my to-do items, I compile a list of my completed tasks or accomplishments throughout my Saturday or day at home. When I do this, I usually end my day feeling really good about what I managed to accomplish, instead of feeling bad for all that I didn’t.

Of course, there are grocery lists too. I happen to love the whole grocery shopping experience and would be perfectly content to grocery shop for a living. I get a kick out of seeing the groceries people have in their carts, and I also enjoy finding a stray shopping list left in a cart by the previous shopper. The teacher in me loves seeing the different handwritings, and also just seeing firsthand how differently we all eat and live. I know that I am not the only person fascinated by grocery lists. So is Bill Keaggy who published a book called: Milk, Eggs, Vodka: Grocery Lists Lost and Found

When pen and paper are not available, like when I am driving home from work and want to stop at my neighborhood Piggly Wiggly for a few things, I often use mnemonics to help me remember what I need. BATOM takes the place of bread, apples, tuna, onions, and milk. I repeat the letters to myself several times; B.A.T.O.M…B.A.T.O.M…and sometimes I make up a sentence with the letters, like: Beautiful apples toppling over majestically.  Okay, who says it has to make sense? I only know that it works.

Before I started using iPhone notes, where at last count I had 254 of them saved, I used to keep my purse-size pocket Moleskine (squared) at the ready to record any thoughts, important notes, or lists that needed my attention or just to be remembered. I still keep a Moleskine in my purse, but mostly now for note taking or to record story ideas and make a quick sketch. 

Every year, my Moleskine journal has a list of what I hope to accomplish either in that year or just as soon as humanly (and financially) possible. I’m still working on my list for 2013. It’s something I do every January. Most years, I am able to check off a few of the items, while some of them get transferred to the new waiting journal. This past year, I got to check off becoming a published author and illustrator. And while new goals will be added to my list, seeing whales in the wild and also the Great Wall of China (even if from the air), will both be transferred once again. But that’s okay. My bucket list is a work in progress. So am I. I better get back to my list.

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One comment on “Making Lists

  1. Tracey M
    June 6, 2013

    I love the mnemonic idea for a short grocery list! Laurie told me I need to see on of your moleskine journals. I’ve started a Faith/Art Journaling class and I’m always looking for new journaling ideas.

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