This topic is for paid for discussions. Please mail us at if you'd like to know more about how they work.

Talk 'to-do' lists with Aviva - you could win £150 worth of high street vouchers. NOW CLOSED

(167 Posts)
AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 28-Oct-13 13:35:05

We've been asked by the team at Aviva to find out about your probably very long to-do list maybe it's on the fridge, on your phone or all in your head?

What's been on your to-do list forever and you've so far managed to avoid ticking off? What's your strategy for managing an ever-growing to do list? What impact did having children have on the list? Or, have you managed to tick something off? How did it make you feel?

Aviva says "With such busy lifestyles it's no surprise that families use lists to keep on top of things. However there's a temptation to focus on things we like doing, which can mean really important jobs stay on the list. Taking a little time to prioritise the things that are most important to your family's future and ticking them off could really benefit your family in the long run."

So please share your thoughts below - everyone who adds a comment below will be entered into a prize draw where one MNer will win £150 worth of high street vouchers.

Thanks and good luck

PS Please note your comments, anon of course, may be used by Aviva on MN and possibly elsewhere.

AndHarry Mon 28-Oct-13 16:19:54

I love 'to do' lists and have a notebook in my handbag with all sorts of lists: packing for holidays, Christmas planning, cleaning, food shopping... I also have a notebook at work with a to do list for each day.

I find that taking 5 minutes to write a list keeps me focused and makes it less likely that things, tasks and people will be forgotten. Ticking off an item gives me a small feeling of satisfaction and I especially like putting a big tick at the top of the pages of my work notebook to show that everything is done! Sad, I know...

I've always been a list person but I've got better at it now I have children. I tend to write my lists by hand now, whereas before I would keep them on an Excel spreadsheet.

AndHarry Mon 28-Oct-13 16:23:08

Forgot this bit:

Having something drag on is disheartening so I don't put things on my lists that I just won't do. Long projects are broken up into sub-tasks so I can tick those off as I make progress.

I do have a list of things that I would like to do with my spare time. Nothing has been ticked off yet but I only wrote it yesterday!

Trills Mon 28-Oct-13 16:25:57

The only list on the fridge is a shopping list, and it's not even a complete one, it's a list of "things that we need to buy that are not obvious".

I make lots of lists at work because I need other people to do things, and because there are other people relying on them getting done.

Where it's only me who has to do the thing, and only me who has a problem if it's not done, I tend to just keep it in my head. If I don't remember it's probably because I don't care very much about that thing getting done.

Rufus44 Mon 28-Oct-13 16:32:54

I have masses of to do lists. Usually they are very small or just refer to one thing, Christmas food for example

Other times they are huge, this is normally when I am feeling very overwhelmed by what I think I need to do. I put absolutely everything on it even stupid things! Quite often it doesn't look so bad when its written down and the stupid little things get ticked off quite early, result! Writing the list helps me organise my mind!

I only use lists for particular things - eg packing list / shopping list / do on Monday morning list. If I kept a general 'To Do' list it would depress me so much that I'd be incapable of looking at it.

Usually I just keep things in my head, but I'm not so good at that now. sad

trilbydoll Mon 28-Oct-13 17:29:21

I make lists at work - I cross stuff off and add things on the bottom until I run out of paper, then I start again in my neatest writing! I also always do the smallest jobs first, crossing a few things off quickly makes me feel efficient.

I only make lists at home when everything needs doing right now, ie because visitors are coming or it's Christmas. A general housework / errand to do list would never have anything crossed off and would confirm my suspicion that we desperately need a cleaner!

Murdermysteryreader Mon 28-Oct-13 17:32:46

I have a to do notebook . I find that dumping my ideas the night before is useful so I don't satay awake worrying. I use different pages for different things - eg food shopping, people to ring, appointments to make. I try and date every page so I can see if jobs are stuck on it. I try and tackle some each day nd take the notebook with me while commuting so I can make calls in odd minutes.

SuzySuzSuz Mon 28-Oct-13 17:35:43

I love my lists!! Always have one on the go at work which have my plans for the week, new priorities get added and things moved about flexibly.

At home I have the following different lists (now listed!)
Weekly grocery shop on fridge - add bits and pieces throughout the week
Weekly meal plan
DIY / general to do list
Christmas present list

I love crossing bits off, so very wrong but I do smile I'll often do something, go to the list to cross off and find it was just in my brain-list so I'll add it to the list just so I can then cross it out

Having lists makes life much more manageable, I can focus on the priorities whilst also not forgetting any other tasks as they'll remain on the list. Some tasks will sit on the list for ages but I find it better to know they're on there and will be dealt with at some point rather than forgotten.

Letitsnow9 Mon 28-Oct-13 17:38:37

I tend to write to do lists everywhere and never return to them. Putting small achievable things on rather than giant task ie Hoover rather than 'clean the house' helps

TEErickOrTEEreat Mon 28-Oct-13 17:40:37

I have two to do apps I use on my iPhone and Kindle Fire: Evernote and Wunderlist.

The family knows, if it's not on my list, it won't happen.

There is the Never Ending Shopping List, the House To Do List, the Standard Tesco Delivery List. Also the weekly menu and all my to dos for my freelancing.

What's on them? Everything!!!!

CointreauVersial Mon 28-Oct-13 17:48:29

My To Do lists are generally in my head, unless a busy time is approaching (going on holiday, home renovations, Christmas looming etc) when I feel a compulsion to write everything on paper. I feel a lot more in control if it's all listed out.

I generally get through the list (eventually) although some things do drag on. I need to order a new sign for the house, and I've been failing to get round to it for the last year at least.

Sometimes I write something on the list knowing I won't actually do it.hmm

CointreauVersial Mon 28-Oct-13 17:49:28

And I have a perpetual shopping list going. My family know, if it's not on the list, it won't get bought!

I have disorganised to do lists - scribbled on envelopes and lost.
I've started writing them in my phone instead do I know where to find them.

nextphase Mon 28-Oct-13 17:54:21

Tend to have work to do lists, and ocasional home ones - either when there is something specific like Christmas, or if I'm going to be spending a lot of time doing chores, and I want DH to see what I've been up to!
I also leave DH to do lists!
They are great.

Willemdefoeismine Mon 28-Oct-13 17:54:28

I tend to do the 'easy' things but don't even write down the long-term things blush. That said, at the moment, I don't think I'm actually keeping pace with even the easy stuff...there seems to be so much to do all the time, most of it connected with the DCs!

ThisIsMeNow Mon 28-Oct-13 17:58:51

Ihave a shopping list on the fridge (two actually- one is for food shopping etc and the other for general notes) a calendar that's meant to keep us organised, a notebook of my to do lists and a book for event to do list eg birthdays and Christmas.

I have a list to go shopping with otherwise I forget things and a list on my phone of general to do toget through the day.

I use my phone to make notes and transfer them to the books when i get home.

Honestly, I love nothing more than a list blushgrin

I will list all the chores that need doing in the house, things I need to get or do in town, I don't really have any ongoing projects or things I keep putting off.

turkeyboots Mon 28-Oct-13 17:58:56

I love lists. I have long term lists, short term lists, holiday lists, packing lists, domestic admin and shopping lists split by type (food, clothes, other).

I write them down, as find it stressful to keep them in my head. Online lists I find hard to remember to keep up so have abandoned them.

choccyp1g Mon 28-Oct-13 17:59:51

I keep a shopping list on my phone, for the things that I only ned once in a while, such as bin-liners, or baking ingredients.

I also have a "it-will-change-my-life book" in which I write big jobs, like "new bathroom" and then break them down into ever-smaller jobs in the hope that I might get started.

DoItTooJulia Mon 28-Oct-13 17:59:55

I keep them in my head until they get too long and it stresses me out!

Then I have masses and masses of lists.

The thing I am most guilty of though, is writing a list and doing something else off it and then adding it to the list, just so I can cross it off!

choccyp1g Mon 28-Oct-13 18:00:39

I also cheat a bit, and list jobs I've already done, just for the thrill of crossing them off.

I like to put things on the list that I have already done, so I can start by ticking things off! Love lists, and sometimes have trouble throwing out notebooks full of old lists- shopping lists, packing lists, to do lists- hate doing them on my phone notes as don't have the satisfaction of ticking them off!

ScarerAndFuckItsAGhost Mon 28-Oct-13 18:18:57

I make little notes and lists all the time, but I was thinking about them now and realised I have a list of big things in my head that we really ought to get on with.

Making a will, sorting out an important direct debit, changing our utility suppliers and some important maintenance we need to do on the house are all big things on my mental list that we need to get done and ticked off.

My little lists are different, shopping lists, things I need to remember for DS's school, and at this time of year, the Christmas list, which actually is a bit of an epic. Who I've bought for, who's left to buy for, who to send cards to, which shops I need to go to, what food to buy, when to post things. I have everything on that list except whose been naughty or nice.

Ha x post!

DziezkoDisco Mon 28-Oct-13 18:30:39

I have them in my head stress about it for sges then write them down then lose the list.

I write lots of little lists ln one big bit of paper.

Things to do forever: sort out bank account for DS, book the dentist, buy savalon.

Bringmewineandcake Mon 28-Oct-13 19:25:42

I love making to do lists for practical things and the sense of achievement when ticking an item off helps enormously!
I have yet to tick every item off any list before starting a new one.
Having a baby has meant my to do lists are 3 times longer and things take 10 times longer to do.
I also like writing 'have done' lists so that I can see what I've already done and stop feeling quite so bad about things.

Theimpossiblegirl Mon 28-Oct-13 19:31:24

I find that to do lists really help me clarify what I need to get done and help me to prioritise, particularly at work.

jojane Mon 28-Oct-13 19:34:28

I fill notebooks with lists, half of which never actually get done, but I make lists for meals, packing, shopping, party planning, days out, cleaning, etc. I probably make at least one list a day, today I have made one for ds1s star wars party, people to buy Xmas presents for, meals for the week and updated my list of tv programmes I watch so I can keep eye out for new series coming on.

BornToFolk Mon 28-Oct-13 19:36:54

I use to-do lists a lot but mainly short term tasks. I really need to do a list for longer term, less urgent things that just need doing, like backing up the photos on the laptop.

I set reminders on my phone a lot and also email myself from work if I think of things that I need to do in the evening.

VulvaVoom Mon 28-Oct-13 19:37:16

I have to write or set reminders for lists for all manner of things. Without a proper shopping list, I always end up with stuff like filo pastry, foil, a plug in and brazil nuts and none of the stuff I actually need! I also HAVE to have this written down, so I can carry the piece of paper around with me, grasping it hopefully as I trawl the aisles.

Other lists I keep are ones for noting what Christmas presents I've bought people and I carry this around in my purse from early Nov, so I know what's already been purchased and what I need to get/who I need to buy for. At this time of year, I genuinely get out of bed sometimes in the middle of the night to note down that I've bought my Dad some Family Guy socks again

Reminder lists are more of a life essential, I use my smartphone for these and set alarms so I don't forget to cancel that dentist appointment or book the Work Christmas do.

And don't get me started on work reminders! I think I would have been sacked years ago if I didn't set up a gazillion task reminders each week grin

Bigfingers Mon 28-Oct-13 19:37:20

I once created a 'To Do' scroll - we were planning to put the house on the market and things needed doing in every single room. At the time we had a 22 month old DD and it was NOT easy getting through the list (it included things like paint window frames, paint skirting boards, totally de-clutter, weed driveway uggh makes me feel tired remembering!!)

Four years later we have three children under 7 and I have things on my to do list that have been there since we moved!! I still haven't replaced the old Roman blind in the spare room with our one, which has been sitting in the corner of the room for 4 years!!! blush I have been pregnant or with a newborn for most of the 4 years, but still. Sighhhhh.

Currently on my to- do list (which is in my head, but occasionally gets scribbled down just so I can try to motivate myself)

Replace blind

Put up wallpaper I bought 8 months ago

Replace carpet with oak flooring if I ever have any money again in my life

Touch up the bits of paintwork from when we had the bathroom done two years ago

Tidy up garden for winter

sad I need a lie down

newtothenet Mon 28-Oct-13 19:37:39

Day to day chores and tasks are quickly ticked off my to do list but, since having my nine month old daughter, it's the things "for me" that I never get chance to do. For example, I'm an amateur photographer but never edit the photos I take, and I love crafting but never finish a project!

wheretoyougonow Mon 28-Oct-13 19:39:16

I have just bought a new diary that has to do lists for every member of my family incorporated in it. Very very excited about 2014!
I normally write them on my phone as I won't loose it.

whattodoo Mon 28-Oct-13 19:42:32

Lists make me feel calm.

I have several on the go, some are basic bullet-points, others are broken down into tiny details.

I keep some on paper in my handbag, work ones are in a notebook, repeat ones (Christmas, holiday packing etc) are on spreadsheets.

DP quivers when I get my lists out.

I hate to do lists. The sheer number of things that I have to do overwhelms me and I spend so long wringing my hands over the list that I get nothing done confused

HoneyDragon Mon 28-Oct-13 19:55:17

I was following my massive to do list the other day. But it all epically failed when you decided to prevent me crossing the road to get to the drs surgery on time on account of you filming an advert and dumping your vehicles all over the jeffing place, Avia angry

TheFutureMrsB Mon 28-Oct-13 19:58:04

I have a cleaning to-do list that I write out and stick to the cupboard door when I am feeling not myself energetic.

I write the stuff down in order of the rooms and what should be done first -
Kitchen -
Clean tops of cupboards
Empty cupboards and clean
Throw old tins never happens as DP puts them back
Clean window & sill

I think the list writing takes me longer than the actual cleaning! I then cross through each job as it is done, so will come down stairs inbetween cleaning rooms to cross each room off I'm not mad honestly

I also have a to-do list in my purse which I write items down that I want to buy, these never get crossed off though as I always forget that it's there.

I quite like lists grin

beanandspud Mon 28-Oct-13 20:03:25

My work to-do list is in a big A4 notebook that I carry around everywhere. I also have a 'jobs to do at home list' pinned to the office wall at home and occasional lists for packing/holidays etc.

I'm also thinking I'd quite like a proper white board.

The shopping list is constantly a work in progress. As we run out of things during the week it gets added to the list.

I also have a special Christmas notebook where I plan menus, presents and list who's going where. Sadly, I could tell you how many roast potatoes we needed for Christmas dinner in 2002 blush.

cluttered Mon 28-Oct-13 20:08:37

Yes lists are definitely calming, I get into such a state about things like holidays and writing a list of everything that needs doing with an estimate of when to do it by and the time it will take stops me waking up in the night in a panic!

Some things have been on my "life" to do list for ages like improving my foreign language skills which goes to the top of the list every summer after returning from holiday. But, I have actually made progress in this one recently, after reading a Sunday supplement article about how you will only achieve something if you actually break it down into tangible steps I did this. I have downloaded the app for a foreign language radio station onto my phone and have been listening to it most days and making huge progress in my comprehension, I feel really proud of myself!

sharond101 Mon 28-Oct-13 20:30:20

What's been on your to-do list forever and you've so far managed to avoid ticking off? My to-do list always ends with making the next to-do list! There is always something to be done so always a list to be made. What's your strategy for managing an ever-growing to do list? I enjoy ticking things off the list so tackle the simple tasks first, do some delegating and prioritise. What impact did having children have on the list? My list got longer and needs more organisation to complete. It is now never ending so needs to be able to be put aside for kiddy time to take place. Or, have you managed to tick something off?. Theinfertility appointments are off the list now although soon to be re added How did it make you feel? Relief.

zazzabeans Mon 28-Oct-13 21:21:21

I love lists grin
Ive got numerous lists in my Filofax and I am always crossing off then adding more to it grin

MsGazelle Mon 28-Oct-13 21:48:55

I have no lists. I float around in a state of mild panic at all times, dimly aware of all the things I ought to be doing but hoping if I ignore them they will go away.

I write loads of lists, it really does help me to get everything down on paper so I'm not holding onto it in my head. This week I've got lists for my sons birthday, cleaning the house beforehand, his party, cleaning the house before that, as well as my to do lists for work.

I find at work I will put off things I don't want to do, though I'm actually getting better at tackling horrible jobs first.

personally though, its the big 'for me' things that I never seem to find time for - learning the cello, writing...but mundane, quicker day to day things like pay the bills I do get through.

I do sometimes write things on my lists that I've already done just so I can cross them off.

bonnymiffy Mon 28-Oct-13 21:57:56

I used to be a fanatical list-writer, but since having children that seems to have changed.. not sure why but may have something to do with never having both a pen and paper handy at the same time!
I do write a shopping list though, even essentials have to be written on and will be missed if they are not, but I have DD1 in the trolley and DD2 in a baby carrier so my mind isn't entirely focussed when I get to the shops..
The to-do list is generally either in my head or on a whiteboard in the kitchen - I only need to look for a pen to write it down but that doesn't guarantee it'll get done!

Barbeasty Mon 28-Oct-13 22:06:56

I've never cleaned the windows. ...

I love having a to do list, and will break tasks down so I can cross more things off. I've also been known to add things that I've already done so I can cross them off and persuade people I've been working very, very hard

But DH takes it to a whole new level, and has his to do lists filed away.

foolssilver Mon 28-Oct-13 22:51:36

I have lots of lists on the go at the moment which are all in a wee notebook. Current ongoing ones are DIY to do lists, things to buy for the baby lists, Christmas present lists and my own (rather extensive) wishlist.

I also do a lot of volunteering so I have to do lists related to that.

I easily get through a few notebooks a year, my life would be a mess without them!

I am a list person and really need to be just now to keep on top of things, it does get depressing sometimes though the way the lists usually just get longer rather than shorter. I cross off one thing and then 3 more requests come in from school or whatever...

It's better since I started managing them on my tablet instead of bits of paper though, as it meant I could separate things more easily into a longer-term list (things like decorating jobs, which are bigger but less urgent) and a short-term list for more urgent/immediate things like buying presents, filling in forms or renewing insurance.

Lately I have managed to start one or two of the longer-term jobs (first time in ages!) which is nice, though they are still taking a while to finish.

The thing that really bugs me is when I end up with a lot of things on my list which are really jobs for DH, but as he is NOT a list person I end up having to be the one that (repeatedly) reminds him of them, or they won't get done. Really wish he would get himself organized so I don't have to do all the brainwork for both of us. (Yes, I have read the Wifework book...sigh)

Kazzyv Tue 29-Oct-13 06:30:52

I use odd lists on old envelopes and scraps of paper most of the time but Christmas I have a special book, divided into sections. We have a big drinks party every year on Christmas Eve so I have one shopping list for that, another for Christmas Day food, another for presents, and lastly cards to send. I keep it from year to year so one of the saddest points of the year for me is crossing people off the card list who have died since last Christmas, but it does mean that I reflect on those losses while celebrating which is also rather bittersweet.

Ajaney Tue 29-Oct-13 08:14:29

My main list is written down and kept in my bedside drawer. It has everything from buy socks to compare energy suppliers deals. I transfer things to the calendar on my phone to try and encourage myself to do them! If I have completed a task when the reminder comes up, I can dismiss it. If I haven't I either extend it or dismiss it and worry about the next time I read my list. Harder to do things which involve going into town or making phone calls now I have a child and work part time but hoping it will be easier when he starts school next year.

onemoredayplease Tue 29-Oct-13 08:23:15

I have a list on my phone which I compose usually last thing at night. it helps clear my head. when I look at it the next day I pick out the crucial stuff or the quick wins if im pressed for time. as long as I do something on my list I'm happy. to tick nothing off feels very uncomfortable! at work I have a white board divided in recurring and none recurring. my lists can range from something very mundane to actually scheduling time to think about a specific issue- and I do mean think! I take away the pressure of reaching a decision sometimes and it helps.

10thingsihateaboutpoo Tue 29-Oct-13 09:16:54

I'm definitely a list person, it keeps me from getting stressed. I keep them short and manageable now though otherwise they seem overwhelming which is counter-productive. We had a list a page of A4 long (with three columns) to do before Dd2 was born and it just felt neverending.

And yes to breaking big jobs down into smaller tasks, easier to see some progress then.

tryingforsolong Tue 29-Oct-13 09:21:25

My friends call me the List Lady! I have a list for everything. In fact I never leave home without a list. Food shopping list, usually divided into shops. Present buying list, in month order. Cleaning list for chores, room by room. DIY list of jobs that need doing around the house, room by room, in priority order. Work task list, daily on my desk. Christmas list. Voucher codes/bargain/sales list. Appointments list (dentist, nurse, hospital, hairdressers etc). I am also compiling my family tree so that's a whole new level of lists! I just love a good list!

TheDietStartsTomorrow Tue 29-Oct-13 09:44:03

I make my to-do list in my diary almost every day. I don't do it first thing in the morning because there's already a plethora of things that need seeing to at the start of the day but once all the regular tasks are out if the way, I make a list do I can focus on my day.

My to-do list has sections. There's a section for paperwork, phonecalls and work related tasks that need seeing to. Then a section for today's chores that are left over and I need to organise into my day. I also make sections for other things to fit into my day besides chores and tasks such as making time to fit in extra prayers, spending time with my mum, calling a friend I haven't spoken to in a while, buying myself something, reading a book I've intended to for a while if looking up the answer to a particular question that's been swirling around my mind, etc.

My lists help me focus and prioritise. They also help me to avoid feeling overwhelmed by how much I have to do inbred day. Once I write it out and allocate a time for it, it all seems manageable. I tend to end up ticking off about 70% of my list. That's enough for me. Living a full life like I do, there are always going to be things that I don't get done at the end of the day. Although I write them out, I'm realistic about my list and don't beat myself up about anything that's not done.

There are a few things that are on my list that have grown comfortable there and refuse to budge. smile I intended to change my DS's Childs Trust fund provider a few weeks after it was opened when he was just a few months old. He's now approaching his 11th birthday and I still haven't managed it!

Bumblequeen Tue 29-Oct-13 10:01:42

I use my phone and diary to note all the things I need to do including appointments. They are always in my bag. I set reminders in my phone so am alerted by an alarm.

Reminders include:
Paying dd's school dinner fees
Dd's birthday invitations
Calling a friend
Hospital appt
Defrost chicken

Dh does not utilise his phone/diary so relies on me to keep him up to date.

MotherofBear Tue 29-Oct-13 11:02:06

I tend to only do lists when I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed by the amount of stuff I have to do. Especially when it comes to housework. I like to list every job that needs doing, and put the expected time next to it. So, for example, I'll put 8.00 - 9.00 - Clean kitchen, incl. tidying cupboards & washing floor.
It helps me focus on one thing at a time and breaks the work down into manageable chunks.

At work, I use lists to help me prioritize if I have lots of things to do that seem equally important/urgent. If I list each job, I can then go through and number them in order of urgency.

I always write lists down on a fresh piece of lined paper. Putting them on my phone doesn't work so well for me.

I keep a book in my bag which mainly contains lists of assignments and coursework that I need to complete, then home and dc's to do lists are in a big diary in the kitchen so that we can glance at it as we go past.

AnnaConda Tue 29-Oct-13 11:10:41

I tend to make lists then fail to read them. If it's really important it gets written in my paper diary in my handbag which is handy for planning ahead. I get irritated by stand alone to-do lists as I rarely finish them and that just annoys me.

ShatnersEmptyCatacomb Tue 29-Oct-13 11:15:23

I don't write to do lists for myself. It's all in my mind.

I do write lists for DH and DS1 though, who are both very forgetful.

magentastardust Tue 29-Oct-13 11:18:01

I have lots of to do lists.
I have one that is sitting on the kitchen side and has all the immediate things to do -eg pay x bill, school trip money to be in, make opticians app etc-this gets scored through most days but never completely done!

I also have lists for big things like Christmas -actually I have a what we call the BOC (book of Christmas!) which has lists of everything planned to buy, what has been bought, budgets, xmas card lists -as we have 3 xmas birthdays so there is a lot of planning and spending around December.

I think I would probably be a wee bit lost without my lists.

lalamumto3 Tue 29-Oct-13 11:34:42

I too love to do lists. I also really love the paper pad to do lists that split the week into days so you can write things by day. I also always have a tick off pre printed list for groceries. Lists for holidays etc.

I do find that I am constantly moving stuff forward from one week to the next.

It would be great if we could have a to do list that comes with the product you buy, so for house insurance maybe a list of things to do through the year eg clear gutters in September, have boiler serviced etc. It would have been really handy to have been reminded by a list to take the keys to the holiday house when I last went on holiday! Or to check have all of the families passports (and not leave husbands behind) haa haa

CMOTDibbler Tue 29-Oct-13 11:36:37

I have two lists - one as a virtual sticky note on my PC which is small things like 'get repeat prescription, order for dad' and the kitchen whiteboard which is things like 'clear garage, toys to charity shop'.

The whiteboard list hangs round more, but we did get the garage sorted - the storm warning was a great incentive to get the trailer tent inside for the winter!

weaseleyes Tue 29-Oct-13 11:41:36

Ideally I use a notebook for the huge brainstorming lists, but try to keep my work in progress list down to about 3-5 things to stop myself getting overwhelmed. The WIP tries desperately to grow all the time, though.

algor Tue 29-Oct-13 12:07:55

I love to-do lists and would be lost without them.
I try to do one for the week ahead on a Sunday night then add to it as when required.
The satisfaction of scoring off tasks is a fabulous feeling and even if I misplace the list writing it down makes it easier for me to retain in my head.

Spirael Tue 29-Oct-13 12:46:13

We make a to do list at the start of most weekends. It helps to work out exactly what we need to get done so we can work out the priorities and schedule time as effectively as possible.

My DH particularly appreciates the list, as he often doesn't notice or realise the things that need doing. With a list, it takes the guess work out of it and he can just work his way methodically down the jobs.

It's also strangely satisfying to scratch another item off the list and it gives a sense of achievement to see a fully completed list!

UserError Tue 29-Oct-13 12:51:26

I have categories of lists, with a master list to keep track of them all. Then I ignore everything, get into a flap about how much stuff I should be doing and throw the lists away. Give me a week and I'll have created them again.

Tinlegs Tue 29-Oct-13 12:52:59

I have always done lists: long term lists (places I want to visit, things I want to do or learn etc), medium term lists (tidy the attic, sort out the books) or short term lists (buy milk). However, I am rather trapped between the use of paper and the use of electronic means. I often use both, sometimes think I have used one and occasionally muck it up entirely. I find my phone helps for jotting things down (or photographing things as reminders) and I am trying to use this more. However, my DH is a paper and pen man so shopping lists remain communal and old school.

onlysettleforbutterflies Tue 29-Oct-13 12:59:19

I have to do lists for everything and love the satisfaction of ticking things off, of course some lists never get completed though.

I have paper lists in my purse of things to buy - food, card, presents. Spreadsheets of lists of work that needs to be done on the house, finances etc. and the odd little post it note too.

Sometimes I do something, then go back and add it to a list, just so I can do a satisfying tick smile.

pussinwellyboots Tue 29-Oct-13 13:16:06

I like ticking off things so put day to day tasks on eg hang out washing/unload dishwasher. My youngest has just started nursery so i'm hoping to get round to some of the bigger things eg sort out attic/ decorating etc....

I can be a big procrastinator and sorting out some old bank accounts in my maiden name has been on my list for a long time!

I have a whiteboard in the kitchen.
Each evening I write the next day's list of jobs, usually about 20 tasks that will take between a couple of minutes and an hour. I usually tick a few off before the school run, loads through the morning, a couple in the afternoon, and finish off the last few things while cooking dinner.
Lists help me keep focus, I never have more than two tasks left by the end of the day, and it's never the same two.

dahville Tue 29-Oct-13 13:50:19

I have lists everywhere: paper, email, ipad, in my head!

Most do get done but these are the mundane things that need to be done. The things that take longer don't get done because I don't have the time. Anything that can't get done in 5 or 10 stolen minutes needs to wait.

LetUsPrey Tue 29-Oct-13 13:52:54

My lists in are in my head mostly. Occasionally I'll write something down but then I put the piece of paper down somewhere and it seems to get misplaced. I bought a diary organiser thing last Christmas which had lots of tear out lists at the back. Not used it. blush

My mum and two sisters are List Makers Extraordinaire though, very organised. I think I probably bring List Shame upon them grin

fourmonthstogo Tue 29-Oct-13 14:24:16

I love lists! Most of mine exist in my head, like the current DIY one (plane door to stop it sticking, sort out kitchen light, repaint patchy wall...) but come Christmas there is a list for cards and presents, and at work when busy I have a list to make sure I get it all done. Very satisfying to cross things off! Lists for shopping, otherwise I will forget a vital ingredient, and I set reminders on my phone for things to be done the next day when they pop into my head.
Thinking of lists, perhaps it would be a good time to start my Christmas list - surely not too early?!

notagiraffe Tue 29-Oct-13 15:14:31

I love lists and live by them. Different lists for different parts of life. There's not one long never ending list.

For daily jobs around the house and linked to family, we have a chalk board. I add cleaning jobs to that as well as reminders for when to send in cheques/forms to school or book the dentist and cross them off daily.

Then there's a shopping list - online for groceries and on paper for other stuff on my Organised Mum calendar tear-off shopping list.

Work lists are online. I mail them to a friend each morning and she mails me hers. We are both freelance, so we act as each other's managers to make sure we get done the things we intended to do.

My favourite lists are bucket lists and life lists. I use online places like Day Zero for these and LOVE ticking things off. All the major achievements and fulfilments of big dreams in our family life have come from writing lists like this and checking on them regularly.

flamingtoaster Tue 29-Oct-13 15:28:07

I use lists all the time. There is the shopping list (I shop in-store and the list keeps me focused and makes it quicker). I also have three Christmas lists - one lists what everyone is getting for Christmas, we have a master list of Christmas cards to be sent which is updated each year, and there is the list of what I have to do/buy before Christmas. I have two other lists - things I want to achieve that week and things I want to achieve over the longer term. I try to do at least one thing that I know I am avoiding every week - don't always succeed!

Snog Tue 29-Oct-13 15:30:28

There is a temptation for me to "crisis manage" as I am short on time and to ignore the longer term stuff that needs planning for way in advance.

If I wrote down what my to do list should look like beyond a to do list for the current day I'm with remus it would be too too depressing!

DaleyBump Tue 29-Oct-13 15:38:22

I tend to leave things to the very last minute. I also write lots lists and then never tick the things off blush right now I have lots of really important things to do and just can't be bothered doing them. I'm getting induced in 2/3 weeks and baby still has nowhere to sleep, so I really should get moving...

I am a compulsive list maker. It's genetic.

I always do the things I don't want to do first. It's much better to get these things out of the way and leave the nice things until last.

grape999 Tue 29-Oct-13 16:15:12

There is nothing as satisfying as crossing jobs off a list when they are done. This is the primary purpose behind my lists! I have been known to include simple tasks like, 'move book' just to enable me to enjoy crossing it off the list.

That said, without a list, I would be a mess. I have a work list and an on-going family jobs list. If I lose one, there is major panic. The work list is fairly efficiently run through, the family jobs list, not so much. 'Pick up photographs from shop' has been on the list since July, as has 'change address on driving licence'. I strongly suspect both will remain for a few months.

ouryve Tue 29-Oct-13 16:18:58

I write shopping lists as things come to mind, but apart from that, I only write lists when i have a lot of things to tackle, or I keep forgetting to do a particular thing.

Fuzzysnout Tue 29-Oct-13 16:40:16

I love a 'to - do' list. It's really satisfying crossing off items, though I have been known to add things I've already done, just so I can cross them off!

I do find a lust very motivational as long as I stick to things I know I can achieve. I find it does make me get stuck into those tasks I would normally put off as I feel guilty if I leave them on the list.

Fuzzysnout Tue 29-Oct-13 16:41:50

blush list - not lust!

I luffs lists! My lists I can't live without:

Food shopping list
Christmas food list
Holiday packing list
Things to do the night before going to work list (especially important since I'm returning from maternity leave)

Lots of lists at work as I have multiple roles, these are kept on the computer which pings up reminders at me

I have a beautiful notebook in my handbag that is for everyday chores and reminders.

Having a list keeps me calm, weird as that sounds! Plus it makes jobs easier to share and to delegate amongst colleagues and family.

I hate tasks that sit on a list for ages, very depressing sad

mirtzapine Tue 29-Oct-13 17:00:49

oooohhh!!! I have a nice nappa leather notebook cover from filofax with Paperchase eco school jotter and I use the circle, circle-dot, filled in circle to denote the stage that the task is at.

On my nexus 4 I have the app for shoutcasting reminders at me (it's synced to my Nexus 7, macbook, HP mobile workstation, and desktop workstations as well as Mrs Mirzapine's iphone, macbook air and workstation).

Also I use the toad diary undated 24 month diary for longterm planning. And a chalkboard wall with postits for weekly planning of meals school etc so I can transfer from any of the sources so that everyone at home can see the information and then forget it.

For work I use trello and the kanban system plus another undated toad diary.

No one would ever think I'm an anally retentive, obsessive compulsive, software engineer would they.

nobutreally Tue 29-Oct-13 17:02:20

I love to do lists. I have lots:
1. one daily one (work & life - I'm SE/work from home so it all merges into one!)
2. project lists (we're just putting the house on the market, so I currently have a 'tidying/house titivating' list for example)
3. lists on phone of things not to forget next time I'm out (as I don't have my main list with me then)
4. Blackboard in kitchen for food things

I also operate a star system on the main daily list - so things that need doing today have two star, things that can 'carry over' have one - helpful I find to prioritise that way otherwise I tend to do the nice/easy jobs first <lazy> Anything that doesn't get done one day, moves onto the next days list, which I find is a useful way to stop myself avoiding things - it gets embarressing when I'm, writing 'return library books' for the 10th day running....!

mirtzapine Tue 29-Oct-13 17:04:12

sorry forgot the &trade; tm symbol next to tode&trade; don't want anyone to get in trouble

mirtzapine Tue 29-Oct-13 17:04:53


nobutreally Tue 29-Oct-13 17:05:00

Oh, and on 'life lists' haven't done one for a while, but dh and I both did
1. things to achieve by 40
2. Things not to do until we were 30
when we were about 25. Lots of those are ticked off now - we should probably do a new one ...It was a lovely thing to do, and helped us prioritise nice things we wanted to do for us before we settled down & had kids - as well as giving us a real sense of shared vision.

<woooooo... lists are powerful>

mirtzapine Tue 29-Oct-13 17:05:21

oh! encoding is stripped out tcha!

tootssweet Tue 29-Oct-13 17:12:52

I love a good list! I use my phone, iPad & work computer which have a very satisfying check box next to them & a fab strike out I have them separated out into work & home though I do agree with specialised lists for Christmas etc.

Nothing feels better than clearing your list (not that it often happens!)

BobaFetaCheese Tue 29-Oct-13 17:37:18

I love a good list, I'll make one for anything.

Currently the oldest thing on our house lists is;
Buy kitchen light cover. Had it on there since Sept 2008, when we re-did the kitchen. Poor naked lightbulb sad

babsmam Tue 29-Oct-13 18:41:42

I love a to do list at home and at work with an extra shopping list. I keep my lists with my diary so I can attempt to be uber organized. For other times I have carry forward list that I put in my diary near the next year's event ready. Christmas is a good example. And to make sure I know where I am I have a list of which lists I keep.

I find it quite cathartic to have lists. If I don't I find myself getting stressed trying to remember everything and something inevitably gets lost without lists

having tried all options I find a good old notebook and pen is the best.

themummyonthebus Tue 29-Oct-13 18:46:25

I love lists.

My work one is electronic and everything is broken down into bite sized actions so I can't procrastinate.

My home lists are all handwritten. I normally have a few on the go at the same time. At the moment I've got the following lists:
Perpetual shopping list
General things to do
De-cluttering action list
Questions for the builder
Things to buy for the bathroom
List of requirements for kitchen designer

I love lists!

scripsi Tue 29-Oct-13 18:54:05

I make a list every morning and also update the long term list. I find some issues (eg long term money matters) quite difficult to confront so I have a tendency to focus on the short term but neglect the long run.

Bryzoan Tue 29-Oct-13 19:21:34

Fining enough, getting wills and life insurance are two things that have been on my to do list way too long.

I have 2 to do lists - a non time specific one (where some stuff can fester) and a daily / calendar one to make sure I meet dependencies. I keep them in notepads on my phone - and delete stuff as it is done. I do like the feeling of lightness as it shrinks - but it does mean don't get the satisfaction of seeing how much is ticked off.

dasteve Tue 29-Oct-13 19:46:54

My todo list is so long but it's just in my head so things keep falling off it!

It includes decorating about half of the house, sorting out the vegetable garden, turfing the front garden, sorting out Christmas presents and loads of other things I've forgotten since I started writing this.

RubySparks Tue 29-Oct-13 19:46:57

I have the perpetual shopping list and also say if its not on the list it would get bought (like cointreau). However this mostly results in a shopping list which says things like beer, chocolate, sweets, crisps, ice cream....

Always have to do lists on the go thanks to a never ending renovation project that is our house, often on scraps of paper or post it notes and often misplaced!

About to read an article on having a five year plan which will likely result in more things to do, probably financial...

LonelyGoatherd Tue 29-Oct-13 19:48:27

I've always loved making lists and crossing jobs off them. I dallied with using my phone, but am back to the proper pen and cutesy notebook now. Like my granny, I start each day by making a to-do list, and a sub-list of shopping I've forgotten in the weekly shop. I have meal plan lists, clothes I lust after list, and what-to-achieve-in-5-years lists.

I'm pretty good at ticking things off quickly (but things have to be on the list to have a chance of getting done!). Having children has made lists even more essential - goodbye spontaneity!

bigwellyfucker Tue 29-Oct-13 20:20:47

Since combining full time work, a house and garden renovation and raising two children lists are a necessary part of survival!

I have a notebook and in that I have lists for every day chores and reminders, Christmas and birthday ideas for myself and my family. I keep one section for weekly meal planning and shopping lists - I don't tear these out so can always look back for inspiration. I also list what work we need to do on the house and garden and what materials we need (so we can save money on offer days at DIY stores) as well as phone conversations with trades.

I use a phone app tied to my Gmail calendar for regular to do lists but always have my paper copy.

4yoniD Tue 29-Oct-13 20:36:12

A list is a must to me, or it plays on my mind.

If I don't have much, it's a piece of paper in my diary. If I have loads, I use PocketMod (google it - it's great!).

I get great satisfaction from re-writing my list whenever it gets too scruffy from things being crossed off! I do find it irritating the jobs which get re-written on list after list. Sometimes it increases my motivation to get on and do it, sometimes it makes me re-evaluate whether I should give up on a job - forget about it completely, and if it needs doing in the future it can go back on the list then.

At the moment I am planning on having building work done, and it is annoying having huge, long lasting tasks on my list - arrange mortgage, find rental, and so on - but this too shall pass!

stealthsquiggle Tue 29-Oct-13 20:37:37

I make endless lists, but they are not global, long term "to do" lists those would be too scary - more a "things that need to get done today" list - and those things need to be of a manageable size. There is no point writing "tidy house" on a list because it is never going to happen. If I have (for example) "spare room" on the list, and a deadline (usually someone coming to stay) then the spare room will get rescued from under the heaps of crap cleared and tidied.

On my work list are always all the endless admin tasks which really really need to be done but always end up being left in favour of something less boring more urgent. Those are depressing lists.

A finished to do list is a rare but good feeling. It makes me feel that I actually have achieved something rather than just run around like a headless chicken all day.

stealthsquiggle Tue 29-Oct-13 20:45:37

I have to admit, I always thought that lists were a female trait, but when DM was reaching complete meltdown organising a big party, DB2 stepped in and restructured her endless list into a meta list (list of lists) with associated lists, in sensible order so that the first thing on the list wasn't impossible because it depended on 5 other things IYSWIM. His list structure was a thing of beauty grin

ladygoingGaga Tue 29-Oct-13 21:13:36

I have a list at work, usually a mixture of short term hits, like sending important emails etc, something I can tick off easily to make me feel like I'm succeeding! Do have a few longer term ones on there, even if it just prompts me to chase something up.

Lists at home usually have odd shopping items on there, things that I don't buy every week that I would otherwise forget.
Also have birthday presents etc on there, otherwise I forget.

Lists are satisfying, but only if you have achievable goals that you can tick off, otherwise it becomes detrimental and a constant reminder of how you are failing!

Nerfmother Tue 29-Oct-13 21:44:10

I have a rectangle of blackboard paint in the kitchen - jobs for today (clean floors/ ring plumber.
I have a box of paper work to be sorted on a weekly basis; permission slips from school, electoral roll letters and longer term things like payment plans for school trips.
I have a Filofax with Xmas and birthday lists .

I am actually super organised grin

BlackberrySeason Tue 29-Oct-13 22:24:39

Mine is on my iPhone and most pressing ones are 1) buy life insurance 2) do wills blush

RedBushedT Tue 29-Oct-13 22:34:29

I love lists. I have several! I have daily lists, short term goal lists, long term house improvement lists, Christmas gift lists etc.
By writing it down it frees up my mind to think of other things and I'm less stressed because I'm not constantly thinking I've forgotten stuff grin
Crossing stuff off a list is a brilliant feeling and quite addictive.. it helps me to fell a sense of achievement throughout the day.
I do have stuff on my long term home improvement list that has been there for a good few years due to not having the cash to do it yet, but I don't get disheartened, it keeps me focused that there are things I want to do that I need to work for smile

Hopezibah Tue 29-Oct-13 23:25:45

that is so true about procrastinating and getting on with mainly the things we enjoy doing!

there are certain items that I need to go shopping for specifically that I never seem to get around to. As well as some things I would like to look into if I got the time (which never happens).

I find lists so helpful as by writing it down it reduces the stress of having to remember and you get the satisfaction of ticking it off.

I even have the kids homework listed on my 'to do' list (to remind me to remind them to do it).

Most important things do get done but usually just in the nick of time.

There are some things that remain forever on the to do list - like there is always ironing to be done! That job never ends.

I even add things like this onto my 'to do' list if there is a thread on mumsnet that I want to join in with but don't have a chance at that moment it goes on the 'to do' list!

Tikkamasala Tue 29-Oct-13 23:45:59

My to do list for things at home is on the iPad. Some tasks have been on there since I moved in though which is now over a year! Finally ticked off getting a shoe rack and clearing the massive pile of shoes from the hall way... At work I always seem to have millions of scraps of paper with my to do lists.

HootyMcOwlface Wed 30-Oct-13 03:22:29

I'm the one that does lists in our house. I don't know how my husband manages without them. Shopping list every week. To-do list on busy days. The things that are on the list but never get done are certain household chores, like fixing dripping taps, and tidying up the overgrown garden.
Having children makes it so much harder to get anything done, and certain things (like the garden) I just accept aren't going to be done.

StillNoFuckingEyeDeer Wed 30-Oct-13 04:37:33

I keep a to do list on my phone. It's mostly admin stuff that I need to wait until the DC are in bed and I still have the energy for. Some things stay on the list until they're no longer relevant, but I get round to doing most of it eventually.
I also keep a shopping list on my phone that I can keep adding to when I think of things. It's easier than a paper lust because I'm less likely to lose it. I sometimes transfer it to a bit of paper for going around the shop, rather than have my phone out the whole time.

CheeryCherry Wed 30-Oct-13 07:26:44

I love making lists, it keeps me on track and efficient. There is a continual shopping list on the fridge, all family members know to write down items which they finish or use up. I have an all year round Christmas list so I can jot down ideas or items I've bought. I often do a to-do jobs list and ask my dcs to choose one to do that day. There is a lot of satisfaction when ticking things off a list! Currently we have our house on the market and there's a jobs list of diy of which has needed doing since we moved here ten years ago!

LegoCaltrops Wed 30-Oct-13 08:01:08

I have lots of lists. It's a brave attempt to remain organised amidst a rising sea of chaos. Mostly sometimes I feel I am winning. However some of the old lists do have am alarming tenancy to scatter around me like confetti when I rummaged through handbag. Someone should invent a system of ticking them off when I've finished with them, I never seem to get round to throwing them away otherwise.

My lists:

- weekly meal plan (on whiteboard in kitchen)
- grocery shopping list ( to take to supermarket)
- grocery shopping list (on whiteboard in kitchen, has all the things written on as we run out of them - pickles, detergent, soy sauce etc)
- shopping list for what clothes I still need to get for DD's next size up (she is a toddler & I can't afford to just replace them all at once when she outgrows a size so I do it slowly & write down what I have got).
- jobs to do around the house (repainting living room etc)
- I may introduce a new list: Christmas/birthday presents acquired for DD. I've already spent far more than I'd planned to. Perhaps if I had a list (complete with figures) I might be less inclined to add to the growing pile of presents. blushgrin
- mental list of housework, don't need a list for this...

JulesJules Wed 30-Oct-13 08:01:54

Oh I love lists! Writing lists gives me an excuse to buy notebooks. Love ticking things off, makes me feel efficient.

My household "office" is on top of the cookery books bookshelves, Calendar on the wall and notebooks, diary, pens and a load of other crap on the top.

I have a general shopping list on the go which I add things to as I notice them and a day to day to do list (eg make vets appointment, take duvet to drycleaners etc). I tell the children "write it on the list" so sometimes the list will say "Tons of chocolate for MEEE", and once, mystifyingly, "Toyota Yaris"

A general to do list/wish list in my diary with bigger things on. Some of these get moved to the next diary year after year, so it includes things like new bathroom flooring.

A Christmas/Birthday list also in my diary where I write down ideas as I think of them. I transfer most of this to my Amazon wishlists.

TrickyWoo Wed 30-Oct-13 08:06:13

At work my list is on excel, in priority order & colour coded for urgency. Each day I'll write a quick 'must do' list which little stuff gets added to, and struck through when done. If still on list at end of day it goes on master list.

At home we have excel spreadsheet for Christmas (tabs for presents, carried forward for 5 years so we don't duplicate), food, other stuff.

We also have a notebook for menu planning, shopping list and general stuff to do.

WhyIRayLiotta Wed 30-Oct-13 08:54:29

I use my phone for lists galore.

on busy days I do a list the night before... listing everything the day will entail from what time I'll get up shower / get ready to work meetings/ appointments /travel times etc... It makes me feel a bit more prepared. Its rare that I end up doing everything as time listed but it makes me calmer to think I have a plan to fit everything in.

I am engaged and trying to think about wedding plans. I make lists about everything. Guests / destinations / pro and con lists of big vs small etc. I am not actually achieving anything by doing this... but it makes me feel like I am doing something as opposed to faffing around.

Yankeedoodlenic Wed 30-Oct-13 09:11:41

I am always making lists. To do lists. Wish lists. Shopping Lists. I have a list of projects to do around the house but that require a bit of investment and time so DH and I just haven't gotten around to ticking them off.

List includes:
*Putting a cabinet door back on that fell off months ago.
*Turning a wardrobe into a kitchen larder/pantry
*Painting some floating shelves from various wood colours to white
*Hanging numerous picture frames up

I always get my short term lists done. Since getting married and preparing for a baby those have included.
*Write thank you cards
*Pack hospital bag
*Wash baby's clothes
*Finish decorating nursery
*Buy new dressing gown

So I am making good progress on this list!

clubnail Wed 30-Oct-13 10:40:52

I've been a list-maker ever since I could write.

I have them on a notepad on the ipad now, and have various lists for various things.
- We are currently looking to move house so we have a list of the current properties we like
- We have a list of activities in the area for DS/us as a family
- We have a list of dream travel destinations
- A list for what to get who for Xmas

I don't bother with a shopping list specifically as we shop online so it is all stored on there for us. We had a list of DIY for the house we are selling and it has felt good crossing things off the list as and when they get completed.

WowOoo Wed 30-Oct-13 10:57:09

I have a notebook so I can keep all lists and notes together.
I take my grocery list to the supermarket to avoid impulse buys.

I have things to do lists - short term and longer term. I'll write them at the end of the day when I'm winding down. Even if I don't look at it the next day, the act of writing it helps me to remember.

ThePearShapedToad Wed 30-Oct-13 12:12:52

I love to do lists.

I have a "live" one running at all times on my phone that I can glance at and see what needs doing in the vague future; then random ones for shopping, chores, events to remember

I've avoided having to paint my skirting boards simply because I haven't added it to the list lazy

But when I finally managed to get off the sofa and scrub the hallway walls done I felt a glowing pride. Shame that 5 mins later everyone barged through the front door with sticky hands and black boots


MadMonkeys Wed 30-Oct-13 12:45:26

Its all on my phone. I get a kick out of ticked off jobs do that's my incentive to do jobs on the list! If i don't write them down they nag at the back of my mind, once theyre added to my to do list i don't worry about them anymore.

unadulterateddad Wed 30-Oct-13 13:11:13

I run four main lists, one for everyday things that is on the whiteboard in the kitchen for everyone in the house to review, one on my work pc that pops up every morning with my daily tasks on it- linked into my diary so I can't ignore the popup, one on Evernote to remind me of incidentals and things I've not put elsewhere and one in my head that has the one, three and five year plan on it.
I've got a good memory, so don't really need the lists written down, but the pleasure of crossing off something from the list is a really positive driver for getting things done

malachite Wed 30-Oct-13 14:16:54

I have a to do list for work, one the home and one for my DH (that he never actually does anything off). I have a shocking memory and so need them to keep organised. The thing that's been on my list longest is to decorate the house! We chose colours and planned it all out but never got around to actually doing it. Having kids does really limit the time we have to spend on stuff like this, but I wouldn't have it any other way!

tinypumpkin Wed 30-Oct-13 14:31:40

I have an app on the pc which I use to write to do lists. I like the satisfaction of being to tick things off and also have separate lists for work and home etc. Simple but effective.

I need a list as feel calmer when I have at least written down everything I need to do. I get stressed that I will forget something otherwise.

Having children has just made my lists longer as more things to do and less time to do them in.

aristocat Wed 30-Oct-13 15:32:15

I also love a list grin I use wunderlist on my mobile and good old paper lists too.
I have christmas lists, weekly/daily 'to do' lists, activities for the family and small lists are just stuck on the fridge (with a magnet) also the calendar must be one that we can write lots on.

The pleasure from crossing off a list is fabulous. With both DCs at different schools I know lists are essential.
My memory is good but I like the reassurance a list gives you.

mignonnette Wed 30-Oct-13 16:06:39

I buy gorgeous notebooks from Paperchase, Muji and Moleskine to write in. I use the Moleskine ones to record random thoughts, combinations of words I like and ideas for writing. I also sketch in them.

I have a Christmas gift notebook with stocking gift lists at the back and main gifts at the front.

I have a notebook listing the details of all the books I want to buy and I cross them off as I acquire them.

I have a DVD/films to watch list. I have a music to acquire list. I even have a page of ideas for Pinterest boards ehich is probably rather tragic - recent ideas include Foreign Pharmacy Buys, 'Slither', Shona Heath (a set designer for editorial) and My imaginary Husband (Lou Reed who recently left me a widow sad)

I have a gardening notebook detailing plants and their locations, where bulbs are, garden planning and design and a calendar of tasks. I also have an allotment notebook which is kind of the same. They both have photographs pasted into them showing plants in flower, progress etc. I also do little sketches of plants w/ watercolour pencils. I'm not that good. They mostly resemble generic green bushes.

Don't even get me started on my cooking notebooks. I have at least seven full notebooks and recipe files, mostly handwritten and some pasted in tearsheets from magazines/printed off recipes. My daughter wants them when I am dead.

My entire house needs redoing. I don't list all the jobs there as if I did my head would explode.

When I first met my DH I would sometimes record his texts in a notebook because they were so funny. I get a little embarrassed about it but recently showed him and he got a bit teary reading them. They were so funny and loving (and a bit more sometimes wink) that I didn't want them to be lost forever when the phone died. They are a little narrative of the first year of our relationship.

mignonnette Wed 30-Oct-13 16:07:42

Oh and I ALWAYS leave my shopping lists in the little clip on thingy on the Waitrose trolley for somebody to find.

IsThatTrue Wed 30-Oct-13 18:52:06

I have a running to do list on my phone. A lot of the time I add things I know I will do anyway just so I can tick something off and feel I've accomplished something.

I tend to have weekly lists and some things roll for a few months before I get round to them blush.

MiconiumHappens Wed 30-Oct-13 18:55:09

I am a list of lists kinda gal!

I find the act of crossing things off lists so satisfying and it also helps me focus on just how much I have achieved even if there is still a lot to do.

If I have a very big to do list, I highlight the "absolutely must be done today" things even if they're not the most important they are the closest crocodile to the boat so must be swatted away!

I also find lists help me to delegate if I can, I write down everything that needs to be achieved and in order of the priority. If I look and think hmmm I'm not super woman and I just don't have enough time, I look to see if anyone else (DH, work colleague or team member) could/should take a task on.

I have lists all over written ones, on the notes section of my phone, as documents on my desktop and a chalkboard in the kitchen.

I was once told if you are stressing at bedtime about all you have to do, make a list and mentally park it on the list until the next morning this works for me.

Sometimes I add things I've already achieved to the list just to have the satisfaction of crossing it off shock

I have lot's of to do lists. Some written down some in my head. One of the things on my mental to do list is make a will. Up there at the top been there a while.

missorinoco Wed 30-Oct-13 19:41:59

I find these lists very helpful. If there is just one or two things to do I plan it out in my head. More than that, e.g. multiple household admin tasks, or at work, and I make a sequential list and cross them off. Unlike others the crossing off doesn't give me satisfaction, it is more that the list enables me to focus my mind and work methodically through the tasks.

I find them especially helpful if I am stressed. Writing down what I have to do clarifies what needs doing, helps me prioritise what I can do and when and because I have a strategy that makes it less stresssful.

Those jobs that linger - I let them sit on my list for a week or so, but they wind me up, I generally then just get on with it, or it worries away at me. Usually those jobs are kept in my mental to do list, easier to ignore them there.

SaltySeaBird Wed 30-Oct-13 19:57:04

I'm a bit compulsive about being organised and have multiple to do lists. Mainly work related, a list of challenges for the year (things like run 5k in under 30 minutes) and then just general stuff I need to remember. I've got spreadsheets, a notebook and we use a project management system at work for those to do lists.

There are LOTS of things we need to do round the house at the moment but since having DD we are just firefighting. We decided to make a big to do list of tasks, print it out, fold them up and put them in a jar. Outdoor tasks would be on green paper (like de-jungle a particular area of the garden), one off (or infrequent) household tasks on red (takes over an hour, most likely involves DIY) or pink (less than an hour, eg sort out a particular drawer). We were then going to pull at least one task out each weekend or more if we had time until all the jobs were done. The first task was to do the list and create the jar ... Not ticked that off yet ...

Iwaswatchingthat Thu 31-Oct-13 06:44:32

I am a HUGE 'to do' list writer.

I find that I forget more stuff since having children and if I don't write things down they get don't get done!

I have them for work, home, going into town, Ebay and even for my dds' party plans!!

I try and break large tasks into small and manageable steps so they get ticked off quicker and I don't get too disheartened. E.g. Rather than 'clean house' I will split into downstair's loo, Hoover stairs etc. That way if I don't get the whole job done I can see that I have made some progress along the way.

I always cross off rather than tick off - so satisfying. Also the list then looks shorter.

I am getting slightly better at sharing my 'to do' list with DH now, rather than feeling I have to do it all for it to be done properly!! I am learning slowly to lower my standards in order to have more precious time!

supergreenuk Thu 31-Oct-13 07:41:41

I always have a list on my phone.

Since kids the list of broken items that need replacing is growing. Tumble dryer, microwave, iron, dishwasher. It's a boring expense that you just don't want to spend fun money on.

I also had a list of things I wanted to do like climb the 3 peaks. We did snowdon before kids but the others are on hold? I wonder if we will ever do them as the kids get old we also get older hmm

gazzalw Thu 31-Oct-13 07:43:29

The only thing I use lists for is food shopping...DW on the other hand spends her whole life writing them but doesn't use them going round the supermarkets....

Smudge588 Thu 31-Oct-13 10:02:58

I make lists and lists, often just abandoning them if they look too long and starting another! I do tend to put off some of the more important jobs, particularly financial decisions as they feel like they take too much time up.

EauRouge Thu 31-Oct-13 10:33:04

DH thinks I'm a little bit list-obsessed. I have lists of lists; everything from a daily to-do list to a 5-10 year plan. I like making lists thlblush. I'm very disorganised and get distracted easily so it helps me to have it physically written down. Also I get anxious about forgetting things so a list is very reassuring to me.

I've tried various apps and websites but I like having it all in a notebook. There's something very satisfying about ticking things off!

Another list lover here who gets great satisfaction from ticking things off. However I always manage to avoid the more onerous tasks like shopping around for cheaper utilities etc but am very happy to get stuck into researching holidays etc. I use Wunderlist on my smartphone and have a folder of different lists - to do, to buy, personal, work

3bunnies Thu 31-Oct-13 11:54:17

I tend to do lists for the fun things - holidays, birthday parties, Christmas, etc so they all run smoothly. Other things tend to either go on the phone, in my head or are conveniently forgotten!

Tyranasaurus Thu 31-Oct-13 12:08:54

What's been on your to-do list forever and you've so far managed to avoid ticking off?

loads of work on the house, through lack of time not motivation

What's your strategy for managing an ever-growing to do list?

do things as soon as they become a 'to do', let some things go

What impact did having children have on the list?

everything happens more slowly but I have more time in the day (not working) to do it in

Or, have you managed to tick something off? How did it make you feel? boring minor things like taking library boots back and buying winter coat didn't feel much really.

BackInTheGameAtLast Thu 31-Oct-13 19:46:53

I couldn't survive without lists. I always have loads on the go at any one time including a shopping list, list of admin stuff to get done, list of direct debits and when they are coming out and lists for specific events. DH and I work four jobs between us so time is tight and I find writing lists helps me to organise my thoughts, stop panicking and ensure everything gets done.

I always have a notebook in my handbag that I write my lists in. When it is nearly full I start to get stupidly excited about the idea of going shopping to choose the next one. I also have them all from the last ten years stored in a box in the bottom of the wardrobe with "from" and "to" dates written on the front.

Occasionally I will get one out and flick through it. They bring back memories - some good and some bad - but all things I'm glad to have reminders of. For example there is one in there with a list of pro's and con's of leaving DH when I was on the verge of embarking on an affair a few years ago. I stayed and now when I read it I get quite tearful realising how far we have come blush

My main rule of writing a "to do" list is to always put something on it that you have already done. That way you can cross it off straight away and however overwhelming the list seems, it gives you a mental boost because it looks like you have achieved something!

GetKnitted Thu 31-Oct-13 21:45:54

don't have a to-do list, I should do it, if only there was a simple non-technological way to note down things that you need to do in a nice ordered way

kateandme Fri 01-Nov-13 02:36:01

to do lists are all over the place.
i find them in my cupboards.everywhere.
they can be helpful even if i never get them done just to get them out from jumbling in my brain can be very helpful.
children have a knack for swishing them off the worktop though.or losing my lists down sofas.
i do them for shopping.
for tasks around the seperate for the husband.
we always have the same holiday list we print off.then items are added and taken off depending on where we go.things like buckets,spades,bikes,chargers,dvds etc.its suprsing what youd forget when your getting everyone else ready so its just good to have reminders.
lists can be helpful for mind stuff too.
when my dad was stressed he actually used to not sleep proeprly so ended up when he woke to get up and write it all down.just get it out of his mind.and went back to bed.very helpful.

Bubbles85 Fri 01-Nov-13 08:33:59

I always have multiple to do lists: one in the study, one on my phone and one on the fridge. Not sure why but I do like to have a list to hand when I think of something that needs doing. I seem to add more on to the lists than I manage to cross off since children have come on the scene (even before they are born!) Sometimes it stresses me and I suddenly feel the urge to do all of the tasks and I get a few crossed off at once. The best bit about all the lists is occasionally having to rewrite them when more is crossed off than not so it's easier to read, and that is sadly satisfying!

mrsmika Fri 01-Nov-13 12:44:38

I have to-do lists all over the place! Ones in my phone with reminders to alert me, short term post it notes on the table to catch my attention and do, and a shopping one on the fridge. I even have one beside the bed in case I remember something in bed! I keep a 'packing for holiday' one from year to year and alter if needed.
I hate it when items on my list keep hanging around and feel satisfied when they are crossed off my list! I'm the same with emails in my inbox, as soon as they are done they have to be filed away or I feel stressed! I have so much running through my brain I have to write things down else I'd forget, illness and medication has contributed to that too.

CheekyChimpsMummy Fri 01-Nov-13 12:51:28

I always have multiple lists on the go. I also write lists for my hubby or nothing would ever get done. It stops me from having to ask a million times for him to do even the tiniest thing.

As for my lists, there's always something on there that needs to be done, I prioritise by doing things in order of fun (usually creative homework tasks with the LO or shopping) Housework and household tasks can stay on the list for weeks (sometimes months!)

raindaisy Fri 01-Nov-13 13:32:30

I have avoided decorating i have walls finished, door surrounds finished but the doors i keep leaving..its been over a year now but i always forget, or rather not look at lol i hate painting doors, i love buy wallpaper in the bargain aisle though maybe i should paper the doors...I also have a pipe in the bathroom that needs painting since they installed a new shower but i forget to that too. I also keep saying i will take all the old clothes down the charity shop they are sitting in bags just waiting but time comes and goes and more goes in but never gets done and usually they end up in the loft. Ah well new year resolutions i think..better make the list and put it up now. smile

pepperrabbit Fri 01-Nov-13 13:41:34

I have a whiteboard in the kitchen, we keep an ongoing shopping list on one side and a list of jobs -for DH-- to do around the house on the other side. In the middle is random things the DC will need at school that week.
People laugh at it (or that may be my retentive coloured pens for different tasks system smile) but it really works for us.
Personally I use my Filofax for daily stuff that needs to happen with a very high-tech post-it note stuck in to write on in busy weeks.
My MIL is much more technologically savvy and keeps all her stuff on her phone/tablet - she watched me the other day put something in my diary and said "pepper - are you actually writing that down?" - she was genuinely incredulous at my use of pen and paper...

shscc Fri 01-Nov-13 13:42:03

I always use my phone to make my to-do lists. It makes things so much easier ... I never go anywhere without my phone, but always used to forget my paper type lists!

nerysw Fri 01-Nov-13 13:44:21

I live by lists, it's the only way I get things done. There's nothing quite like the satisfaction of crossing something (no matter how small) off the list, I've even been known to add things I've already done just so that I can cross it off.

Jinty64 Fri 01-Nov-13 13:55:35

Before I had the children I didn't need a to-do list, it was all in my head. Now I keep it by the microwave, shopping list on one side everything else to do on the other. I also have one at work beside my computer to note down all the work things I have to do. I have recently started setting my phone with reminders in case I forget to check my to-do list. Who knew!

Happiestinwellybobs Fri 01-Nov-13 14:07:27

Oh I love lists. It stops me panicking about what I need to be doing.

I have a shopping list permanently on the go, and a to do list at home which contains short term things like dropping a parcel off, taking library books back.

I have a "long term projects which need doing round the house" list which is a bit depressing as they never seem to get done.

I have a to do list at work, otherwise I wouldn't keep track of what I need to do.

My Christmas present list was started in August!

asuwere Fri 01-Nov-13 14:41:10

I love lists - I have lists for everything (have occasionally had lists of lists!)

I have a few big things that need done in the house and I know they won't be done very soon so they are on a separate list and hidden inside a cupboard door so that I know it's there but don't need to see them too often!

I have a notebook that I tend to keep my lists in. It is very satisfying ticking things off and knowing that I'm getting somewhere. Sometimes it's easy to get lost in the day to day cleaning, shopping, tidying and forget what's actually being achieved so seeing it all in a list makes it seem better. DH is not so keen on lists and he really doesn't like lists that I give him!

My dad always adds things to a list just so he can tick them off! smile

i like lists, but i have moved on from lists on the paper to lists on my smartphone. its nice to know where i am at and what needs doing. boring things tend to stay on there longer though...

telsa Fri 01-Nov-13 15:38:37

I have so many to do lists. Now they also appear as emails, which I dash off to myself at all times of day. My to do lists get longer and longer - as much as I cross one thing off, 3 more appear. I need them because otherwise I would forget to do things, but I hate them too as they admonish me constantly and make me feel like a hamster on a treadmill.

They are mainly on scraps of paper around my desk at work.

DifferentNow Fri 01-Nov-13 16:05:09

I keep short term very specific to-do lists on my phone and longer term more general ones in my mind. These are things like repairing the roof and completely redecorating rooms but if I put these down on paper it would be too overwhelming. To-do lists make me feel calm and in control, which is very important to me. My strategy for managing an ever-growing list is to dive in and get a few of the easier things to tick off sorted first so that I can see some progress. I also concentrate on all the things I have done rather than the things I haven't. My lists are considerably longer since having children!

LentilAsAnyFUCKERthing Fri 01-Nov-13 16:09:32

I have a few to do lists for various things. DH set something up online for mutual to do things too, so we can each see and action as appropriate. But my own ones are half daydreaming (my list of what would make a dream home, my list of where to travel around the world if money were no object) and then the real to-do list for jobs that need doing, places we need to go, list for gift ideas for Xmas, stuff like that.

Alicadabra Fri 01-Nov-13 18:27:54

My DH laughs at my list-keeping but I bet he'd notice soon enough if I stopped!

My strategies are similar to others on here: I break big things down into manageable small tasks. I have an ongoing shopping list in the kitchen which all the family are encouraged to to use (though they often don't and then try to blame me when we run out of stuff!) I use Evernote on my phone and PC to keep track of most of my other lists, eg. Work To Do list and General To Do list but I do like a paper list too - crossing out something with a pencil is so much more satisfying than deleting a line in a computerised list. I think it's fine to add and tick off a task after I've done it - when faced with a big To Do list it's very important to keep up morale!

Having children made written lists more important than ever. I used to be good at keeping stuff in my head (and now the kids are older I'm getting better at it again) but during those sleep-deprived jelly-brained days with a young baby around, there was no way I could remember everything without writing it down.

The stuff that's been on my to-do list forever is mostly things that can only be done when the kids aren't around, like painting or sorting through the toys to filter out the junk. When I do get one of those long-term things done, it's always immensely satisfying.

Orange01 Fri 01-Nov-13 18:36:05

I love to do lists, unfortunately I end up writing them on post it notes which end up dotted around the house and work. My desk looks ridiculous with bits of paper stuck all over my computer but as the week goes on they disappear as I throw them away. smile

StainlessSteelCat Fri 01-Nov-13 18:36:09

I have considered making a master list of my lists. I always gave many on Rogers go. Shopping lust, long term wish we'd get it done list, daily to do lists, monthly to do lists, holiday packing lists, Christmas lusts (food, presents) and multiple of many of these because I lose them. I am that organised.

I find if I don't write down what I need to do it flutters up my mind when I'm trying to sleep. I also forget stuff 'f I don't write down. both of these have got worse since having children. especially the forgetfulness.

FreeWoooooooo Fri 01-Nov-13 22:09:17

I'm finally doing one of my to do jobs on Sunday after 6 years! I've been meaning to re hang the roof blinds in my conservatory since moving in almost exactly 6 years ago. It's finally happening!

We've got an 8 month Dd and have just remortgaged so are redoing our life insurance this weekend too. We need to redo our wills too now Dd has come along. I used to have an important/urgent grid but since remortgaging, getting DD baptised and her childcare sorted for when I got back to work everything else just seems like a 'nice to do'

Pollaidh Fri 01-Nov-13 22:47:51

My husband mocks me for my to do lists but they help the house run more smoothly. I used to use paper and lose them but now I use my iPhone list and can even send it to my husband. Shopping, jobs plus long term aims all go on. The thing that has been on the list longest is unfortunately making my wedding photo album. It always gets pushed to the back.

lilyloo Sat 02-Nov-13 09:10:55

I dont do lists but Mil does , and its a list of diy jobs for Fil. As soon as he finishes one job she adds another it always makes me lol every time we go round.

neverputasockinatoaster Sat 02-Nov-13 11:41:15

I am a list maker and user.
I have a laminated list of housekeeping jobs allocated to each day. At the start of each week I put the dates on the days and then work through the list, ticking off as I go. I love seeing hte ticks mounting up as I do all the jobs... At the end of the week I rub it all out, have a sweetie as a reward and start all over again.
I also have a blank whiteboard on the same cupboard door on which I write extra lists eg if my mother is coming and housework needs doing out of synch then it will be listed there.
There is also a weekly planner where I write all the things that are happening.
I used to keep a list of all the long term jobs we needed to do like fill the cracks on the wall in the spare room but they never got crossed off and that made me feel very fed up so I scrapped that!
This all makes me sound very organised but the truth is that I'm not! If the list wasn't visible I'd never remember to do anything! I pass the cupboard door loads of times everyday so there is no excuse!!!

I also add things to lists just for the satisfaction of ticking them off.

At work I make lists in my notebook. Some days I put the list on my whiteboard so the kids can remind me that I need to do the jobs and then I can tick them off or rub them out so I can see progress.

If I am feeling really unmotivated I break tasks down into mini chunks.

IceNoSlice Sun 03-Nov-13 07:09:03

DH and I always have a list: it helps us plan our weekends, make sure we both have time to do something we want to do and get the important stuff done. At the moment it has a few things we need to do before our holiday, plus jobs around doing up a room in the house. We go through it regularly and take jobs each.

Having kids has just meant being organised is even more important to us - if we can do as much of the dull stuff online, in lunch breaks at work, in an evening etc, it means we have more time as a family.

I did a big sort out of all our paperwork recently- that had been on the list for a while. It was great once it was done!

manfalou Mon 04-Nov-13 11:19:29

My name is Sam and I'm a LIST ADDICT!

I write lists for everything. The shopping, daily jobs, weekly jobs... what to pack in the changing bag... house jobs (long term)... Long term goals and places to visit. Is that weird?

Soemthings just don't get done and do remain on the lists... but they will get done eventually.

Some things that have been on our to do list for months or even years are:

-Painting the windowsills in the conservatory that was built 5 years ago and STILL isn't finished (we had two children, it went further down the list)

-Pick a wedding date.... NOW TICKED OFF. 26th May 2015. Lots of lists for that already made!

-Get the outside of the house painted.

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 04-Nov-13 14:10:38

Thanks for all your lists comments. Am pleased to say turkeyboots has been selected as the winner of the £150 voucher. Well done.

NettleTea Mon 04-Nov-13 16:57:40

I make lists all the time. My DP is ASD so I make lists for him too, and then he does them - often better than I do!!

I have some coursework which has been on my 'to do' list for too long...

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now