Lists that really work!

list making productivity



It used to be that we could keep our tasks and projects in our heads.  Things were simpler, life was simpler and we had less to do.  Not any more!  Because our lives have become more complicated, having a great way to capture tasks and projects is critical to productivity and peace of mind.

Paper lists

One of the simplest ways to get all your lists in one place is a super cute spiral notebook.  It must be a size that can fit in your purse or bag to be carried with you wherever you go.  Being just so adorable means you will use it for each and every thing you need to remember.  Being a size you can carry means you will have it with you all the time.  If you like to have categories for your lists, you can divide you page with a vertical and horizontal line to show four squares.  Or you can purchase a spiral with color on the edge of the pages to have different sections for different parts of your life.   Your categories might be work, home, church and kids. Or it might be calls, errands, computer and anywhere.  You decide if you need categories and what these might be.

Lists made especially for families are available on  Here there is the daily and weekly hit list,  a summary of the seven different departments that families require, such as home and property,  food, time and scheduling, finances, family and friends, special events and personal management.  With this list, you are sure to be on top of family activities and more.


Digital lists

Evernote is a way to use technology for list making.  You can capture any ideas, thoughts or lists on any computer, phone or mobile device. It is a free service and can be uploaded to all types of technology.  Everything you capture is automatically processed, indexed, and made searchable. If you like, you can add tags or organize notes into different notebooks.  You can keep files for “someday maybe”,  your kids’ shoe sizes or whatever you need wherever you go.   Keep a record of your favorite wines by snapping a photo of the label when you find one you like.  Check it out at


Prioritizing your list

And once you have your list, remember to prioritize.  We can truly only accomplish between three to seven tasks in a day.  I suggest determining your 3 Most Important Tasks (MITs) for every day.  You start the day with focus and end with productivity.

Make a commitment to your list making by finding and using the right tool for you!


Find more ideas for productivity on my pinterest board Powerful Productivity.


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13 replies
  1. Linda Samuels
    Linda Samuels says:

    There are so many ways to create and work lists. I love that you’ve made this easy by suggesting three distinctly different strategies to use based on preference (paper or digital.) Lists are great as long as we work them. Your suggestion to focus each day on 3 MITs is great! Especially if I’m feeling overwhelmed by the mountain of to dos, selecting the top three really helps. IF those get accomplished, I can move to the next group.

  2. Ellen
    Ellen says:

    I find that knowing the value of lists is a first step. Next comes implementation. Finding what works for each of us makes all the difference.

  3. Daria
    Daria says:

    I have used pretty spiral notebooks before and put tabs throughout for different categories. That way I can go immediately to the category I need. There’s something so fun about having a pretty notebook!

  4. Olive Wagar
    Olive Wagar says:

    Whenever I travel, I like to look for cute notepads to buy that I can give as gifts to my friends. I enjoy using pretty journals and pretty notepads every day. It seems to add value to my actions! It was a pleasure meeting you at NAPO 2016!

  5. Nancy Borg
    Nancy Borg says:

    I embrace all three options! But the truth is that whether your preference be paper or digital, “proritizing” must come first in any case. Deciding what’s important and urgent is the first step, and how you need to remember it is the next. My go to is post-it because it “sticks” to both my car dashboard and my memory, haha

  6. Ellen
    Ellen says:

    @Olive – I loved meeting you at NAPO2016 too! I just received an adorable new notepad from a friend. I love the opportunity to connect with a quick note to friends, family, colleagues and clients.

  7. Sue West
    Sue West says:

    Great statement: from “focus” to “productivity,” from beginning to end of day. Love that; this is a really useful way to think about the value of our lists to focus us early in the day and move us towards productivity.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] together your tools of your planner, your lists, any emails or papers with upcoming events, projects you are leading or collaborating, and any […]

  2. […] Task lists, aka to do lists, are a great way to consolidate information. You may have tasks in your email, from meetings or monthly reports that need to be done.  Having it all consolidated on one task list makes it easy to keep track of all these details.  It’s a visual reminder and easier than trying to remember it all in your head. […]

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