Make a List (and Check it Twice)

by | Blog | 5 comments

Since we’ve all got a million things to do, I’m going to keep it short and sweet here on the site until the New Year. I hope these bite-size journaling tips will help you survive the season. Happy holidays, if you celebrate them. If not, enjoy some tranquility for the rest of us. 😉

I’m a big believer in the power of The List.

I keep lots of lists in my journal. They help me organize my thoughts and easily get to the nitty gritty.

Even Santa knows how useful a list can be! (I trust you’re on the nice list this year?)

Some benefits of journaling lists:

  • Help you condense your thoughts
  • Don’t take a lot of time
  • Provide storage for future topics to write in-depth about
  • Keep you free of writer’s block (the stakes are very low with lists)

While the traditional TO DO list is the holy grail of organization, there’s so many other lists you can keep in your journal.

This time of year, you’ll start to see many “Top 10 of 2010” lists. Top 10 Movies, Top 10 iPhone Apps, Top 10 Cupcakes (that’s mine). Make a few of your own for posterity so you can remember what great things the year held.

The main character in one of my favorite books, High Fidelity (also a great movie), is obsessed with top 5 lists: “Top 5 Most Memorable Break-ups (in chronological order),” “Top 5 Songs to Play on a Monday Morning,” “Top 5 Musical Crimes Perpetrated by Stevie Wonder in the ’80s and ’90s.”

Try your hand at a Top 5 list relevant to your life.

You can also keep a gratitude list, a journal about this later list, an irritations list, a dreams list, a people list. Two of my favorites are the Working/Not Working List and the More/Less list.

I love using lists in my journaling, especially when time and attention is in high demand (read as: Holiday Chaos). Try it for yourself and see what you come up with.

Have any favorite lists? Post them in the comments so we can give it a whirl!


  1. iHanna

    I love top-lists and make them every year, especially about favorite books and events. 🙂 and statistics, love that!

  2. Lori-Anne

    Ya know…as I think about it, I am going to put pen to paper and make a “Not to Do” list. It may help put the holiday stress into perspective…hmmmm

  3. Wendy

    This is a great post!

    I love seeing lists in friends’ journals, but I have not utilized them myself as well as I wish to.

    There are also many days when I’m so tired that I don’t have enough momentum for a “proper” journal entry. This post gives me ideas so that I can keep moving forward.

    Thank you!

  4. NaNa

    Me too! I am a chronic list maker! I have a journal just for them! I write a small list on my blog every friday. simetimes in english, sometimes in french… It keeps me sane.

  5. Regina

    I love making lists. I have gifts list for birthdays, xmas and other occasions. I have a wish list (in which I also note if I have mentioned the wish to any one at all). And I have an “stuff on order” -list, as I buy internationally quite often, I’m interested in keeping note of delivery times, so when I’m getting impatient waiting for something, I know where to look to get me down to: that can’t possibly arrive this week or to prompt me to contact the seller.


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