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lulah ellender

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do you write lists? i'm researching material for a book and would love to hear from any list-makers out there.

my book explores the role lists play in our lives - how they help us manage and organise the chaos of life, how they can provide structure and meaning in seemingly everyday tasks, and the amazing stories behind often discarded objects. If you are a list-maker, or definitely a non-list-maker I'd love to hear from you.

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  • Jul 23 2012: I am an avid list maker. I make lists for thing to do at work, I post stickies on my pc to remind of things I need to take care of at home, and always a grocery list. These lists free my mind to think of other more challenging ideas. Its not so much about the organization and structure but more about not needing to remember mundane items, such as what I need to buy at the grocery store.
  • Jul 11 2012: Oh yes I am guilty of / proud of being a list-maker. I make lists of what I plan to do for the next day, this month, this year ( don't get me wrong, my lists are flexible), where I want to go for a holiday, what do I need to do for that holiday (visa, bookings, places to see etc), shopping lists, list of what I want to tell my doctor (aches and pains - no kidding ) , list of people I need to send birthday, anniversary cards, Christmas cards, list of things I have to give Salvation Army, list of books I plan to borrow from the local library and the list goes on and on!
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      Jul 22 2012: I make lists to motivate myself and to have a productive day.
  • Jul 7 2012: Every time I have an idea , I always feel the need to put it on paper. When I'm done, I feel like I wasted good paper for something that will end up in the trash. I think maybe its because it doesn't look appealing to the eye. In my head , I want to do things (exciting) and write what needs to be done which I never accomplish or it doesn't happen the way I envisioned it.Although I wrote it down , I don't take the time to look back at it. Even if I know putting it on paper isn't going to change things , I still have visualize my thoughts.

    But I do keep track with a planner to remind myself with school school related stuff . Everything is in different colors with doodles to emphasize the words. I feel lost with out it .
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    Jul 7 2012: Mine is big one of who is naughty and who is nice .... S. Clause

    This is the electronic age and we make more lists than we care to admit.

    The book of passwords / account numbers are lists of a sort. Shopping lists. Items for projects lists. birthdays/anniversarys/etc... car maintenance. wish list. Bucket list. Vacation checklist.

    Check you peg board and I bet there are a few post its up there reming you of things to buy or do. They sell millions of stickies of various types.

    Let me check my list .... nope that about does it.

    All the best. Bob.
  • Jun 27 2012: I worked with computers and have studied how we organize information. Essentially, every database is a collection of lists. Books are lists of sentences which are lists of words which are lists of letters. Essentially, all textual information is stored in lists.

    At one time I was involved in project management which is accomplished with lists of tasks and resources.

    Currently, at home, I use a to-do list, grocery lists and spreadsheets. At work we use many lists for many different purposes.

    Lists seems like a very broad topic for just one book.

    Good luck.
  • Jun 24 2012: I have to make lists.

    I happen to have an extremely bad short term memory. I find it frustrating when I have things I need to do or buy, or even
    stuff I would like for Christmas or whatever and have really good ideas in my head, when about 5 minutes later I'll forget it.

    I then get quite irritated with myself because I know that I've forgotten and often I have to retrace my steps mentally to make a link as to what I wanted or needed.

    The point of a list for me is so I don't forget.
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    Jun 24 2012: Yes, I make lists, especially now I have a limited income - food shopping has to stay within budget and lists make sure I don't waste money on needless items. I use the store website to check for special offers and I plan my menu around these items. I then base my shopping list on the ingredients I need for each meal + store replenishment. I spend much less on food now I do this.

    I also make list about jobs that need doing, and aspirations for the future.

    When I had an office based job I made daily and weekly task lists - thankfully I’m spared those now!
  • Jun 24 2012: I used to be more list oriented and may return to it, thanks to your query.

    I have three anecdotes. I recall a writer speaking of the habits of the successful saying that they often made their to-do list at night. This way the subconscious mind could sort them a bit for importance and even create a solution to one or two. Thus, the list would look different in the morning.

    The second comes from the early days of business consulting, the 1920's or 30's. So a roomful of executives from, say, General Motors are asked to make a list of their ten most important tasks or duties, a prioritized list. The consultant then had them cut their paper list between the third and fourth task, telling them, "Work solely on these three. Delegate the rest." I take from this that we tend to do the easier things and avoid the difficult.

    The most recent comes from a book on medical care in hospitals. Many people die in hospitals, a large number due to ineptitude. The well educated and trained professionals make mistakes, due to fatigue or oversight or whatever. There are studies on this. One solution: make a list of the five most important steps in any procedure. Medical science is complex but the five mistakes in each part of hospital care that kill the most people are known.

    Oh! Don't forget, "I'm making a list, checkin' it twice, gonna find out who's . . . "
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    Jun 24 2012: Sometimes I do