One of my earliest memories of writing is of compiling lists. Ever since I wrote my first present list for Santa, and watched as it came out of the chimney after being burned on the fire, I have been a person who makes lists.

When I was old enough to realise that there was no Santa, I would still make a list, for the attention of my parents. I would turn down the corners of pages in my Mum’s catalogue, then leave a list in the front with my toys of preference listed in order.

Then when I was at senior school, and started to get home-work, I would write myself a list of what needed to be done by Sunday night, and tick off each subject as it was completed.

Becoming a shopper resulted in the making of numerous lists too. I would research things like cars, and make a list of my chosen models, intending to test drive each one before deciding which to buy. For everyday grocery shopping, I wrote out a paper list, and stuck to it as I wandered around the shop. That is something I still do to this day. In fact, I wrote out a shopping list for the supermarket shop tomorrow, earlier today.

Buying presents for others meant making lists. I would add the name, and write next to that what I intended to get them, or had already bought. Once the things had been purchased, I would strike through the name, to remind myself it had been done. The same applied to Christmas cards, with incredibly long lists of names in the days when I used to send out well over one hundred cards.

The advance of technology means that not so many people write lists anymore. But there are millions of them online. Lists of Top Tens, lists of things people hate, and just as many about what they love. I have an Amazon Wish list, something to remind me of films or books I might want to purchase someday, although I have not yet succumbed to having lists on my mobile phone, or on memo pages on the computer..

Sixty years of making lists, and sticking to them, may make me sound very organised, and rather obsessive. The truth is, the opposite is true. If I don’t have lists, I forget things, it’s as easy as that. I found myself in a shop last week with a tiny list, jotted down on a small post-it-note. All that was on it were the words ‘Milk’, Bread’, and ‘Wine’. Surely, anyone could remember just three things?

I promise you, without that list, I would have forgotten something.

Let me know if you make lists. You can even list your lists, if you want to. πŸ™‚

87 thoughts on “Lists

  1. I write notes as reminders, and I’ve also written lists often, but I can’t say they work for me, as I also find I over-rely on them and if I lose them, I don’t know what to do. I find them more useful for organising things, rather than as reminders. There are plenty of Apps and options for listing things, I’ve read much advice on it, and I agree crossing the items off is satisfying, but… I try to resist them. (Even my to be read list is a mess!) I think they scare me. List therapy anyone? Enjoy your lists, Pete!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes Pete, I have always kept a “to do” list on a “Rhoda” notepad…the 8-1/2 x 11″ notebook with an orange-is cover…the pages are all square-lined…always a list of projects/paperwork/meeting/motes etc. I have a dozen piled up, filled with stuff that I may NEVER go back to, but why throw them away yet?

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  3. The only lists I generally make are work-related; I never bother for shopping (although I have been known to forget the odd thing….. πŸ˜‰ ). Not the same thing as learning scripts, of course. Cheers, Jon.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Well, not only do I make a β€˜to do’ list, I scratch off each item when it is accomplished. I have a separate grocery list where I do the same thing. A folded envelope is stronger and survives my usage better than a piece of paper. Those letters and bills I get in the mail with a blank backside work beautifully.

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  5. Oh I am a TERRIBLE list maker! You name it, I have a list for it! I used to carry notebooks and post it notes and bits of scrap paper every where, I lost lists, re-wrote them, moved them from one notebook to the next, and I could never keep a nice diary/planner as I would scrawl more lists over past weeks! I have recently discovered bullet journalling, and so far, I think I have found my list keeping heaven! (And it gives me space for doodling and sketching too!) Ahhh, its wonderful haha πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I get it Pete. Each week I make a ‘to do’ list using paper and pencil; I don’t like electronic versions. I check things off when done and update as needed. There are other lists for shopping, blogging ideas, travel plans, whatever. I’m a bit obsessive but it works well for me. 😊

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  7. Great post πŸ™‚ My how things change πŸ™‚ I remember when I was a kid I used to look at the (now-defunct) Toys R Us booklet and buy whatever was there that I loved during the Christmas season. I have moved beyond toys – (I am an avid Blu-Ray/DVD collector) and I no longer play with toys πŸ™‚ Anyway, keep up the great work as always πŸ™‚

    P.S. I have now watched The Irishman 4 times πŸ™‚

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  8. I’m a huge list maker. The OH laughs at me. I have lists for everything, plants I’d like to buy, things to do, shopping (though that now is on Alexa and my phone) and if not a list it is a spreadsheet! However I do not have a bucket list. I figure whatever I do now is a bonus πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Like you, I got to the stage where I consider walking up every day is a ‘bucket list’. πŸ™‚
      Be careful with that Alexa. It listens to your conversations, it really does.
      Best wishes, Pete.


  9. Writing things down is a good way to remember things. But one can also write down lists of things one want to forget. Then take the list and shred or burn it in a ceremony that the tings one wants to forget are over and done with. Warmest regards, Theo

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Living on my own my food shopping is rather simple. If I am running out of staples (flour, milk, eggs, butterβ€” I bake a lot for firefighters, law enforcement) I make lists. If I am expecting company for a holiday I make a list. Weekly food shopping is simple, fruit and whatever specials I would normally buy, so no list. When lists are really important is when I wake in a cold sweat at night, burdened with something. I basically let my heart and brain flow through the pen until it’s out. Occasionally shows up in a blog. Just depends what it is.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m not a list person, although, there have been many times I’ve made them. Lists of words I like that I hadn’t thought of using before in writing (I call them medium words. Not everyday words and nothing fantastical or cryptic. Just words I know but forgot to use them.)

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  12. I recently bought my husband a reminder notepad with thin strips of paper that you can hook at the ends to form a braceletβ€”for people like him who forget the list. I think it was designed to be a gag gift, but he uses it from time to time, when he remembers to.

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  13. Another lovely write-up, Pete. I’m totally with you – I make paper lists for all the things I want to/have to do and this is vital to make sure I get it done. It scares me how easily I can forget something. Right now I’m making a list of the best images from my recent visits to Blakeny Point – with 1500 photos from two days only I constantly have to revise them.
    I have a big tabletop calendar with a weekly display, to the left, a field for important and not to forget and to the right a shopping list. I cling to it, much prefer this to a calendar on the phone.
    I have several subfolder concerning travels in my email inbox. When I read something interesting about a place or country we’d like to visit I send my self the link and transfer it to the folder. I suppose it’d be more practical to mark the page in a way, but once a lister, always a lister …
    Is it stormy in Beetley as here on the coast?

    Wishing the three of you a cosy evening,
    all the best,
    Dina & Co xx

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Lists are not my cup of tea they are restrictive , it’s as if you are keeping yourself in order. That’s why that random button on the music player is so good , you don’t know what’s coming. It’s like real life you don’t know what’s coming ‘ readiness is all’ , after all I bet you come out of the shop with more than your list. I’m Mr disorganised and that means I don’t have to decide what to do or how long to do it for. Of course it has its drawbacks uncertainty , mistakes but then life is full of those anyway. Organisation a work was awful you become an automated drone almost performing in your sleep , and when the siren sounds you all exit like worker bees. My second eldest son had a job as a driver for a few years and he loved the relative freedom it gave him.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. I make lists for everything. I have a file on my pc with travel lists – everything I need for trips away – hot – cold- 3 day – week and for each new holiday I cut and paste from the closest match and I never forget anything. Have done that for my 3 month travel break and it’s amazing how little you need.

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  16. I have a notebook in which I list my shopping each. I could probably use the same one every week just about, but always do a new one! Phil makes a list of everything he takes on holiday and checks it off when he packs to come home. I don’t and always leave something behind 🀣🀣

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  17. I seldom make lists, but I once compiled one of the twenty most influential people in my life. Half of the people on my list were educators. (my former profession) It made me wonder if other people are also influenced so much by the people in their careers.

    The last time I made a list was a Bucket List of things I still wanted to do in life. It’s not something I’m obsessed with, but I have knocked off some of those items in the past year.

    Liked by 3 people

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