How I make lists

Good morning friends! Welcome to the first blog post of 2017! Any thoughts on the new year?  Mine could be summed up with my calendar quote you see there.  I read that cheery statement months ago at Barnes and Noble and after tears quickly jumped into my eyes I figured it was a calendar and message both I could use.  It's kind of like my favorite saying "Today is a good day to have a good day."  Sure beats having a bad one, doesn't it?  

Today I want to talk about lists!  Boy, I sure do love a good list.  Listers gonna list, right?! I am a chronic list-maker, or at least I used to be.  You know what I mean.  That receipt in your purse?  Something scrawled there, although you don't know what.  Your lists at home?  Hidden around the house, where you'd have to attempt an easter-egg hunt effort just to find them.  I was becoming THAT kind of lister.  Yet I couldn't let go completely because there is still just something about putting pen to paper.  I started poking around Pinterest and came across the bullet journal idea.  I entertained the thought and even began to draw out a "practice" bullet journal.  Hours into it I realized this wasn't what I was looking for either because I was spending more time on the list-making than the actual doing of the tasks.  Next idea please!  
Here is what I came up with instead and it is working great for me.  On the left is a $3 binder from the Target dollar section and on the right is a monthly calendar planner.  I use both.  The monthly calendar gets all the important dates like volunteering, school activities, foster care requirements, etc, etc.  ALL the things.  I really like seeing a month grid at a time.  It also has a column next to each month where I can jot a few things down if I like.  For the most part though I'm scheduling in the big, blue planner.  

The tinier binder on the left has really become my favorite.  I'm an idea person and I'd like to even think of myself as a photographer/artist/writer.  All that to say, there is a LOT going on inside this head of mine.  Writing it down makes me feel relaxed and much more calm.  So on the first page of the binder I made this table of contents/key page.  Then on the right side of the pages I simply put a piece of washi tape with the first letter of each "subject" in the notebook.  This took all of 5 minutes and I instantly felt organized and like I had a spot to put each of my ideas/inspirations.  With the washi tape tabs I can easily flip to a section, jot something down, and move on with my day.  I keep this binder and my planner right next to the kitchen, where they can both be easily grabbed.

This binder is for more long-term kinds of ideas, like ways I want to grow in photography and ideas I want to blog about. 
Last (see I told you I liked lists!) my most recent addition to my list-making collection is this simple dry-erase board on the right side of the wall.  I picked this up at Hobby Lobby and used my 40% off coupon so it was super cheap.  This is my favorite way to list. EVER.  This board is divided up into different sections and helps me manage the day-to-day stuff.  

For example right now I have the following sections written down: Foster care, creativity, food/meal plan, to-do, and grocery list.  Right smack in the middle of these sections is a giant circle with my guiding three words for the year, but more on that later. 

I put the board by the garage entry so really Brett and I are the only ones that see it.  Usually each night I dump my thoughts and to-do's at the dry erase board and then it's so easy during the day and week to simply wipe something off when it's accomplished or even take a picture of my grocery list before I head to the store.  

Using these methods totally has me feeling like I can do 2017 and considering how much we need to get done in the next three weeks for foster care that's a very good feeling. 
Do you list?  Care to share your methods?

I look forward to sharing more how-to's in the new year with you!  If you have something you'd like me to blog about, send it my way via email, blog comment, Facebook, or on IG! 
(now I have my nifty binder to write the idea in, remember?!)


  1. Our methods are very similar! We have a big dry erase board on the side of the fridge that I use for shopping lists- we get our food from a lot of different sources, so we have a space devoted to each place with a list under it. We have a giant desk calendar hanging on the wall for the grid view of commitments of our family. I also have a small pocket two year grid calendar that I can travel with. Then, I have a hard covered note book that I use somewhat like you use your binder and somewhat like a bullet journal (but I did this before I knew what bullet journals were). I just make lists of ideas and "to dos" in it and meal planning. It works great for me. I made a table of contents for it recently, once I found out how to bullet journal because that was a great addition to it. I like your idea for washi tape tabs.

    1. I love your idea of making a different list for each different place you shop-I need to try that! My favorite places are Aldi, Natural Grocers, and occasionally Target or Wal-Mart. :)

  2. I love the idea of the big whiteboard - we painted out kitchen wall with chalkboard paint so that we could write on it but now we're trying to sell the house so we've never written on it - maybe in the next house!!

    1. I love the idea of a chalkboard wall! I've always dreamed of one. :) Good luck with your moving!


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