When you need something done, don’t want to forget something, want to stick to a schedule or a budget, etc., having an organized system or process to follow can yield more positive results. Thus, having a list for the things you need to do, what you need to buy, and so on will surely help you accomplish things easily and efficiently.
You can make a list for almost anything you need to do from the chores you need to do for the day down to the things you want to do before you die. A list can help you take into account the things you already did and can help you stick to a specific schedule. Furthermore, a list will help you feel more accomplished helping you to stay inspired and motivated to continue on.
Should you start making a list for whatever purpose, here are the essential elements your list should have:
1. Heading: A list can be for any purpose; thus, a heading is essential so you know what the list is for. The heading should be on the top of the list and should be accurate to what you will use the list for. Although it may seem unnecessary to include a heading for a simple list, but it will help you remember what the list is for to keep you motivated to finish all the items on your list.
2. Specific information: Aside from the heading on your list, it might also be more helpful to include specific information regarding the list and its purpose. The specific information you include can be the specific date you should finish the tasks, the day when the to-do list is for, or basically information that supports what the list is for. Adding such information can help you remember what made you start the things you’re doing in the first place.
3. Items: A list is not a list without the items. For example, a to-do list needs an enumeration of the things you need; a chores list needs a list of the specific chores/errands you need to accomplish on a specific point in time; a price list needs prices for the same product/services from different provider; a grocery list needs a list of the products you need to buy, and so on. The items you include in your list can be complete and specific or brief and direct, it all depends on your preference.
4. Description: To help you remember why you included the items on your list, a brief description for each of them will come in handy. The description should be why you need to accomplish the item on your list, this way you will remember why you included them in the list to help you avoid disregarding necessary items on your list.
5. Numbers: Nothing beats the feeling of knowing you accomplished some things; thus, enumerating the items on your list will not only make you feel accomplished, but also serves as your inspiration to continue checking items off your list. The numbers on your list will help remind you that you have gone so far and have accomplished a lot of important things.
Now, a list is really easy to make: just list the things you want to do, buy or achieve on a piece of paper, write a heading a there you have it. However, a list can be made more to suit your purpose, if needed. Having an organized list will help you have all your plans laid out; hence, here is a guide on how you can easily make a list:
1. First, put a heading on your list: The heading on your list should mention what the list is for, i.e. Grocery List, Price List, To-Do List, etc. This way you know what the list is for. The heading of your list should be on top of your page and should be written in bold. Depending on your personal preference, you can use any font style that you like best and you think will inspire you more.
2. Write down the items on your list: The items on your list should be related to what you will be using your list for. If you want to combine two different tasks on a single list, make sure you put indicators that will separate them to avoid confusion. It is best to think through what you include in the list; for example, for your to-do list, prioritize the most important tasks, and if possible avoid including tasks you can do right away.
3. Use checkboxes: It is also better to include a checkbox beside every item on your list. Doing this will help you literally check out the things you have already accomplished. This will give you that satisfying feeling and may even inspire you to continue. A checkbox is also a good indicator in your list to help you keep track of the things you still need to and what you have already done.
4. Proofread: After you write down the items on your list, make sure to proofread it. Check if there are things on there that you think are not as important or are not necessary. Remember the more that you include in the list the higher the possibility of you getting discouraged to actually do them. Learn how to separate the important things from the less important ones; learn how to prioritize effectively.
As mentioned, a list can be used for basically anything. From the simplest things to the hardest, a list can help make sure you are on track of the things you need to do. To help you get familiar with the types of list you can use, here is a list of the various types of lists:
1. To-do List/Task List: A to-do list/task list can be for your daily, weekly, or monthly tasks. This will help you list down all the things you need to accomplish within a certain period of time. As the name would suggest, this list contains all the tasks you need to from your chores to tasks in work. A good to-do/task list prioritizes the most important tasks and puts less important ones last.
2. Grocery/Shopping List: As the name suggests, a grocery/shopping list is list that contains the products you need to purchase on your daily or weekly grocery run. A grocery/shopping list will help you stay on your budget, that’s why it is best to separate the things you need and want.
3. Packing List: When you are about to travel it is best that you have a list of what you need to bring. A packing list is a list that contains the things you need to pack for your travel. It helps you remember the essential things you need to bring for your travel like your passport, visa, how many pairs of clothes, etc.
4. Contact List: A contact list contains the name and contact information of people important to you. When it is used for personal purposes, it usually contains your emergency contacts. But when used for business, it contains the name and numbers of clients, employees, third-party businesses, etc.
5. Waiting List: This list is helpful if you are delegating work to others or is dependent on others’ input to get the work done. On the other hand, a waiting list is also used when setting appointments; this ensures that every client gets a chance to accomplish their appointment by the end of the day.
6. Ideas List: When you have good ideas that you want to use in your future projects, an ideas list will surely help you remember those ideas if you need them. Good ideas should not be wasted; thus, it is always best to list them down so that you can document those idea before you forget about them.
7. Gift List: A gift list will help you avoid the embarrassment of not getting something for someone during the occasion and to help you set you budget straight during such time.
8. Bucket List: A bucket list is a list that contains activities that you want to try during a certain span of time or before you kick the bucket. The items on the list are mostly things you haven not done yet. Most of the time a bucket list also has a deadline when items need to be accomplished.
9. Someday/Maybe List: Opposite to a bucket list, a someday/maybe list contains things or activities you want to try without a set time frame. The items included in the list are things you maybe consider doing someday. The main goal of this list is to record the things you may want to do and pertinent information about it, i.e. the link to the website for that goat yoga.
10. To-try List: This list contains the things you want to try; for example: book title of that book you want to read, movie title you want to watch, food and drinks you want to try out. The purpose of this list is simply to remind you of the things that have caught your interest and you will want to get back to in the future.
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about lists:
Sometimes it is necessary for a person to write a list especially when he/she has become forgetful over the years. Furthermore, having a list means you get to organize you priorities helping you decide which things/task to do first during the day. Overall, a list is an effective tool to help you remember and organize you tasks/activities.
Of course not. A list can be used for whatever purpose. A list is even utilized in a professional setting like a price list, inventory list, vendor list, various checklists, and so on. A list is a flexible type of document that can be used for anything the writer wants to.
A list can be written where the writer feels more comfortable in: on a notebook, sticky note, journal, mobile phone, etc. However, when writing a list, it is important to remember that you should easily have access to it, otherwise its purpose will be defeated.