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I may not be Santa and checking who’s naughty or nice (which would be kind of weird), but I have always had a thing for making lists. I currently have around six or seven lists in progress on my iPad: Daily and long-term to-dos. Bucket list. What’s already in the bucket list. Ideas for this blog. Things to do before vacation. There are others, too, on my desktop computer as well as written the old-fashioned way with pen and paper.


Most people keep a shopping list for the grocery store, unless you’re fortunate enough to have an eidetic memory. I struggled to find the most logical and effortless way to do this until I discovered that the grocery store chain I frequent has a shopping list app. You plug in your neighborhood store, the items you need, and voila! It puts them on a list that is organized by aisle. Genius.

Apparently, I’m not the only one with a love of lists. News outlets have embraced the list, perhaps due to shortened attention spans of their readers. I read an article a few years ago bemoaning this trend and claiming it was the death of fleshed-out news reporting, but I don’t care. If it’s in list format, there’s a much better chance I’ll read it. However, I despise lists formatted as slide shows, which require you to click to another page to see each item. Just gimme the whole list at once, already!

I get my love of lists from my mom, who has actually made lists of things she wants to talk to me about and then referred to it as we were talking. (Not big-deal things. Small talk stuff.) Now that she has email this phenomenon seems to have gone by the wayside, as she just emails me things as she thinks of them. (I have to admit, I miss the quirky little talking-points list.)

While I haven’t made lists of talking points (oh, wait, I have for business-related phone calls!), the Laine Apple doesn’t fall far from the Mom Tree. My mother and I both have a deep-seated need for order. Clutter and disorganization are verboten, and apparently this also includes the contents of our minds–because what better way to organize the jumble of tasks, thoughts, and all the other miscellany knocking around in there than to put it on a list? It’s like a pensieve but a lot less cool.

Plus, there’s nothing more satisfying than crossing completed items off a to-do list. Heck, I’ve been known to add stuff to the list just so I could cross it off.

1. Exercise

2. Write blog post

3. Return phone calls

4. Make appointment

If you are as fond of lists as I am, be sure to check out Things to Bring, S#it to Do, and Other Inventories of Anxiety: My Life in Lists by Karen Rizzo. She very cleverly has written a memoir entirely in list format. If I didn’t love it so much, I’d be pissed that I didn’t think of it first.