Lists a la Karen

I am a list maker. But I am also a list avoider, I think this is also sometimes called being a procrastinator. And I am inconsistent about my organizational strategies. But I have a job where it rather helps to be on top of things. So I recently made a resolution to be very very consistent about lists for work stuff. And life stuff really. And I am happy to report I have been doing pretty well.

One thing that helped was finding these super adorable Moleskines (I prefer the lined ones). They are big enough to put a lot on one page and thin enough that I can throw them in my backpack or carry them around the house to my various work stations. Work station is a fancy important-sounding term for the washing machine, my living room table, my garage desk, or my casita when we don’t have guests in it, or wherever I happen to find myself on any given day. But back to my notebooks.

Contributing factors to the success of my current list making strategy:

  • Finding a great notebook that works for my mobile work style
  • Customizing said notebook with a Wapuu that represents my team at Automattic, the Happiness Hiring team
  • Great gel pens that make writing delightful

How it works:

I leave my notebook open to the side of my laptop. Each day I write the date at the top of the list. Then and as I accomplish a task I make a note of it on the left side of the page. And when a todo item comes up, I make a little square and write the task on the right side of the page. Essentially, everything gets written down.

I leave my notebook open to the side of my laptop. Each day I write the date at the top of the list. Then and as I accomplish a task I make a note of it on the left side of the page. And when a todo item comes up, I make a little square and write the task on the right side of the page. Essentially, everything gets written down.

If something comes up outside of the work sphere but that might require some thought, like say, buying Christmas gifts for the kids, I move ahead a page or two and dedicate a page to any pen scratches required. This way anything that I am working on ends up in the notebook. It’s my life book, really.

lists.png

I have about 5 pages left in this latest notebook, but I am ready for a new one and it’s a new year so I’m sacrificing those last pages to the Ether and cracking out my new one. So exciting!

7 thoughts on “Lists a la Karen

  1. Oooh, I love this idea! As a fellow list-maker, list-ignorer, and Moleskine fan, this post resonated with me. I have looked at bullet journaling but that’s a little _too_ much organization for me. 🙂 Your method looks very simple yet captures all the things needed. I also wanted to mention a Moleskine alternative I really like:
    Leuchtturm1917. You can get them in the same A5 size as a standard Moleskine but they offer a softcover option that is very light-weight and slim compared to the hard cover and much more durable than the paper cover for the softcover Moleskine. The pages are numbered, making it easy to create an index if you choose.

  2. Re: simple. Yeah that is my key. And I have have to try and be forgiving. So when I fail at listmaking one day I just keep going the next day.

  3. Hi Karen,

    You blog quite a log, a couple times a week. That’s an awesome lot. 🙂

    Great to find a post on your blog about what I asked you at the last WPMumbai meetup!

    I recently found the bullet journal method. Yours is simpler, as Wnedy said.

    I tried bujo and seem to like it. There sure is a bit of a learning, and initially we may be slow, but I think it’s worth the time spent.

    As for pens, I prefer ink pens. Pilot pens are cool too. But I love the feel of ink pens, and the control we have with them.

    These days I also use a whiteboard, which I update before sleeping, so the most important stuff is right there in front of me, without having to open a notebook.

  4. Raspal, yeah, I need my method to be simple. If I complicate it too much then I won’t continue with it.

    A whiteboard would be neat! If I had a bigger office I think that would help me organize projects, get ideas out of my brain, and that sort of thing.

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