Monday 25 June 2018

A TO DO about Lists and Notebooks.

I was making a mental TO DO list the other day of what to put in my backpack because I was getting ready to go for a walk to my local cafe. I like to walk, get a coffee, maybe a cake or slice for a treat and work on projects such as this blog.

My list was frankly ridiculous, there was my tablet and Bluetooth keyboard, diary, red ideas notebook, maybe my journal, definitely my phone, money, hat, sunglasses and on it went. All for a 10 minute each way walk and maybe an hour at the cafe.

I then started thinking about the many types of books and ways I write, record and make lists.

There is the plain notebook on the kitchen counter that I use for my grocery shopping list. As soon as something is low or empty I write in the notebook. Otherwise, I forget. It also minimises the risk of stuffing up the online shopping although it's not entirely foolproof, ask my family about the giant pizza bases...  Oddly, I also use this notebook to list things we need for the house such as new pillows. I’m waiting for Briscoes to have a sale… NZ people will totally get that!

Not pretty but practical.
I also have an online Google Sheet which I use as a shopping wish list for things I want but don’t necessarily need.

Are we counting? That’s three different lists in two different places, all for shopping!

Moving away from shopping lists to TO DO lists. Currently, my overall TO DO lists are written in my diary, which is actually a fancy notebook I have set up in weekly spreads. I originally started this as a bullet journal type of thing and got right into making each weekly spread pretty, for all of about three weeks. It was very satisfying but unrealistic for the busy classroom teacher I was at the time. Now I just use different colours to define the different TO DO lists I have and sometimes I slap the odd sparkly sticker onto a page to satisfy my urge to embellish. I have a TO DO list for School, Personal, roseroomnz, Me, Home, the Princess and so on. I do an awful lot of TO DO list transferring from week to week!

Paperblanks make beautiful notebooks.
TO DO lists.

Pretty but not practical.
I transfer some of the TO DO things from my diary to my chalkboard as a TO DO sooner rather than later TO DO list. It also has shopping items on it such as bone broth, rose fertiliser and pruning scissors. Yep, another shopping list. Four different shopping lists in three different places!

TO DO's & Shopping.
When I was a classroom teacher I would use my big whiteboard in the holidays for writing huge TO DO lists of all the things I needed to do before a new school year or new term started such as planning, making resources, sourcing resources, classroom setup, displays, cleaning and so on.

In the small classroom I have now, I write lists on my whiteboard of the steps the children need to take to complete a writing project. It’s super helpful, not only to keep me on track but also for the children to see the big picture. The children love being the one to cross something off the list when a step is completed. I wonder if I am turning them into future TO DO list users!

And just to mix it up some more, last night I added a digital sticky note to the home screen of my laptop which is a TO DO list for roseroomnz. Another TO DO list, and wait, don't I already have a TO DO list for roseroomnz in my diary?


Let's move on to some of my other notebooks and forms of recording stuff...

I have a plain red, hardcovered notebook which I use to record ideas, goals, future plans and my ever growing bucket list. Lists on lists.

I see red, red, red lists
From lists to forms of writing that don't involve bullet points but do involve other notebooks. There is the pretty hand stitched, covered notebook my Mum made and gave me for Christmas. I use it to write messages to the Princess and leave it on her desk to read when she comes home from the Wasband's (her Dad) house.

My Mummy's beautiful handwork.
The Princess's birth mother gave me a beautiful handmade notebook for Christmas and that inspired me to start journaling again. I'm also using it to write positive affirmations I like from The Two Most Important Days book I'm reading.

This journal inspires writing.
Then, of course, there is this blog which is essentially an online journal. Did you know I have been blogging for 10 years? Spasmodically, but all the same, 10 years! Sometimes I wonder why I continue to blog but who knows, maybe future generations of my family will look back at my blog and think “wow my ancestor was interesting, or maybe they will think "wow, my ancestor was a complete nutter”!

Oh, and I've just remembered the two A4 sized notebooks I have used to write brief outlines of novels I want to write one day.

Future novel ideas in these.
I think that about covers my shopping lists, TO DO lists, journals and ideas books.

For me, there is something deeply satisfying in creating a list and then being able to tick or cross things off once they are completed. It gives me such a sense of achievement. I also really enjoy the actual process of handwriting, shaping letters, making swirls and curls and adding a little sketch here and there if I am feeling creative.

I do acknowledge that my many versions of shopping lists, TO DO lists, journals and ideas books could be condensed to some better system because all of this does not make me a highly organised, highly productive, high achiever. In fact, it may be overkill and have the opposite impact! What do you think?

I think I will make a TO DO list of how to make this work better for me. Maybe I should use a new notebook...

My spare notebook stash.
Are you a TO DO list maker like me?

Leave a comment and let me know!

Thanks for reading!


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