List Planning
Living Organization

5 lists you need to create weekly that will simplify your life

Listing is a real thing. I’m not speaking of the real estate variety obvs, but I speak of the subset of planning that requires you to put down on paper or  some form of digital app/software all of the things that you need to do.  When I say this is a real thing, its a real thing. Check out the hashtag #ListersGottaList if you think it’s a game.

I haven’t been in on the listing game for long but the short time that I have it really and truly makes a difference in making sure that my week runs smoothly in turn simplifying my life.

The purpose of listing is to rid your head of daily clutter…what are we going to eat, willing yourself to remember that meeting, some kid needs a snack for class. Listing is the practice of getting all of these things out of your head and on to paper or a digital medium clearing your head space for real important issues.

When I mention I meal plan, and create grocery lists people either laugh and tell me I’m doing the most or say they don’t have time. Truly I want to tell them the joke isn’t on me but them. I have felt so much freer in my daily activities since I’ve started listing. I want to tell them what I don’t have time for is that extra trip to the store after I’ve been twice that week because I forgot somebody needed wacky socks for Red Ribbon week.

The 20 min – 1 hour that it takes weekly to list is worth not having to keep track of mundane tasks during the week. Here are 5 lists you need to make weekly that will simplify your life

Meal Plan: Nothing more aggravating than having to think of what you are going to eat on a daily basis. No, you don’t have to follow it to a tee, but have a list. Factor in activities for the week and if the crockpot is more feasible then choose crockpot recipes. Pinterest is your friend.

Grocery List: Create your meal plan first, based on that build your grocery list. This will help you from purchasing items you already have, or leaving the items you do need in the store. The goal is to go to the store once a week and get everything you need.

Master To Do List: Sit down and think about everything you have to do for the week, from meetings to kids activities to things you need to buy. Write all of it down. This will be your point of reference for the entire week. As things come up be sure to add them immediately. I keep little list pads in my car and at the end of the evening I add them to the master list.

Daily to Do List: Every evening take a look at your master list and create a to do list for the next day. Do not scratch items off the master list until you have completed them.

Shopping List: I create as many lists here as I need titled by the store. While I may need one item on Monday and another on Friday, what is the point of going to the store twice in a week after I remembered I didn’t pick up Friday’s item on Monday. Making the master shopping list keeps you from having to go back and forth to the store wasting time and money.

I promise, making these lists helps tremendously if you aren’t already making lists. The real important take away is, make sure you keep up with the lists and take them with you when you go to the store otherwise you have wasted your time. Here’s a tip: Take a photo of the list, I’m sure initially you will be more protective of your phone than the list!

Care to share any lists that you use or that I may have forgotten? Do you list? How do you keep track of everything you have to do from week to week?

5 lists to create that will simplify your life




  • Reply
    November 3, 2015 at 9:10 am

    I use todolist app for everything daily to do. I keep a grocery list on my fridge and write down what I need as I run out so when I get ready to go for my weekly run I just grab the list already done and put a few more stuff on there and I ready to go.

  • Reply
    November 3, 2015 at 9:34 am

    I have been making lists since I was a child. I had Fallen off but my planner this year really got me back into it. My meal plan list is a MUST before I hit the grocery store. Like you said: who has time to keep running back to the store for something you forgot? I carry notebooks in my purse to jot down things to add to my list later. And I love the Wunderlist app. I can add to it on the go and then it’s also on my computer.

  • Reply
    November 3, 2015 at 9:45 am

    When people say they don’t have time to make a meal plan or grocery list, I call BS…seriously. I work full time, I’m a soccer mom, most of my daughter’s meals are home cooked, and I’m launching a business.

    We have to do a better job of maximizing the time we do have. I typically do my meal plan/grocery list while I’m sitting at practice or the 30 mins before a soccer game. Lists are lifesavers!

    I also keep a small notebook with me to write things down as they come in my head otherwise, I will ALWAYS be distracted. I have to just get it out of my head.

    Great article!

  • Reply
    November 3, 2015 at 9:53 am

    I have a list to add…I’m about to start keeping a Call List – a list of people I need to contact via phone or email or text message, each day.

    I find I have it in my head to text my aunt a happy birthday message, email a quick question to my mentor, call my daughter’s school to ask a question…but these thoughts tend to come to me really late at night or really early in the morning or any other time it’s not convenient to do so. So I’m thinking about keeping a call list.

  • Reply
    Tiffani G
    November 3, 2015 at 11:13 am

    I usually only do a to do list, but your lists help me get my life.

  • Reply
    Vanessa Meads
    November 3, 2015 at 11:18 am

    Meal planning has saved me from wasting money on takeout so many times! All the better if I can get some prep work done on the weekend.

    I’m still struggling to find the best way to keep track of all my lists. More often than not they get written on scrap pieces of paper and shoved in my bag, or jumbled together in a Google doc and forgotten by mid-week. It’s not a great system.

    • Reply
      November 3, 2015 at 1:24 pm

      You should try Wunderlist! I have a list for literally EVERYTHING in there. From things I need to do for my business, site updates, what I need for my home, things the kids need. Everything. When something pops in my head I just put it straight in Wunderlist!

  • Reply
    November 3, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    This is an excellent list of lists. 🙂 I do all of these except the master list. I consult the calendar on the fridge in the evenings to make the next day’s to-do list.

  • Reply
    November 3, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    Where did you get that cute meal plan list? I need something like that. Right now I’m writing my meal plans out on scrap paper for the sake of creating a grocery list but I need something like this! Lists are essential for me. I wouldn’t be able to get much done without them 🙂

  • Reply
    November 3, 2015 at 2:32 pm

    I have to get back to list making. Whenever I make lists, I am always more successful at getting things done daily and during the week. I have to get back to it.

  • Reply
    November 3, 2015 at 3:20 pm

    I meal plan based on what is on sale and that’s how I build a grocery list ? But trying the master to do list and daily to do ASAP!

  • Reply
    K. Elizabeth (YUMMommy)
    November 3, 2015 at 6:16 pm

    Grocery and shopping lists are a must for me, especially if I’m going to Target. It’s too easy to start picking up stuff you don’t need. Those impulse buys add up too.

  • Reply
    November 3, 2015 at 7:00 pm

    I suck at making list. Or I tell myself I can remember what I need to do…smh! Lies…all lies! I just got the cutest planner and notebook at Target yesterday so I’m ready!

  • Reply
    Andrea B.
    November 3, 2015 at 10:58 pm

    I love lists! And this is a great one. 🙂

    I think I need to be more on the ball when it comes to maintaining them, so hopefully I’ll start w. my meals – because I really want to get on track w. planning them out a bit better.

  • Reply
    November 4, 2015 at 7:27 am

    Im learning the importance of lists and planning! And I am LOVING the hashtag and all the planning stickers and everything!! It makes making list and planning more fun! I just made a list this morning of things that need to get done in order of importance.

  • Reply
    November 4, 2015 at 10:21 am

    I am a list person so I love this post! Please share where you found all of these great notepads! I am kinda obsessed with notebooks, pens etc and these are to die for! Hook me up MiMi! lol

  • Reply
    November 4, 2015 at 2:41 pm

    I live by the lists! Definitely helpful.

  • Reply
    November 4, 2015 at 10:49 pm

    I am a list maker too. I have my dinner menu and grocery list on the same sheet of paper. I also make a to do list almost every day.

  • Reply
    November 5, 2015 at 1:00 pm

    I seriously need to start meal planning. I always have good intentions to plan our meals on Sunday nights… then Monday comes and I find myself trying to figure out what to make for my family! Sad part is I love a good list! This was a great post!

  • Reply
    November 8, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    I just talked about listing with my husband. I really need to do it, stick to it, and create a budget to go with it!

  • Reply
    November 15, 2015 at 10:01 pm

    I’m getting so much better at creating a shopping list and sticking to it. And I also list my shopping lists out by store instead of putting everything on one list. I’m still trying to get into the habit of meal planning. I’m getting there — slowly.. but surely.

    • Reply
      November 17, 2015 at 9:20 am

      Yes, about listing out by store. That has changed my whole life. No sifting through things I don’t need from that particular store. Amazing how little hacks just help tremendously.

  • Reply
    December 3, 2015 at 1:35 am

    Making lists is a life-saver for me and my family. I think I may need to find a more organized way to make them, though. Perhaps I i will invest in a nice planner that will fit in my bag. Because these sticky notes and the app in my phone doesn’t always cut it lol.

    You have the cutest notepads, Mimi! Thank you for sharing this post and reminding me to get my list-making life together.

  • Reply
    December 15, 2015 at 6:29 am

    I love lists. That’s how I survived from 2005 – 2013 as an officer in AKA. I use all the lists you mentioned in paper and love Google Tasks because you can set a task in advance and set a reminder. I don’t know how people function without listing. Think I’m going to add the Call Lousy mentioned in the comments. I keep forgetting to call people to check on them when they crossmy mind. Great article.

  • Reply
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