to-do-listHello, my name is LinnieGayl, and I’m a To Do List Addict.

Yes, it’s true, I’m a slave to my To Do lists.

One of my favorite heroines of all time is Princess Alexandra from Julie Garwood’s Castles. Alexandra initially seems to be a bit of a ditz, but she’s actually very bright. One of her most endearing qualities — to me — is the fact that she’s highly organized, and makes all kinds of To Do lists. In fact, she actually makes a List of Lists, which is a listing of all her To Do lists.

Sad to admit, but each time I read Castles (and it happens about once a year), I briefly think about starting a List of Lists. So far I’ve managed to resist, but I do live by my lists. I think for me, they’re a method to gain some control over stress and chaos. When my life gets particularly chaotic or stressful, I create even more lists.

Years ago, I kept my various lists on little pads of paper that I would carry with me at all times. It gave me a great deal of satisfaction to cross items off a list, and to eventually see a list with each item crossed off. However, once I switched to a PDA (and eventually a smart phone), I converted most of my lists to electronic versions. So, instead of crossing items off a list, I just delete them. Somehow, that’s not quite as satisfactory, as it just looks like I’ve never accomplished anything.

I’ve also gradually spread my To Do lists to other media, which at the moment just isn’t working for me. At work, I have a list of things I need to do for each of my major projects. I usually keep these in various Excel spreadsheets on my work computer, although at times I toy with keeping them in Word.

At home, I have a master Excel spreadsheet encompassing all kinds of activities I need to accomplish (AAR activities, cleaning, errands, “personal business”, etc.), and I keep this list on my home computer.

Then, I have the long-term lists of things I hope to accomplish in the next year, the next five years, etc. These, I tend to keep on my phone.

I’ve started to realize that having all of these To Do lists in different locations just isn’t working. When I had them all on one small pad of paper, they were with me, no matter what. Now, they’re just everywhere.

So, I’m actually starting to think about reverting to a small pad of paper for my To Do lists. That way, not only would they be with me at all times, but I could once again enjoy seeing how many things are crossed off my various lists. Alternatively, I’d love to find a computer (or iPhone application) that would allow me to make portable lists.

How about you? Do you make To Do lists? If so, what method do you use? What types of things do you use them for?