You, in Lists

I am the Queen of Lists. (It’s not a self-proclaimed title either; just ask anyone who knows me.) I freaking love them. I have lists for just about everything and around this time of year I like to review them (especially if I’m doing a yearly review, which I highly recommend you do as well.)

What kind of lists am I talking about? I’m talking about the lists that make up you: the things you like and dislike, the things that you think about, the dreams that you have. You have to have at least some of those written down, don’t you?

Here are some of the things that you may or may not have lists about:

  • favourite books/books to read/favourite genres
  • music to try
  • places you’ve visited
  • places to go
  • foods to try/favourite foods/restaurants
  • bucket lists/goals for week, month, year, season, vacation or life
  • movies to watch/favourite movies/TV shows
  • favourite ways of coping with stress
  • rainy day list/wish list
  • ideas for parties/birthday gifts/Christmas gifts
  • favourite board games/card games/party games
  • ideas for garden/outdoor space/home
  • favorite drinks/drinks to try
  • packing lists
  • websites to check out
  • books/items that friends have borrowed
  • savings goals
  • fitness goals
  • beauty products/treatments to try

I keep all of my “me” lists in my planner so when I’m planning a shopping trip, organizing a movie night with friends or just deciding which book to read next I have the all close at hand. It makes my daily planning more personal and purpose-driven.

Looking to try this in your own life? Here’s some examples of some of the lists I have going now:

  • This is the time of year I like to review the list of all of the items I’ve borrowed off of friends over the year. (And by items I mean books. Check out what I’m catching up on this winter here.)
  • I don’t know anything about wine so I always consult my list of favourites before I go to the store; honestly, I draw a blank every time I get there.
  • A lot of conversations with friends these days involve TV shows they’ve been binge-watching on Netflix. I try to keep track of the titles mentioned so I always have something to watch instead of scrolling through the list of Netflix recommendations for an hour. (I think my next one is Vikings. What do you guys think?)

What are some of the lists that you keep about your likes and dislikes? Where do you store them? Are there any ideas for lists that I didn’t include here? Give me a shout below or let me know at keepingbusyb@gmail.com and I’ll add your list to my list of lists!

I’m always looking for the best ways to manage my time and workflow more effectively and efficiently. If you’re looking for more ways to increase your productivity as well, click here for more strategies that I’ve developed and researched and here for more ways to stay organized. For more ways to deal with your busy lifestyle, click here.

Someday/Maybe

KBB_summer_day

I talk a lot about the business of keeping busy on my blog (hey, the word busy is even in the title) but once in awhile you deserve a time out. I’m here today to give you permission to do just that. After all, what is the point in figuring out the most productive way to get things done if you’re not using that free time to cultivate fun and actually live your life.

If you feel that some excitement has been missing from your life lately, you need to create a Someday/Maybe list, like immediately. The idea is not an original one- David Allen introduces this concept in his book Getting Things Done (which I reviewed here)- and uses the Someday/Maybe list as a place to capture future projects and business goals.

I took his idea one step further and created a Someday/Maybe list of all of the things I want to do, and learn, and explore throughout my life. Sure, some of these hopes may seem unrealistic. I might not even get around to them in this lifetime. But it’s still fun to dream.

What’s on your someday/maybe list? Here’s a list of some of the things that you may (or may not) wish to include:

  • books that you’d like to read; movies and TV shows to watch; new music you’d like to listen to;
  • hobbies that you’d like to try; hobbies you’d like to improve; abandoned hobbies that you’d like to take up again;
  • restaurants/food/recipes that you’d like to try;
  • shows, festivals and exhibits that you’d like to attend;
  • degrees, certificates, or certifications you’d like to earn; seminars, courses or workshops you’d like to attend;
  • new languages or skills you’d like to learn or improve
  • vacation destinations- complete with people to visit, things to do and places to stay.

I keep a copy of my Someday/Maybe list in my Command Central binder to refer back to and revise every so often. It serves as a great reminder as to why I do what I do in the first place and those days when things get a little too hectic it feels so refreshing to take a moment to read it, and dream. On paper, your life has no limits. It’s a beautiful and freeing thing.

KBwB-BFlower-50What’s on your Someday/Maybe list? I’m dying to know. Maybe we have something in common! Share your thoughts below or keep them between us by sending them to keepingbusywithb@gmail.com. Your dreams are safe with me!

Wanna take a little peek into what’s on my Someday/Maybe list? Check out my Goodreads profile for my ever-growing list of books that I want to read (which is basically, like, all the books.) I’m also a little bit of a Pinterest junkie. You can see what’s been catching my eye on one of my numerous inspiration boards here.

Take Control of Your Life with a Command Central Binder

KBB_colorful_calendar_even_closelierHonest-to-goodness, one of the best organizing strategies that I have used in my life has been the implementation of what’s commonly known among the organizing bloggers as the “Command Central Binder”. It has become one of the most important tools in my workflow system and if I didn’t swear by it, I wouldn’t be sharing mine with y’all today.

I have to give credit where credit is due: this is not an original idea. The idea of a Command Central binder was first introduced to me when I started receiving the Simplify 101 newsletter. (I don’t know anyone who works there I swear! I just troll the Internet for organizing resources because I have a serious addiction to that kind of thing.)

The reason why the Command Central binder is so useful that it is a collection tool designed to allow you more control over the various aspects of your life by keeping all information relevant to you stored in one convenient place. At first I struggled with the idea of creating one because it seemed to be geared towards the busy mother looking to manage multiple schedules, papers, records, tasks and other important information in a place that was at her fingertips. And it is that. But it’s also so much more.

I took the concept one step further and realized I could take the basic principles behind the Command Central binder and adopt them to my own workflow needs. I have a section for all of my to-do lists involving some of the personal and professional projects that I’m working on right now and another section that contains my monthly budget and all of my financial worksheets. The sections don’t have to be strictly utilitarian, either. There’s a section in mine that’s simply for all of books I want to read (the ones that aren’t already logged on my Goodreads profile) and yet another section that tracks future projects and wish lists that I’ve appropriately labeled “Wishin’ and Hopin’”

The key to a making a Command Central binder that works for you is to personalize it as much as you possibly can. It took me of years of tweaking my formula to arrive at the sections that worked for me but because I don’t have children I instead used my Command Central binder as a place to keep track of anything that has to do with my personal and professional well-being and growth. Some of the sections included are the ones I’ve described above; there are a few others as well. I’ll spare you the gory details.

Anything that you need to refer to on a constant basis goes here. Any tools to help your routines, schedules and workflow management belong here as well. Use some of my examples or create your own. Consider including: calendars, school lunch menus, extra-curricular and volunteer schedules, account information and passwords, contacts, chore charts, pantry inventories, budgets, wish lists, to-do lists, membership information, someday/maybe tasks…the list is virtually endless. Once you’ve figured out which pieces of information are most relevant to you, make sure they’re organized in a way that’s easy to use. Refer back to your Command Central binder and revise often to meet your changing needs. I hope you find yours as useful as I’ve found mine.

KBwB-Flower-50

Have you adopted a Command Central binder into your organizing system? Comment below and share what worked for you. Or drop me a line at keepingbusyb@gmail.com and I’ll try to include it an upcoming post. Still looking for other ways to get organized? Click here to read more about some of the methods I’ve found useful.