I have a problem. I own dozens of notebooks that are filled with lists for varying purposes {house, garden, wishlist, gifts to buy} and a burgeoning Evernote account.

I have long skinny list pads hanging around on my desk at work, in the kitchen at home, in the study and in the lounge. I have a bunch of sticky list notelets entitled "Long list" "Short list" and "Things to remember".

I've had to stop myself from buying any more list-related stationery items as they only spur on more compulsive list-making. I'll be unsurprised if my epitaph reads "That gal loved a list".

My lists drive Mr L mad. His idea of one is to scribble a few bullet points on a post-it note and to leave it stuck to the kitchen cupboard for the next two weeks – never mind the fact that everything on it is to do with a single trip into town to buy some washers and pick up the dry cleaning, neither of which he remembers to do.

I appreciate that my interest in lists and the way that I use them is probably some deep-level nerdy Virgoan witchcraft and that most human beings have better things to do with their minds and their time, but y'know, it keeps me content and under control. 

A list will calm a busy mind.

When I arrive at work each morning, I'm usually juggling a dozen or so different tasks, not to mention the undefined number of curveballs that are likely to wiggle their way into my day ahead. It's almost impossible for me to start work without writing some kind of list, in fact I confess that I write two lists every day, for different purposes.

The first I write on a spiral-bound Monday-Sunday day-by-day planner {mine is from Sainsbury's and similar to this one} with maybe 10 slots for things to do on each day. This list is everything I have to either start or complete in the day, and as I work my way through the tasks I strike them off.

The second list is a record of the things I've actually done and how long they have taken me, so I can account for all my time accurately at the end of the week and bill things correctly to my clients. I prefer writing and doodling on squared paper for work, as I also often have to plan out slides for presentations or sketch ideas for creative. My go-to squared paper source are actually some maths books from Rymans which are about 50p each. BARG.

A list can be a starting point for good intentions.

I kept a list of blog topics to write about for goodness knows how many years, and never actually wrote a single one of them. But, it made me feel better knowing I'd slightly planned out what I might want to blog, had I ever had the momentum to start. That list is now used with a bit more activity and purpose, I hasten to add.

I also have a list of things I'd like to do/see/experience for the year ahead, both at work and for personal things, which is a really nice one to refer back to and see how you can make new stuff happen, or reflect on all the things you've managed to do.

A list can keep you on your toes.

I have a list in my Evernote which is a record of all my loved ones and the last time I saw them in person. Now I know this sounds like some kind of odd stalker game, but I actually find it incredibly useful to refer back to when I last checked in with friends and family. It's good for making sure that I'm not leaving too long between seeing people and I'm making time for special memories. 

A list can help you remember the details.

I'm big into gift-giving and cards. As well as a list of all the birthdays in the family and amongst friends, I also have a list of every gift I have bought every person for the last couple of years – mainly so that I can see what I bought them last time and not to buy the same thing again!

It's also nice to go back and see how much you roughly spent, especially if it's a more obscure relation or friend where you ordinarily might completely forget the gift you gave previously. 

A list can be a journal.

I used to write a diary when I was a young 'un but the habit wore off as my interest in having multiple crushes on various real and celebrity menfolk diminished and I became an actual grown-up. However, I do still really love journalling the odd memory down as it's a much easier way to keep a diary and saves having to actually write proper paragraphs.

I have an Evernote for every new month, and in it is a bulleted list of memorable moments or feelings that passes through my brain. Admittedly I sometimes forget and then have to think back to the bits that stuck out. It can be sad things too and not just all the perfect moments. Because, life and stuff.

A list can be someone else's words.

I'm fairly sure anyone reading this by now has me down as a first-rate list freak but fear not, I'm about to take you a bit further down the crazy Ceels rabbit hole with me.

I also have a list of things that people have texted or written to me – things that have meant a great deal. I find messages and emails so fleeting and difficult to entomb in our memories that I use this one to do just that. When I'm feeling rubbish or missing someone I refer to this list as a way to remind myself of friendships; feelings felt and said, or just funny things to make me laugh.

Ceels x