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A Top 5 List About Lists

April 16, 2011
Hand holding pen and writing a list in a notebook

List (noun): “A series of names or other items written or printed together in a meaningful grouping or sequence so as to constitute a record” (

I love lists. I love writing lists and crossing items off lists, and I love reading lists that other people write. I love grocery lists, goal lists, Bucket lists, To-Do lists, idea lists and top [insert any number here] lists. There’s something so satisfying about organizing your thoughts in a list and then checking (or even better, crossing) things off as you complete them. And who doesn’t love easy-to-read top 10 lists?

In honour of my love of lists, I’ve compiled a list of things about lists:

If you are a lover of top 10 lists (or top any number lists), check out for a collection of lists about everything from the Top 10 Best Novels of the Last 20 Years to 20 Famous Last Words. Another site of lists to worth taking a look at is:

I often make my lists in a notebook that I carry in my bag, or in the MemoPad app on my Blackberry, but lately I’ve been playing around with a tool called Evernote. Evernote’s tagline is: “Remember Everything”, and it certainly seems that their online info consolidating tool can help. With Evernote you can store pictures, URLs, music and (of course) good ‘ole lists in an online repository that can be accessed from pretty much anywhere (multiple computers, mobile devices, tablets, etc.). Although I really like Evernote, it’s not the only list-making tool out there. Mashable has compiled a list of tools for managing all different kinds of lists here, and iTunes even offers a list tool, ListPro.

3. Ideas for lists

I came across this blog post from Life Hack that gives 9 lists that you should always keep updated, from your grocery list to your bucket list. Another 9 excuses for making lists!

4. Why do we love lists so?

Here’s an article from NPR about why we love lists: 10 Reasons Why we Love Lists.

5. Lists of writing tips

Since any self respecting list has at least 5 items on it and I’ve run out of ideas, I’ll end with a short sub-list of lists of writing tips:

a) The 22 Best Writing Tips Ever;

b) Jonathan Franzens (somewhat harsh but infinitely useful) Ten Rules of Writing from the “101 Books” blog and;

c) 10 Rules for Writing Fiction inspired by Elmore Leonard’s Ten Rules of Writing and posted by

Do you share my love of lists? What types of lists do you keep?

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  • Pam Parker April 26, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    Thanks for adding me — I love this post! I too am a dedicated lister. :-)

  • M. Howalt April 28, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    Ooh, lists. I do like lists. I keep them mostly for the stories I write, but also have one of things that I would like (books, cds and so on) and a regular grocery list.
    Thanks for the links!

    • carrie m April 28, 2011 at 4:46 pm

      You’re welcome! Thanks for stopping by!

  • azizaafire April 28, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    Fantastic! I am obsessed with lists and nothing gives me more satisfaction than either starting a new one or finishing an old one. Glad I stumbled upon your blog – I will definitely be checking back!

  • theambitiousnerd April 29, 2011 at 12:10 am

    I can completely relate; my entire life has always been planned out with to-do lists, schedules, etc. And while they usually help me not procrastinate, (as shown in your “10 Reasons Why We =Love Lists” link), they often just help me idealize my future and show me how much work is piling up. :(

    • carrie m April 29, 2011 at 11:51 am

      Lists can be a mixed blessing, that’s for certain! A friend recently reminded me of another type of list I neglected to mention above: pro/con lists. There’s even a website to help you make pro/con lists: Happy listing!

  • Leila April 30, 2011 at 6:17 am

    Wow, you just gave me something to fill my weekend with! I am addicted to lists, and my husband laughs and says he needs to get my a special book where i can make lists of my lists! Endless… Thank you…..

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