My Thoughts on List Making

I get my best thinking done while I am driving in my car and in the early morning hours, when I should be sleeping. A million things can pop into my head at these times. The issue is I can forget a thought as quickly as I have it, so I spend a crazy amount of time and brain energy remembering my thoughts. Do you do this? It can be so frustrating as I lie in bed, going over a list of thoughts, instead of sleeping, because inevitability I forget half of what pops into my head. ALWAYS!

Is it age?. . . . Maybe, a little. . . . . . . . But research has shown that your brain can not determine the importance of what you are thinking about. So while some thoughts may be important, other unimportant thoughts are taking up space in your memory and squeeze out the good stuff. This is so me! I end up remembering to do a load of laundry but forget to buy my plane ticket for my upcoming vacation.

If you can relate to this, maybe you need to find a better way to get your thoughts out of your head and arranged into an organized fashion that will work for you. What works for one person, may not work for others, so you need to find a personal system that works for you.

What have you tried?

Did any or part of it work?

Are you a visual person?

Are you paper-based or tech-friendly? or both?

These are some things to explore when looking for the right system for you.

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Janet Schiesl

Janet has been organizing since 2005. She is a Certified Professional Organizer and the owner of Basic Organization. She loves using her background as a space planner to challenge her clients to look at their space differently. She leads the team in large projects and works one-on-one with clients to help the process move quickly and comfortably. Call her crazy, but she loves to work with paper, to purge what is not needed and to create filing systems that work for each individual client. Janet is a Past President of the Washington DC Chapter of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) and was voted 2016 Organizer of the Year by the Washington DC Chapter of NAPO.


  1. Janet Barclay on September 5, 2019 at 8:48 am

    I agree that getting the thoughts out of your head and in a form you can organize is key! What’s working for me is an app I can access from either my phone or my laptop. No matter where I am, if something pops into my head – important or otherwise – I can add it to my task list and know it won’t be forgotten. The downside is that if something doesn’t make it to the list for whatever reason, I can easily forget to do it.

    • Janet Schiesl on September 5, 2019 at 12:29 pm

      Yes. I am also very forgetful. I need to get everything down as well. I use google tasks for most small things, but also use a paper list to prioritize my projects. This seems to be working for me now, but it’s always a work in progress.

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