Deb Sarah’s World of List-Making

I was so excited about today’s topic on The Ball, because I love lists. Love them. Really, let me illustrate how much. I keep notebooks all over my house. One in the bathroom. One on my nightstand in my bedroom. One in the kitchen. And a big stack in my office. This way, if I’m running around the house and happen to think of something, I don’t know, sorta brilliant, I can jot it down quickly (or else, it vanishes into the sea of motherhood). Note: All of these lists are paper lists. You’d think I’d figure out a way to get them in one place, or put them on my Blackberry, or something, but no, I prefer paper (which is why you can probably guess that I still prefer real, physical paper books, too!). So, each day, I have four lists in progress:

*Topic idea list for my blog, Vitamin G: Whether it’s breaking health news, a subject inspired by a chat with a friend, a new health food product I’ve tried or want to try, or ideas about people I want to interview, I keep a running list of blog ideas on my desk (yes, it’s a very long list).

*Novel idea list: I have a list on my computer of half-baked novel ideas. (As my author friend Carol Cassella puts it—the influx of story ideas is like having a chronic disease; it’s hard to turn your mind off!) On this list are the ideas for the books I hope to write next, and a few less-developed ideas, and also a few simple novel titles (sometimes I’m simply inspired by a title, so I write it on this list, knowing I’ll come back and add to it once a plot/story strikes me).

*Dinner/grocery list: Confession: I dread grocery shopping, so I have them delivered via this fabulous service called Amazon Fresh in Seattle. I have three young boys and a very hungry husband, so you can imagine that this list is long and ever-growing. And for the record, if I actually shopped for groceries at a physical store, I’d spend 20 hours a week buying, bagging and bringing it all home!

*Family plans list: Because my work life is so hectic, I try to plan the week around fun things my kids can look forward to. So, each week I scan the calendars of some local parenting sites and find out what fun kiddo events are happening, and then pick the things everyone wants to do.

*The slush list: Then, I keep a running list of to-do’s on my desk—people I need to call back, people I need to email, magazine stories I need to complete, doctor appointments I need to make, etc., etc. This is not my favorite list, for obvious reasons.

There you have it! The riveting list of Sarah Jio. A nail-biter, wasn’t it? xo

9 Replies to “Deb Sarah’s World of List-Making”

  1. You owe me a manicure Mrs. List! Wow – you are very listy. Which is one vowel away from lusty and yet so very very different. 😉 No grocery shopping? If you can believe this, grocery shopping has always been one of my favorite tasks. I loved going to Fernandes with my Mom as a kid. And Almacs. Two long-gone New England grocery stores. Even today, Porricelli’s and Stop & Shop are an easy “outing” for us. Mia and Bella hold the cart, Gianna follows with the scanner like a Star Trek phaser and we plunge down each aisle with energy. According to my pink digital sticky, I have a magazine article due to day. Better go make some final edits and hit send.

  2. I do love crossing things off my to-do list, and I have learned to write things down, lest I forget them! I tend to keep all my to-dos on one list, though my writing ideas lists and my grocery lists, are separate, so I don’t decide to write a scene based on the South Beach Diet recipes I want to try.

    And I really need to start using a grocery delivery service. Bless Kim, but the grocery store eats up a ridiculous amount of time. Then again, the stores around here don’t have those cool scanners…

    1. Haha! but my lists are so very un-sexy! (And, for the record, I buy the cheapie 99 cent notebooks and go through a gazillion of them each month (used for magazine interviews as well as lists!))

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