List Making: The Eye of the Brain Hurricane


I love lists. One of the things I am ABSOLUTELY loving about October is it’s giving me an excuse to make lots of top 10 lists. October is inTENse… Buh duh ccchhhsssshhh. (That’s onomatopoeia for drum and cymbals sounds.)

I am – by nature – a list maker, a cataloguer, a documenter. I am in many ways eccentric, spontaneous, and even, dare I admit, messy from time to time (my mom is going to bust out laughing on that one)…but I am also a HUGE dork and ridiculously meticulously organized as well in many areas. I have to be. Got too much goin’ on in the ole noggin’.

Many of you (because I’m pretty sure most my current audience are family and friends) have already seen “WALLIVE SHOE”…

Wallive Shoe

{2 days before my first official blog post – in a brain hurricane that completely took over my dining room}

I’m a pretty quick typist, but there’s just something about pen and paper…the transference of what’s in my brain down through my arm to my hand to the paper using ink (or graphite, or crayon, or even lipstick – in a pinch)… It solidifies the thought. Getting this bad girl off the ground…err…desk – blog, etsy store, all the graphics, updates to other sites, social media, post ideas, categories, thinking through what pictures to use, what new ones I need to take, how and when to post different ideas…WHEW! It requires a lot of lists – most of which are constantly evolving at this point….ANNNND when my brain starts a’goin’ in one direction, I’ll think of another thing that I need to add to this list over here, then that one over there. It really did take over my dining room, and most of my little townhouse for that matter a couple of weekends ago. Now I’ve managed to wrangle most of it into a few – well more like 100 – computer files, several stacks of paper, and 2/3 of a wall in my craft room.

Olive Shoe Planning Wall

{Part of what has become planning wall}

I’m a big picture person; in order to understand all the moving parts, I have to be able to see the whole machine, and since the “machine” is my own vision of the olive shoe, what it embodies, its future, its growth…it just keeps getting more and more complicated….and I’m such a visual person that when I have this many ideas going on at once, I have to spread them out so I can see them all. At this early in the game, the whole machine is kind of like Swiss cheese, and I need to be able to see where the holes are so I can get it closer to looking more like brie.

Lists, the physiology of writing, machines, and cheeses…oh this is definitely a musing. Or amusing? Both?

Back to list making…and continuing in the spirit of October…ten reasons I love making lists.

  • Lists are clean, concise, clear forms of communication.
  • Making a list is therapeutic. If you write it down, you don’t have to worry about storing it in your brain anymore.
  • List making is fun! You can doodle your lists, color code them, or funky icons as bullet points.
  • I love crossing things off the lists I make. HAHA! Take that completed item! Bam. Donezo.
  • My list making addiction is providing functional wall “décor” in my craft room.
  • Lists help me stay organized. Grocery lists, to-do at work, to-do at home, blog posts I want to write, things I need to do this week, places I want to visit, Christmas cards to send, wines I want to try, books I want to read, books I want to write, my bucket list, things I want to do next year, you get the idea…
  • That whole writing down thing makes my need to-dos, want to-dos, and other doozles stick in my brain.
  • Lists are easy, quick, brain refreshers – I find that running through bullet points – small snippits of info instead of paragraphs at a time, I can get myself back into whatever line of thinking I started the list in.
  • Lists can easily be recorded and referred back to later on one’s smart phone (I’m personally a fan of Toodledo) or in a small notebook that fits in a purse. I have a great little MOLESKINE® journal I keep in mine that a sweet friend gave me a couple of months ago. It’s the perfect size for carrying around all the time.
  • Making a list gives you an excuse to use a post-it. I’m nutso about post-its. Ask anyone I work with. I need a post-it bracelet.

In case you’d like a bit more reading material on list making, check out these links:

27 Signs You’re An Obsessive List Maker

Why You’re Making Your To-Do List Wrong

10 Reasons Why We Love Making Lists (we, in this case, is NPR)

Create a To Do List You’re More Likely to Finish (from Forbes)

Ok. That’s it for me today. The ‘rents are coming this weekend, and this girl needs to do some cleaning!! Hope everyone has avoided a “case of the Mondays”!

à bientôt j'espère

Oh, and P.S. how are we halfway through October already? Does anyone else think this year has just flown by??? My calendar started reminding me that it’s time to make lists for Christmas cards, gifts, stuff to bake, etc. this weekend (it’s programmed to do it annually at this time of year – yeah, I know – I told you I’m a huge dork)…but seriously? Mid-October already? GEEZ!!

Good luck finding the eye of your brain hurricane!


Lauren is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Please subscribe to receive emails, of course, come back and visit again soon!


  1. Okay okay, I’m motivated now. I like to make lists as well but I procrastinate (and then forget ). Thanks for the reminder.


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