STYLE Savvy: Lists and Styles


As an I need to see it person, I have a love-hate relationship with lists. I love dumping “to-dos” out of my head and onto paper,  where I can see them — to a point. But, if the list gets too long, I start to get overwhelmed. The details overwhelm the big picture, and I start to lose sight of the forest because there are too many trees.

My list-making behavior reflects both my I need to see it personal style and my global personality. Overwhelmed by details (global personality), I need to re-construct my lists in ways that are less visually overwhelming (I need to see it) in order for them to be a useful tool.

Pixabay, CC0 Public Domain

Pixabay, CC0 Public Domain

How about you? Does your list-making reflect your styles?

  • If your personal style is I need to see it, do you subdivide and color-code for visual efficiency?
  • If you’re a cram and jammer, do you cram as much as possible onto one page?
  • If you’re a drop and run organizer, do you make your list, set it down and forget about it, only to return to it later?
  • If you have an I love stuff personal style, do you need to find just the right paper before you can write anything down?
  • If you’re an I know I put it somewhere organizer, do your lists go missing because you put them in a “safe place”?
  • If you have an I love to be busy personal style, are you as efficient with your lists as you are with your time?
Whether your list-making style mimics your personal and/or organizational styles or deviates from them isn’t what matters. What matters is whether or not your list-making works for you. With lists, as with all other aspects of organizing, one size does not fit all.
Which size fits you?
Copyright 2016 Lisa Hess

About Author

Lisa Lawmaster Hess has contributed articles to local, national and online publications, and blogs at The Porch Swing Chronicles, The Susquehanna Writers and here at She is the author of two non-fiction books (Acting Assertively and Diverse Divorce) and two novels, Casting the First Stone and Chasing a Second Chance. A retired elementary school counselor, Lisa is a lecturer in psychology at York College and enjoys singing with the contemporary choir at her church.

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