Wednesday, February 22, 2012


I like lists. I make to-do lists often, sometimes too often. They tend to be scattered around the house, depending on the topic. I might have one list for class planning (which could be floating around the living room or kitchen, or it could be in my notebook where it really belongs), one list for meal planning (which probably would be on the fridge on a magnetic notepad), and one list for cleaning and errands (which might be on the fridge but might not). Sometimes these help me, sometimes they don't. Sometimes there are too many of them and I lose track of them. Sometimes it seems that instead of simplifying my life I'm trying to confuse myself as much as possible.

Rabbit trail: Does anyone else write things down on a to-do list after the fact, just so you can check them off? I do. I love the feeling of accomplishment, especially on days when it seems like I didn't do very much.

I happened to be in Michael's craft store on an unrelated errand (the quest for a non-Christmas wreath for the front door, that isn't too expensive and won't be destroyed by moisture leaking in through the storm continues) the other week and looked through the "dollar" bins. I found these fantastic magnetic pads.

They have the days of the week listed on top of very long columns. They have several magnets on the back, instead of just one. They are about the size of a half sheet of paper and fit perfectly on the side of my fridge right where I can see them. They were $1.50 each and are very thick for this type of pad.

I've been using the pad for meal-planning and to-do lists, so far. The grocery/errand lists are still elsewhere, since I tear those off when I leave the house to run errands. But this has helped me with my meal-planning, at the very least. There is one place with all the days listed. It looks fairly neat. I don't have to list the days of the week myself. They are right there in front of me, so I am more likely to fill them out ahead of time instead of flying by the seat of my pants. This doesn't mean I'm not changing the plan often, and some days you can see arrows and circles showing that I moved a meal, but it helps me to have some idea of what I'm cooking ahead of time. One note on the meal-planning: I cook for leftovers often, so I like to write the leftovers' "deadline" ("eat by this date or suffer the consequences", a.k.a. to avoid waste and food poisoning) next to a meal, because I often have a hard time remembering a few days later what day I actually cooked something (usually if it wasn't planned).

So that's my nifty new trick. We'll see if it helps me stay on track. So far I'm doing fairly well.

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