Imagine a place filled with lists to help you navigate through anything in your life. Moving, grocery shopping, meal planning — you name it. Well, such a place exists at ListPlanIt.com. It’s a site started by Jennifer Tankersley and you guessed it — she’s this month’s Featured List Producer:
Q: Why do you call yourself a compulsive list producer?
A: I’ve always been a list maker. I’ve used them to set goals, to help me remember important things, and to organize my thoughts. In December of 2006, I had an inspiration. It suddenly occurred to me that a template in list form would be convenient for printing and then using again in the future. Less than 6 months later, ListPlanIt.com was born. ListPlanIt is a website of my creation that contains hundreds (about 700, actually) of lists and planning pages for its members to print, download, type into, and/or save.
Q: What do you make lists about?
A: ListPlanIt has lists in 15 different categories. Here are some of my favorites: Business Planning (blog post planning, editorial calendar lists), Contact Information (babysitter list, frequently used numbers), Financial Planning (budgets, records), Holidays & Occasions (birthday and holiday planning lists), Home Management (cleaning lists, clothing inventories), Meal Planning (menu inventory lists, grocery lists), Personal Interests (Books Read, Books to Read, Bucket List), Time Management (to do lists, weekly planners), Travel Planning (packing lists, itineraries).
Q: How often do you make lists?
A: I use lists everyday. I have a clipboard and a notebinder that I carry around the house. They often have several lists that are always in progress.
Q: What type of list do you make the most?
A: I am an avid menu planner. I try not to step foot in the grocery store without a list in hand. I’ve learned that planning my menu for the week or 2 weeks helps me save money in the long run. Without my list, I end up buying random items and stacking them up in my pantry. To me, a pantry with just enough is perfect. I am not a stocker-upper.
Q: How do you make lists?
A: My preference is to hand write my lists. I print from ListPlanIt what I need, and then fill in the spaces with my favorite pen. There is a connection that takes place in my brain when I see with my eyes and write in my hand. I often find that my lists become worksheets that I might not even use again. I can usually remember after I’ve written it down.
Q: How have you found lists help you succeed?
A: Without lists, information and ideas would be in constant swirl in my brain. I put down my list of to dos in order to move my business forward. There is always so much to do, and lists help me prioritize. It is one of many tips I have gotten over the years while looking to grow my business. New businesses often become stuck with what they are doing; others often find themselves in a bit of a rut with no way out. Making a list helps to put your ideas down on paper so you can come back later and elaborate on it further. There are also places online where new business owners can find information and advice on how to move forward; for example, there are companies similar to The Alternative Board TAB that provide business coaching services.
Q: Specifically what was the last thing you wrote a list about?
A: I am making frequent lists lately of the contents of ListPlanIt’s updated ePlanners. The last time the ePlanners were updated was in 2010, and since then, I have created many more new lists for ListPlanIt’s membership. So it is time to add them. I also have a list of topics for an upcoming eBook that I hope will be released on ListPlanIt’s 5th Anniversary in May called 100 Days of Summertime.
Jennifer Tankersley is the creator of ListPlanIt.com, a website containing hundreds of lists and planning pages all geared toward helping you live a more organized life. She lives in Maine with her husband and 3 children.