Use Lists to Cut Out Clutter

Andrew Mellen Headshot Tighter

I love meeting people who are just as organized as I am and getting the chance to learn something new from them. I went to the BlogHer conference in Chicago last weekend (more about the productivity tips and tricks on outsourcing that I learned there to come soon!) and met Andrew Mellen, bestselling author of Unstuff Your Life. Needless to say, he’s an expert at staying organized and keeping it together! So I thought he’d be the perfect “list producer” to feature:

Q: Why do you call yourself a compulsive list producer?

A: I don’t. I call myself a practical list producer.

Q: What do you make lists about?

A: Things I need to do that need to get out of my head, onto a page, then onto my calendar.

These are typically:


Home Projects

Work Projects

Q: How often do you make lists?

A: As often as needed.

Q: What type of list do you make the most?

A: Work Projects. I work a lot.

Q: How do you make lists?

A: I typically type them. If I’m away from the computer and working on a project, I’ll write it out longhand and then type it up when I’m back in the office.

Q: How have you found lists help you succeed?

A: They get the clutter out of my mind and help me strategize and prioritize.

Q: Specifically what was the last thing you wrote a list about?

A: Things I needed to do for the next launch at Unstuff U.

Q: What are your favorite productivity apps?

A: I don’t love iCal or Google Calendar but together they sync all my appointments and keep me on schedule.

I’ve used Evernote, Asana and a few others. I think people need to be mindful when reaching for an app to rescue them from information overload and poor organizational habits. Most apps encourage people to collect more information rather than curate information. Clutter is clutter regardless of what form it takes.

Andrew Mellen is an organizational expert, public speaker, and the #1 best-selling author of Unstuff Your Life! He’s helped tens of thousands of people to unclutter and simplify their lives while regaining time for the things that matter, with clients ranging from Time, Inc. and Genentech to the US Depts. of Education and Homeland Security. Andrew lives by his motto: More Love, Less Stuff!® He can be found on the web at

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