What kind of List Maker are You?

Since starting this blog and writing my book Listful Thinking — one of my favorite parts is meeting lots of people who love making lists. Even at my day job, working as a news producer, I encounter tons of fellow list makers who can’t wait to swap list tips!

Over time I’ve started to notice that list makers tend to fall into certain categories, all with their own styles of list making.

Check out the categories below to figure out what kind of a list maker you are:

Monkey List Maker

You might be this list maker if:

  1. You have a list for – literally – everything.
  2. All your lists have a place, like a notebook or in Evernote.
  3. You keep them in a certain order or they are color coded.

These list makers are just like me and for them lists are serious business! Monkey list makers are normally very organized, but they can fall into the trap of spending more time writing lists than crossing items off! To stop yourself from doing this make sure that every task has a deadline – even if it’s not urgent create a ‘fake’ deadline.

Monkeys are known for being very smart and efficient.  Though if you’re a monkey and you don’t set a deadline – you may never get around to doing that task.


Squirrel List Maker

You might be this list maker if:

  1. You write lists on old receipts or ticket stubs.
  2. You don’t separate your lists – just put all your tasks in one list.
  3. You often find yourself doodling on your list.

Squirrel list makers tend to be creative types with lots of big ideas! However they don’t always manage to actually make these ideas happen. Often it’s because they put things like ‘write book’ next to ‘buy milk’ on their lists.

Squirrels and foragers and use whatever materials are available to them for their creations. If you’re a squirrel list maker try creating a plan of action for your ideas on a separate – more permanent list!


Tiger List Maker

You might be this list maker if:

  1. You write one to-do list each day and it consists only of the things you specifically need to do that day.
  2. You don’t write down long term goals or tasks, but take each day at a time.
  3. You enjoy the feeling of throwing away a completed list.

This category of list makers tends to be dominated by men, but there are some women who are tiger list makers. They tend to have a more laid back approach to organization – focusing on what’s right in front of them instead of stressing about the future.

Tigers are lone animals and their solo task is the hunt. These one track mind list makers can get caught up in the moment and fail to see the bigger picture. You can improve your long term planning by setting aside time every 3 months to go over your plans for the next quarter and make sure that each item on your list is properly thought through.


Dolphin List Maker

You might be this list maker if:

  1. You have a dozen different productivity apps on your phone.
  2. You’ve synced all your calendars and email so you always know what’s going on.
  3. You use tools like Fancy Hands or Task Rabbit to outsource.

There are a lot of ways in which modern technology has helped us to save time and be more productive. I even dedicated a whole chapter of my book to technology and I’m a huge advocate of Evernote. Dolphin list makers are some of the most organized people I know – as long as their phone battery doesn’t die! Also bear in mind that while handwritten lists can seem old fashioned, the act of physically writing things down helps to plant the seeds in your brain. So next time you have a list of things you need to remember try going old school and crack out the pen and paper.

Dolphins are known for their intelligence and quick thinking. So these types of list makers tend to use digital apps because they don’t have time to write things down.

What kind of a list maker are you?

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