Help! I’m allergic to lists.

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I have never favoured lists, but since marriage to my darling husband 10 years ago, my aversion has only grown.  Writing lists is, to him, as breathing oxygen.  He writes enough lists for me and our entire extended family too.  If only I could outsource my list requirements to him.

Due to my allergic condition (where lists act as a sort of irritant to my general health) I don’t really know how to use lists.   Most times I have tried to list effectively it has backfired.  Here’s the problem: if I grocery shop without a list I forget half the stuff but (due to my allergy) I am so out of practice at lists, that if I take one to the supermarket, I forget half the stuff anyway.  “Don’t you tick the items off as you go along?”  He asked wonderingly.  I laughed because, after all, nobody actually does that.  Do they…..?

I live with a long to-do list, a weekly meal planner, a weekly homeschool project planner, a blog planner and other sundry items all stored in my head.  A head that is often tired and distracted from going in more than 6 directions at once.  “How can you not have a list?”  He asked, again wonderingly.  Indeed.  There’s a great big family planner on the wall, and a diary in my handbag, but they are forlorn and empty.  Take a look, it’s scary stuff:


Until now I have been moderately satisfied – if I don’t have a list then I shall be safe from the sense of failure that accompanies the inevitable lack of ticking.  And yet I have a nagging feeling that I could be more productive and/or efficient with a list.

Hunting across the web I found out there are some wonderful-looking planners like The Ultimate Homeschool Planner  (look inside it here – it really looks great!).  But I just can’t bring myself to fork out for something that I might react really badly to and, say, never use.  There are some really beautiful, lovingly crafted, and best of all free planners that you simply download and print off.  Look at this one from Erica at Confessions of a Homeschooler – it’s gorgeous!  But again, I can’t bring myself to use lots of ink and paper and then break out in an itchy rash.

I gave this some thought and decided to try and create my own planner template which would only have on it exactly what I need, and which would not have a grid or lots of lines on it like a standard calendar or journal.  I think grids and lines give me palpitations or something.  I passed several A levels with ease thanks to my memorising the intricate spider diagrams I had crafted.  I crave blank spaces.  So this is an undated double-page spread, and if it doesn’t work I’ve only wasted one hour and 2 sheets of paper.  It’s pretty, but we’ll see if, in the words of Mr Darcy, it’s handsome enough to tempt me.  Feel free to join me and print yours here.  Maybe it will tempt you too. 😀

Planner Thumbnail

Please help me out, and share any tips for relief of list allergy below.


  1. May 4, 2015    

    Good stuff Liz…….
    So far I’ve discovered that “fear of lists” is possible called….Pinaciphobia

    Me and lists have a healthy fear of each other!!! I sometimes dabble, on a back of an envelope sorta style…..

    But almost got kicked off a time management course for my radical suggestion for writing a list which includes a) writing the list and b) a couple of things you’ve already done!!!
    In my mind lists are all about psychology and not stressing yourself out that there’s so much to do, which is impossible… the sight if a few things crossed off is much better and achievable than a new shiny list of possibilities!!!

    • May 4, 2015    

      Wow, I never knew it was an actual condition! And I have certainly followed suggestion b) myself, on most lists. 😀

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