After reading Paula Rizzo’s Listful Thinking, the publisher, Viva Editions, contacted me about my post and to ask if I’d like to interview Paula! This was a perfect collaboration especially since I have a Lists section in my planner directly inspired by Listful Thinking. Paula’s blog, The List Producer is how she got started giving advice and tips on making lists, but she’s also an incredibly busy senior health producer for FoxNewsHealth.com, so a huge thank you to Paula for taking the time to answer my questions!
What’s the earliest memory you have of making lists?
I don’t really remember making lists when I was small. I was too busy typing up newsletters to hand out to my stuffed animals so they would be informed about what was going on in the house. Yep – I really did that. I was a junior journalist in training. But don’t really think I kicked my list making into high gear until I started my career.
What’s the silliest or most embarrassing list you’ve created (and are willing to share)?
I was in an elevator once with Gayle King at work. And I completely froze and I didn’t know what to say and so I just said nothing. So I made a list afterwords of all the things I should say if I see a celebrity in the future. I like to be prepared!
In your book, you’ve given some great suggestions for digital apps to help with list making. But what are some of your must-have pen and paper supplies?
At my core I’m really a pencil and paper kind of girl. But I’ve adapted to technology and really found some great apps that I love. However I don’t think I could ever give up writing things down.For me I love to write in pencil and I have no idea why. I only write in pen when I am signing books, filling out a greeting card or writing a check. Otherwise I use a mechanical pencil at all times. I also use steno pads at work to write down my to do’s. At home, I typically use reporter’s notebooks. Those are long skinny notebooks and they are perfect for throwing in your purse or into a drawer. Sometimes I’ll use Post-it notes as well. But that’s just for very short list that I’m gonna throw away right after I complete everything. I use those if I’m running into the drugstore and need a few items.
Your blog helped launch you as the master of lists – do you have any organizational tips for fellow bloggers?
When I first started my blog I really fought the idea of having an editorial calendar. Because that’s something that I use at work and I didn’t want this to be like work. It was supposed be fun. But I realized soon enough that if I didn’t have structure and organization in my blogging schedule nothing would get done. So every week I sit down with my interns and we come up with topic ideas for the following week. We do it and we just pick what we’re going to do the following week. And then that way it’s just much easier to get things done throughout the week with a focused plan.
I realized soon enough that if I didn’t have structure and organization in my blogging schedule nothing would get done.
I also use Evernote to capture ideas that I have for blog posts. I make list of ideas that I have so I can constantly go back to that list and make sure that I don’t forget any brilliant ideas that I had.
A quick list for my readers: what blogs do you follow regularly?
The Lists Section
I originally had another section in place of lists when I created my planner. But more and more there was information that I wanted to organize and keep in my planner but it didn’t fit into any of my sections. I started brainstorming the things I wanted to keep track of (no matter how silly):
- TV shows to watch
- TV shows to catch up on
- An inventory of my Lush Cosmetics stash (YES THAT IS IMPORTANT TO ME)
- Books to read
- Favorite blogs and blogs I’ve been meaning to check out
- Artists/Songs to listen to
- my Master To Do List
I soon realized that a Lists section wasn’t a bad idea and at night before bed I’d sit with my planner and add various thinks to the lists that I had thought of throughout the day and I have to say, it’s really nice to write down bits of information that I am always telling myself to remember so I’m not saying,
“Oh, what was that author so-and-so told me about? What was that documentary A and I wanted to watch?”
And they are also great reference lists anytime I want to try something new or see how many bubble bars I have for future baths in the jet tub. (And how much rose jam I am squirreling away from A!) The master to do list is great for long term projects that don’t fall into the other categories of my planner as well. Because really – is there anything better than checking things off to do lists?