The To-Do List

I’ve always been a list maker. I make a list and I check it twice. Call me Santa. However, this list making thing has become ridiculous ever since I got engaged. My to-do lists have morphed. This is the evolution:

1. A single to-do list: One list with a single column of bullets
Although this list started off nice and crisp, I’d put it in my purse and go on my pursuit to cross things off of the list. However, as soon as it was folded in half and put into my purse, it began to wrinkle and fold. I’d whip it out after buying all the necessities (and then some) at Target and cross it off my list. As I was trying to load all my items onto the conveyor belt, the list would get folded again and again, stuffed in my pocket or held in my mouth. By the time I got home, this list was in pretty poor shape. I’d proceed to rewrite it, eliminating all the things I already completed.

2. Two to-do lists: Two lists with a single column of bullets
I began making two to-do lists when I became a teacher. Being an elementary school teacher is a lot more work than most people imagine. You are teacher, counselor, problem-solver, conflict mediator, nurse, mentor and even mommy sometimes. This is when I began making two to-do lists. One work list. One personal list.

3. Three + to-do lists: Three lists, two of which are a single column of bullets and one of which was in outline format
Then I was engaged to Mr. L. We began wedding planning right away because we were getting married in June and I knew we could bargain a bit more with vendors if we began early when they hadn’t booked clients yet. Well, not only did I have my work list and personal list, I now had a wedding to-do list. This was by far, the longest and most comprehensive to-do list I had ever made. My bullets had sub-bullets which had sub-bullets. There were arrows coming off list items with bubbles and exclamation points. Addresses, phone numbers, names and price quotes were haphazardly strewn on the list.

So this is where I am. Three to-do lists, yet the same hours in a day as when I began with one.

A couple of other interesting facts about wedding to-do lists:

  1. No matter how much you finish, it seems to keep undergoing mitosis.
  2. One sheet of paper is never enough. You must either use a small notebook or, like me, Microsoft Excel. (Sidenote: If you and your FI are on Gmail, use GoogleDocs and Google Wave to keep track of your documents. You can both edit, save changes and they are viewable as long as you have an Internet connection! We’ve been doing this and it makes life so much easier for us.)
  3. Even though there is no apparent order to the haphazardly written price quotes, names, phone numbers and addresses on your list, you know exactly what refers to what.

What does your to-do list look like now that you’re engaged? Do you have any pointers for harmonious and happy to-do lists?


Mrs. Lace

Pasadena, CA
Wedding Date:
June 2010
For the Love of Moms Part One: FMIL Pretzel
The Key
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  1. Member
    farmersdaughter 1675 posts, Bumble bee @ 6:13 pm

    I’ve been an avid list-maker since I was a child. I swear it is in my blood. Shockingly, my to-do lists have disappeared since I’ve been engaged. I think I’m so intimidated by the planning process that I’m literally incapable of writing all those to-dos down! I am slowly getting over this and bring back the list, because I’m incapable of getting things done without it!

  2. guineapig Member
    guineapig 1375 posts, Bumble bee @ 6:20 pm

    I have a whole mini wedding notebook! I have pages and pages of notes (phone numbers, addresses, quotes etc), interspersed with about 10 different to-do lists. I probably should keep it more organized but at this point, it’s what works and I don’t want to change things up! I feel ya on the multiple to-dos… so many lists, so little time!

  3. Member
    LoriLori 800 posts, Busy bee @ 6:45 pm

    I am a queen lit maker too! I have several – the folded pocket list, a mini wedding notebook and lists on my ipod. Lots are wedding lists but some are school (teacher here too) and shopping. (The master shopping list hangs in the frig which doens’t always work when I stop at the store ont he way home.)
    List makers unite!

  4. potatochips Member
    potatochips 1193 posts, Bumble bee @ 6:54 pm

    I make a new wedding to-do list every week or so. They all look exactly the same, but I like to re-make them, whether on paper or online. I do this with school work too. It’s a problem.

  5. Member
    Mademoiselle-Dentelle 13 posts, Newbee @ 7:35 pm

    Remember The Milk is my best friend. Not only for wedding planning but just for normal life. It’s great ! I have my whole life on there…
    I can’t deal with lists on paper… the folding, the rewriting… argh.

  6. frenchfries Member
    frenchfries 2168 posts, Buzzing bee @ 7:42 pm

    I’m totally with you about the list at Target!:) That’s happened to me too many times to count. If I don’t make a list, though, I’ll forget something that I need 100% of the time!

  7. Member
    Fortune Cookie 29 posts, Newbee @ 9:04 pm

    I love lists! I have my old-school paper planner that I carry with me everywhere as well as many lists at work, one on the fridge and a random assortment of sticky notes. I get a supreme sense of satisfaction out of checking things off lists.

  8. Member
    Ella1978 2043 posts, Buzzing bee @ 9:19 pm

    Oh my gosh, this is SO me. I just bought a planner and instantly separated it into two columns. Life on the left, Work on the Right. Unforch, there isn’t enough room in the “life” column & I could totally use a third :) If I told you what I go thru for a grocery store visit, you’d probably pass out. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one!

  9. Member
    mrspaetz 3812 posts, Honey bee @ 10:28 pm

    haha i kept a ‘master list': a sheet of white paper clipped to my window sill which maintained a big picture of stuff to be done by when. and little pieces to use on individual errand trips.

    and yes, Google Docs is a MAJOR life saver!

  10. Member
    marylizbeth 180 posts, Blushing bee @ 10:39 pm

    Oh I love my to do list. If anyone has an Iphone I recently purchased the app 2do. I LOVE it. It sync’s with Ical and allows up to 5 to lists complete with deadlines, priority markers, and notes.

  11. msgiraffe Member
    msgiraffe 4248 posts, Honey bee @ 10:58 pm

    I love making lists :), but love crossing things off of them even more!

  12. Guest Icon Guest
    Megan B, Guest @ 11:13 pm

    As a fellow teacher, I appreciate this post and empathize! Recently my school to-do list experienced another schism. It is now:
    1) Personal to-do list (in hand held personal calendar)
    2) Wedding to-do list (on iCalendar)
    3) School short-term to-do list (on legal pad)
    4) School long-term to-do list (on next page in legal pad)
    5) To-do lists for individual students’ work (in separate portion of legal pad)

  13. Member
    krissycake 4160 posts, Honey bee @ 11:14 pm

    I always draw little squares/boxes at the end of the item on the list and “X” them out…then cross them off when it’s all complete…yeah, I am special =)

  14. Member
    Talishazwi 1444 posts, Bumble bee @ 1:03 am

    This is exactly like me! I make lists but the wedding to do lists have really taken the cake. I have guest list and extensive budget tracking in Excel and I am tracking to do items in OneNote which also have my inspiration pictures.

  15. cardigan Member
    cardigan 8645 posts, Bumble Beekeeper @ 1:42 am

    I know how you feel! I love me some to-do lists, and I frequently have multiple lists!

  16. Member
    tea 2414 posts, Buzzing bee @ 2:30 am

    i love making lists. it helps me to stay organized and remember what i need to do

  17. Member
    pennednpapered 286 posts, Helper bee @ 6:55 am

    I love lists too – actually it’s gotten to where I can’t function without them – sad.

  18. Member
    Miss Shoe 105 posts, Blushing bee @ 9:10 am

    I think the act of making a list is why I make lists. I used to make them solely for the joy of crossing items off. But now I’m less into the celebration, more into the strategy to calm down, stop freaking out and just make a list.
    It really helps.

  19. Member
    Tampamom 284 posts, Helper bee @ 9:16 am

    Maybe being a teacher is what is killing me as the MOB. I have lists of lists of lists….

    this made me laugh!

  20. Member
    DrHollyCat 46 posts, Newbee @ 10:21 am

    There is nothing more satisfying then checking off a box on a to-do list!!! I have made one on, but really, the best lists are scribbled on scrap paper or the back of a receipt…

  21. Member
    goodheart 151 posts, Blushing bee @ 11:52 am

    love lists! i have lists of lists too, and the worst thing that can happen to me is losing my list (or rather, accidentally deleting it or not saving it…). i was having some trouble with insomnia in the fall and my doctor suggested keeping a notebook by the bed so i can just write down the to-do list instead of stressing about it in my head and wondering if i would remember in the morning…

    oh, and my favorite christmas gift this year was seriously these magnetic note pads titled “what’s next” with space to make a list! i have two on the fridge and use them all the time, but i like to then retype them so they have neat square bullets i can check off :-)

    and my last list story… for the first 3 years we were dating, i’d make my husband a “list” every month on our dating anniversary — it was things that i loved about him that month. it was a great ritual and i should get back to it! unfortunately, he is very anti-lists and will only make one for me once a year… 😉

  22. scissors Member
    scissors 7343 posts, Busy Beekeeper @ 12:36 pm

    I don’t have a to-do list, which is TERRIBLE for an ADHD kid. I sort of fly by the seat of my pants. Yeah, that’s why I’m a little behind. :p

  23. hotwings Member
    hotwings 2200 posts, Buzzing bee @ 4:19 pm

    oh man.. you don’t want to see or ask about my to-do listS! They’re horrible. I use an excel file that has multiple tabs broken down by periods of time, color coded, and is totally out of control.

  24. Member
    beach01 74 posts, Worker bee @ 4:43 pm

    I’m totally a list person…now I just need an invite to google wave!

  25. Member
    binza14 341 posts, Helper bee @ 5:01 pm

    My lists are outrageous. My fiance told me I need to clean them up because he was going to try to get some stuff done while I was at work (isn’t he good?) but it was like Greek to him. Ha.

  26. Member
    sefditz 177 posts, Blushing bee @ 12:33 pm

    I’m a crazy list maker and always have a few in the works. But, I too have morphed post-engagement. I am on GoogleDocs constantly!

  27. Guest Icon Guest
    The Wedding Planning Lull | Weddingbee, Guest @ 4:27 pm

    […] and it said that there are 112 days left until the wedding. 112?! I quickly made a new to-do list. My wedding to-do list from now until June is four pages long. That quickly made me come out of my […]

  28. Guest Icon Guest
    The Wedding Planning Lull | Glamorous Wedding Show, Guest @ 5:01 am

    […] and it said that there are 112 days left until the wedding. 112?! I quickly made a new to-do list. My wedding to-do list from now until June is four pages long. That quickly made me come out of my […]

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