Organizing Your Lists: Categorize, Conventionize, and Flag
Are you a list maker who often finds it difficult to locate a list you created earlier? Do you end up creating duplicate or similar lists because you cannot find the original? If so, you are not alone. Many individuals struggle with organizing their lists effectively. However, there is a simple solution—categorize your lists, create a naming convention, and flag important lists. This mini toolbox of tricks can be used on any app, making it a versatile solution. Here’s how to get started:
Categorize Your Lists
One of the most effective ways to organize your lists is by categorizing them. Whether you are creating a book list, a movie list, a shopping list, or a bucket list, putting them in distinct categories allows you to identify what each list is about instantly. You must ensure that you consistently use the same categories for the types of lists you create.
For instance, if you are creating a movie list, you could categorize them into different genres or years. While it may seem more efficient to create sublists, bear in mind that not all apps allow for such a feature. Therefore, categorizing your lists is an easy and practical solution that is transferable across applications.
Create a Naming Convention
Consistency is key when it comes to naming your lists. Adopting a naming convention will make them easier to sort through and search. Once you have created your categories, name your lists in a way that is recognizable and easy to identify. An effective way to do this is by putting your categories in square brackets, e.g., [Movies] Comedies 2010. With this naming convention, you can tell that the list is about movies and comedies.
You do not have to use square brackets; any identifier that works for you would suffice. These could include
Search Becomes Easier
One of the advantages of the categorization and naming conventions above is that they make searching for lists a lot easier. For example, if you cannot recall the name of a list or the item on it, you can search for the category. This significantly minimizes the time spent searching for the list you need. By searching for the category, you have a better chance of remembering which list it is in and can find it promptly.
Flagging Important Lists
If you use lists to prioritize what you need to accomplish, it may be helpful to use advanced identifiers. You could start by placing an asterisk hash (*#) in front of the list name. This way, you can see important tasks that need to be accomplished visually, and they are easy to search for when you need to access them quickly.
These techniques can also work on file-based lists. Suppose you keep your lists on your mac or Windows PC inside word documents or spreadsheets. In that case, using this technique will make it easier to know what your lists are about, how important they are, and make them easily searchable.
Overall, the trick to organizing your lists effectively is by categorizing them, creating a naming convention, and identifying important lists using advanced identifiers. These techniques can be used on any app, providing you with the flexibility to choose the ones that work best for you. Take the time to organize your lists today and avoid the frustration of duplicate or lost lists.