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using stickies (Post-its) for shopping lists

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  • using stickies (Post-its) for shopping lists

    I use the left-hand side of my time planner (paper) to write shopping lists - things I can get on my way back from whatever appointment I have on the right-hand side. These shopping lists in there work OK as long as I manage to get all of the errands done.

    The problem is, when one or two things on the list don't get bought, then I have to re-write them onto the left-hand page opposite the next appointment I have.

    This is not good - the stuff is NOT out of my mind when I have to transfer it onto a new page.

    Last night I came up with the (possible) answer - write the shopping list on a sticky. That way, if I don't get everything, I just have to cross off what I've managed to buy then transfer the sticky to the next, up-coming appointment day.

    I have an appointment today and a sticky list of things to buy on my way back home. Let's see if it works ... .

  • #2
    Hi Izzy. I use a paper-based system as well. Putting items like errands on your calendar is a more traditional time management idea. However, David Allen argues strongly (and convincingly, I think) that the practice is too limited for modern lives. Some examples why: Having to re-write each item not done (which focuses on failure, not success), mixing "must do on" vs. "would like to" items, etc.

    A more GTD-like approach is to separate out those actions that don't *have* to be done on a specific date or time, and place them on action lists, not your calendar. People often categorize these into what Allen calls "contexts" like Errands, Calls, etc. Stickies are fine, but this approach avoids the need to move them around, so I think they're not as common as straight lists. (Disclaimer: I actually use stickies for my projects list, but I admit that's odd!)

    That said, to make this work the new habit you have to form is looking at your action lists during the day (*after* the calendar, of course - calendar items can't move around so they're the first priority during the day), and when you have transitions (you may enjoy my article Transitions: A secret ingredient to Getting Things Done?).

    Hope that helps!


    • #3
      I just keep my shopping lists on index cards in my pocket, along with a short pencil and an eraser. I can add items as I think of them, and erase items as I buy them. I also keep a few blank cards in there so I can create a new list when a card becomes unusable.


      • #4
        Hi Cornell!

        I like your website. Some good ideas there.
        My shopping Sticky is very specific - only things to buyfrom the stationary shop which is in a certain part of the city. (See more below about what happened to my first attmept to use it.)

        Hi Brent!
        Keeping shopping lists on cards with an eraser is something I tried but found it was too time-consuming and the cards started to get a bit tatty so it wasn't nice to use them after about the thrid erasing session.

        The Sticky idea seems to be working, though. I went out Monday thinking I would be able to get some shopping on the way back but didn't manage to fit that in. Mr Sticky was moved to the left-hand page opposite tomorrow's calendar page as soon as I unpacked my bag on Monday. Tomorrow is the first day I'll be in the neck of the woods where I can do the shopping I didn't do Monday. It's good to be able to forget about it till then.

        Will keep on with stickies-as-shopping-lists for a couple of weeks and see how it develops.