Making lists is a great way to stay organised, vent onto the page, or simply record your thoughts so that you don’t forget them.
If you’re short of list ideas to make or struggling to even know write to write down, I’ll give you PLENTY in this post.
I personally find that listing down my to-do list for the day keeps me accountable and productive. It also puts my mind at rest because I know I’m not going to forget any of the little tasks I need to complete throughout the day.
Plus, don’t you just love that little boost of ticking things on their off as you complete them?
A 2008 study by Microsoft found that 73% of the US keep at least one list a day.
Considering the rising popularity of journaling and personal development tools, it makes sense that now, 15 years later, this percentage is probably even higher.
And there’s actual psychology behind this!
Our brains LOVE completing tasks. This is referred to as the “Zeigarnik effect”, as Russian psychologist, Bluma Zeigarnik, was one of the first to notice how productive we can be when we make a to-do list.
As we tick each task off our to-do list, our brain releases dopamine – a neurotransmitter responsible for feeling satisfied, happy, and – maybe most importantly – rewarded.
Dopamine is important when it comes to feeling satisfied, forming habits, and learning.
Therefore, as we work through our lists and physically cross out tasks we’ve completed, we get a genuine feeling of accomplishment.
With this in mind, why stop at a to-do list?
There are plenty of different lists to make when bored or when you need a boost.
My top 10 list ideas
Before we get into some more specific list ideas, I know you’re probably a busy person with a to-do list to get started on, so I wanted to give you my top 10.
If you keep these lists – or even just a few – you’ll improve your organisation, mood, and productivity.
- To-do list
- Journal prompts you want to use
- Important dates/birthdays
- Self-care activities that you love
- Things you love about yourself
- Things you’ve achieved
List ideas for your journal
Your journal is the perfect place to write lists; it allows you to keep track of them, as well as have a safe place where you feel you can vent.
While you can obviously write any of the lists mentioned in this post in your journal, here are some journal-specific list ideas for you to try out.
- Journal prompts
- Journaling goals
- Daily goals
- Long-term goals
- Journal techniques that you want to try
- Journaling techniques that work for you
- Ways journaling has helped you
- Themed journals that you want to try
- Journaling courses that you want to enrol in
- Your favourite journaling bloggers/influencers
- Ways to make you stick to your journaling habit
- Types of bullet journal template that you want to look up
- Your favourite types of journal
- Journal stationary
- Affirmations that work for you
- Things you like about yourself
- Things you like about other people
- What doesn’t work for you when journaling
Mood-boosting list ideas
Sometimes, we need a little mood boost.
These list ideas can give you exactly that.
- Things that make you feel happy
- Things that make you feel safe
- Favourite self-care activities
- Little wins
- Big achievements
- Hurdles you’ve overcome
- Things you’re excited for in the future
- Songs that boost your mood
- Things you’re doing today that you’re grateful for
- Affirmations that give you a lift
- Inspirational quotes that motivate you
- Happy memories
- Activities that make your inner child happy
- Things you wish you could say to your younger self
- People in your life that you’re grateful for
- People that inspire you
- Comfort foods
- Your favourite activities and hobbies
- Your comfort movies
- Things that boost your confidence
Creative list ideas
Are you a creative person?
I invite you to give these lists a try.
- Paintings/drawings you want to create
- Songs you want to finish writing
- Song title ideas
- Song theme ideas
- YouTube videos you want to make
- Book characters you want to create
- Articles you want to write
- Themes you want to cover with your poetry/writing
- Your favourite pieces of art that you’ve already made
- What you enjoy about being creative
- How you stay consistent with your hobbies and passions
- Skills you want to learn
- Favourite ways to express yourself
- Songs that make you feel inspired
- Favourite art medium
- Your creative goals
- People that inspire you creatively
- What makes you feel most inspired
- Things a specific piece of art makes you feel
- The steps to your creative process
List ideas for manifestation
Looking to manifest your dream life? These manifestation list ideas should help you out.
- Things you want to manifest
- Things you’ve already manifested
- Reasons why you want to manifest
- Things that help you manifest
- Manifestation techniques that work for you
- How manifesting makes you feel
- Aspects of your dream life
- Affirmations for manifesting
- Visualisations you want to try
- Snapshots from your dream life
- Favourite guided meditations that help raise your vibration
- Activities that make you feel positive
- Things you’re already grateful for
- Ways you can act “as if”
- Ways you can raise your vibration today
- Manifestation success stories
- People who talk about manifestation that inspire you
- Law of attraction books you want to read
- Law of attraction books that have helped you
- Quotes about manifestation that inspire you
Fun lists to make
These list ideas are just a bit of fun for when you’re bored.
- Movies you want to watch
- Concerts you want to go to
- Books you want to read
- Places you want to travel
- Favourite flowers
- How to care for your plants
- Plants you already own
- Favourite foods
- Ways to move your body that you enjoy
- Best struggle meals
- People you want to meet
- Favourite games to play
- Date night ideas
- Activities to do with friends
- Your pet’s favourite thing
- TV shows you want to check out
- Favourite outfits
- Languages you want to learn/words you know in a different language
- Decorations to get for an upcoming event/holiday
- A bucket list/things you want to accomplish by a certain age
Practical list ideas
Practical lists can help you get organised and productive, and be real stress-busters.
- Daily to-do list
- Appointments you need to make
- Budgeting goals
- Ways to save money
- Places you want to live
- Exercises for your workout
- Wedding ideas
- Gift ideas
- Important dates
- Documents you need to file
- Things you need to pack
- Tasks that need to be done before you move house
- Car repair/maintenance checklist
- Meal planning/meals you enjoy
List ideas for work and career
If you’re looking to get more organised at work, these are the list ideas for you.
- Career goals
- Work boundaries
- Stationary you need to get
- Work self-care
- Affiliates you want to work with
- Ways to improve your productivity
- Steps to launch your own business
- Steps to increase revenue
- Ways you can improve your work-life balance
- People who inspire you in work
- Work expenses
- Favourite work tools
- Work affirmations
- Important dates to remember
- Networking events you want to attend this year
- Potential jobs you want to look into or apply for
- Applications you’ve sent out
- Your five-year plan
- People you want to work with
List ideas for self improvement
Self improvement should always be one of our goals.
Even if we’ve already healed and gone through a great deal of personal development, we should always be putting in the work to be the best person we can be. It’s so rewarding.
These list ideas should help you do that.
- Positive habits you want to start
- Unhelpful habits that you want to quit
- Your perfect morning routine
- Steps you want to take to improve you morning routine
- The steps in your night time routine
- How you want to improve your sleep hygiene
- What the perfect night time routine looks like to you
- How to improve your current daily routine overall
- Areas of your life you want to work on
- Meditation procress
- Ways to improve productivity
- Areas of your life you need to heal in
- Personal development books you want to read
- Ways you’ve already improved your life
- Personal development gurus you want to learn more about
- Ways you want to love yourself more
Random things to make lists of
Here are some bonus list ideas if you’re just bored and in the mood to write some lists.
- Your favourite animals
- Hobbies you want to get into
- An inventory of all your belongings
- A list of all your clothing items
- All the books you own
- All the DVDs you own
- Streaming services you’re signed up to
- All the games you own
- Random life events
- Items that you own that bring you joy
Writing lists isn’t just great for productivity, organisation, stress relief, and our mindset in general, they can also be fun and a great boredom-killer.
The top 10 list ideas I mentioned at the beginning of this post will help you hit all these areas and, before you know it, writing lists will be a habit that you won’t want to break.
A witchy ray of sunshine who loves to help others on their journal journey. I’ve been journaling since childhood and have since gone on to earn a degree in English and a diploma in Shadow Work. I love my plant babies, yoga, and anything spooky. Find out more on my about me page.