11 reasons people love lists

In a world of unlimited information that is easy to access anytime, anywhere in a matter of mouse clicks it’s no wonder we need lists to simplify and quantify the major highlights of our chosen subject.

Top 10 restaurants, Best Laptops under $X, 4 places you have to try, Fast Five Facts about Paleo, Bizarre TV Shows you’ve Never Heard Of…From the practical to the humorous and the just plain odd, lists are how we narrow down our options and bring content into an easy to digest (and skim-able) structure.

There are even websites dedicated to lists – Listverse, Toptenz, Ranker …They’re everywhere online and we love it. And what about the lists we write for ourselves – the classic to-do list that we add to and cross out items once completed?

We LOVE lists – the ones online and our own. Here are my Top 11 reasons why…

  1. Lists make us feel organised

Have you ever written a to-do style list and felt immediately relaxed? It almost feels as though you’ve done the work already! You’re a highly organised individual that has everything under control – until you remind yourself you actually need to do some stuff to get things done.

  1. Lists break down tasks into achievable chunks

Feeling overwhelmed with everything you’ve got to do? Make a list. Prioritise the most important stuff and work your way through each item. Feel the ecstasy of crossing of tasks once completed and the agony of realising you need to add more items to get everything done.

  1. Lists make finding information easy

When I’m reading a list (particularly online), I generally need a quick answer to a question. I don’t need to retain all of the information, just the main bits so lists help me skim through information and find what I’m looking for faster than a straight text article or standard content page.

  1. Lists categorise information for us

So you’re online and you know you want to find out more information about a particular subject. When your search results bring up articles with a list style headline you’re immediately drawn to them because it will be easy to get what you need sooner.

  1. Lists help us remember things

Thank God for that scrawled note you’ve left yourself on the kitchen table or post-it note you stuck to your computer at work with VITAL tasks you need to get done. Lists can save us from missing both the major (presentation at work) and minor (milk at the supermarket) tasks we need to do.

  1. Lists are (usually) finite

Sometimes it’s good and reassuring to know the length of a particular task. This taps in to number 2 on our list about lists. When you’re working on big projects either at work or home, it helps to see the see the steps involved laid out in front of you. Particularly when you get the list right the first time and can get comfort in knowing that absolutely everything you need to do is accounted for.

  1. Lists relieve stress

Ok, let’s say you’ve got a lot on at the moment. Make a list. It feels good to see it all on paper or on your phone or whatever other device! There are some great apps you can use too, like Wunderlist where you can share (aka delegate) your list with family, friends and colleagues.

  1. Lists can make you feel superior

This one relates to getting to the end of your to-do list and feeling like a superior being for getting it all done. It can also relate to reading a list online where you pretty much guess everything on the list before reading it.

  1. Lists can keep us from procrastinating

Often, the best way for me to get going on a particular task is to make a list. It helps focus my thinking and has the added benefit of making me feel like I’m making a start.

  1. Lists unleash your inner planner

It’s a glorious thing to feel organised and prepared. I’m not much of a planner but a list sure does make me feel like I’m one. Getting ready to cook something at home or showing my colleagues the rundown of a major event or media conference – all make me feel and look to others to be a highly effective ‘planner’!

  1. Lists can be as long or short as necessary

Like this 11-pointer for example, you can have a short list. You can have an even shorter list. You can have a much longer list with different headers and names attached to different tasks. I’ve written a four-point list to ensure I get everything I need from the supermarket when I’m tired and there’s a strong chance I’ll forget bread and milk…You’re the author of the list, you decide!

Lists are also a highly effective form of content marketing. Our copywriters and content specialists would love to sit down with you and talk about some lists that would work for your business and its digital channels. Give us a call.