To Do: Print Out To-Do List

One of the recurring issues in my marriage is logistics: How to get my husband to remember a date, to call a handyman, to book plane tickets. (And don’t get all critical of me being critical of him–he wouldn’t disagree with this assessment!) I have a knack for keeping a lot of meaningless stuff in my head at once, I thrive on multitasking and I think everything needs to be done right away, not tomorrow. Nivi’s different. Since we’re married, it’s no surprise that this occasionally becomes a sticking point.

We’ve tried a lot of techniques. For a while, the rule was I had to put a date in his Google calendar if I wanted him to remember it (he eventually stopped looking at his calendar). There was a period when he carried a clipboard in his backpack with a paper on top containing his to-do list (I have no idea what happened to that clipboard). Texting was another method he suggested if I absolutely needed him to pay attention to something (turns out, he doesn’t get all my texts–weird). And for a few months, he swore an index card in his back pocket was the solution to all our problems (it wasn’t). Here’s his latest:

He found this template on some website and for some reason it moved him. Something about the design I think. Anyway, he brought home a bunch of printed-out cards the other night, all excited to show me. “I thought we could leave one on the kitchen counter each night and in the morning you could write down anything you need me to do that day!”

I’m charmed, but I’m not getting my hopes up.

Posted in commitment

9 Responses to To Do: Print Out To-Do List

  1. Jocelyn says:

    Good luck. My hubby does not respond well to Honey Do Lists.

  2. Travis Wiebe says:

    I started by thinking that you were more than a little unreasonable and that your attempts to control your husband were doomed to backfire and perhaps would doom your marriage. Then I read that he came up with a new a method for you to control him. Now, I’m just confused. I looked up Codependency on Wikipedia, and your relationship doesn’t seem negative enough for that term. He seems to want (and resist) your control. This all seems very strange to me.

    Good luck with the new husband management tool!

  3. Paula says:

    I had a feeling this post would provoke some snide comments, which is why i tried to nip it in the bud by saying, “And don’t get all critical of me being critical of him–he wouldn’t disagree with this assessment!”

    Oh well.

    I submit that this isn’t a control issue. It’s a negotiation between two people who do things differently.

  4. Victoria says:

    This is what kills me in my relationship. I haven’t cracked the code of how to get him to do things he means to do/says he’ll do/has to do/etc. But more than that it makes me crazy that I have to “get him to do” anything! What I really want is for him to find a way to manage things himself.

  5. Meagan says:

    I tried for YEARS to get organized with lists, but they really didn’t do much for me… I just lost the lists. I finally got a smart phone a couple years ago (iPhone) and bought Things, ($10 though it might be cheaper now) which seriously made it possible for me to get things done… though I’m still quite skilled at procrastination. Then I switched to a droid, which does not have Things… now I’m using Ultimate To-Do List, which is a little more complicated than things… I’m not sure I’ve figured out the whole functionality of it yet and I don’t like it QUITE as much, but it more or less serves my needs. I think it cost about $5. It works with the online service Toodledo. Even though I don’t like it quite as much as Things, (and I think that mainly comes down to design asthetics) having my to-do list in electronic format has made my life so much easier. I recommend it to anyone under the age of 50. My husband still uses Things, but just on his Mac (since he also has a droid, he can’t sync it on his phone), and when I ask him to get something done around the house, he’s pretty good about adding it to his list (though this works FAR better if I can remember to ask him while he’s actually working at his computer). He keeps his list a lot longer than mine, so things don’t necessarily get immediate attention, but they get done eventually. Sorry if I sound like an ad.

  6. Paula,

    Sounds like me and my wife. I am currently using the index card approach. It’s a lot fun when she asks me about something and I tell her it’s on my list. It doesn’t give her comfort. Rolling her eyes, she says, “Ya, I know what happens when something gets on your list.”Like you and your husband, we are often disconnected when it comes to the importance or urgency of certain items. I try to explain (often unsuccessfully) that the keeper of the list manages it’s execution. In the end, it all gets done.

  7. I am, and always will be, a list guy. If something needs to get me done, I put it down on a piece of scrap paper and have developed a habit of checking a certain pocket every night for the list. Also, the paper makes crinkling noises when I sit or move so I am automatically reminded that it is there in the pocket. When the list is done (it can be something as tiny as “pick up beer”) the paper gets tossed. I like that feeling.

    My wife is completely opposite. She is very unstructured and all over the place. She still seems to get most of her stuff done, though and she will never change so I have learned to just roll with it. On occasion she does miss an appointment, something I never do.

  8. deborah says:

    we have a family to-do list for big projects that is posted on the fridge. It seems to work better than all the other lists/nagging that I used to do. My husband actually looks at it and does the projects. I think he likes the fact that no task is assigned to anyone (though there are several that only he has the skill to do – i.e., build a cabinet). I also don’t nag about these projects anymore. I just mention occassionally how our home value would increase should some of the tasks be completed.
    I haven’t yet got a hold on how to get him to do smaller “to-do” lists, but I need to remember: baby steps…baby steps..

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