Write it down: Americans ‘addicted’ to lists

February 26, 2007 7:40am

•  Conservatives love them; libertarians shun them

•  The older you are, the more you like lists

Grab a pencil because you’re going to want to write this down.

If you’re like nearly nine out of ten Americans (84 percent), you make lists. Lists for the grocery. Lists of things to do. Perhaps even lists of lists.

The mania for list making is reported in a new survey by Zogby International and paid for by Gubb.net of Palo Alto, which makes Web-based software to make… lists.

More than half of Americans — 64 percent — enact lists for errands while another 56 percent use lists for whatever’s personal, according to the survey.

One in four respondents make lists just for fun.

The most popular lists are shopping (87 percent of us make those), followed by task or to-do lists (79 percent), gift lists (58 percent) and lists to organize projects (52 percent).

Why all the lists? They make 40 percent of us more organized and help 25 percent of us feel more organized, the survey says.

Here’s a list of other highlights from the survey:

• One in seven of us reduce stress levels by making lists.

• Older folks consider themselves better organized than younger colleagues and with 41 percent of list-makers aged 35 - 54, that’s about right.

• Only 11 percent of 18-24 year-olds and 16 percent of those 25-34 make lists.

Nearly twice as many people who consider themselves “conservative” or “very conservative” make lists (45 percent), compared with those whose outlook is “progressive” or “liberal” (24 percent).

Among those who call themselves “moderates,” 29 percent make lists.

Who eschews lists? Libertarians, says the survey. Just 2 percent of Libertarians are list-makers.

Notebooks are the most popular list-making tool (84 percent), and the survey says that 63 percent of us think that our list-making and management could be more effective.

Zogby surveyed 1,207 adults between Jan. 25 and Jan. 27. The survey has a margin of error of 2.9 percent.

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