Evernote 105: the Packlists

Long ago when my love affair with list-making started, the “Packlist” was one of the first to be created. What was once 1 Packlist has turned into several that I’ve organized in the following way in my Evernote:

Why not a separate Evernote for each list? Because aside from the Camping and Ultimate lists, the remaining Packlists are so short I didn’t want them taking up a whole note. Just a personal decision that makes sense for me.

“Packlist – Ultimate” is the holy grail of all packlists. It has EVERYTHING I would ever need for any type of travel situation. Whenever anyone I know is planning on taking a big trip abroad, I always send them this list. I know that as long as I reference this list before going everywhere I’ll never forget anything. It’s taken years of tweaking and I am quite proud of it.

But it’s long. And so other packlists were created for more specific trips such as ‘Weddings’ or ‘Upstate’ (for when I go stay with my in-laws). These modified lists are shorter and more customized to fit the specific needs of the trips being taken.

Some are very short:

(We had forgotten this item one too many times = time for a list!)

And some are quite silly:

But creating and using them has all but  removed that pre-trip anxiety so many of us feel before trips. 

My usual packing routine goes something like this:

1) Starting at least 1 day before the trip (ideally many days before), gather things I need without really looking at my list,

2) Look at the appropriate Packlist on Evernote and gather more items from the list,

3) Get a pen and paper and look at the Packlist on Evernote and make an old-fashioned list of remaining items needed on left side of paper. On the right side of the paper, make list of things I actually need to do before leaving (mostly consisting of getting snacks/making meals for the trip).

When Baby Kisses came along, a whole new set of lists had to be made. For our first trip upstate to visit my in-laws, I created this Packlist for her:

But I found I needed to create a second list for her when we go to visit my parents because we don’t need as much, so I modified the first list and created this list:

It is really helpful for me to have different Packlists for different types of trips. It saves me mental energy. Consulting a trusted list is way easier than trying to think of everything I need when I go away, and then stressing about what I may have forgotten.

I actually just created 2 more Packlists because this summer we will be traveling back and forth from our apartment to a beach house, which we had to set up from scratch. Rather than just gathering everything we needed to get it set up, I decided to write it all down (in Evernote). Figuring out everything we would need was a major pain, so I thought – why not keep track of everything I gathered so if I ever have to do this again it could be a no-brainer instead of a stressor?

Here’s what that list looks like:

And then I created a Packlist for me and baby for each time we need to pack to go to the beach house:

And that, my friends, is a glimpse into how I make Packlists work for me. I’d love to hear what systems you have in place to handle packing for travel in the comments below! Happy packing, and thanks for reading!

Evernote has in no way endorsed me to write this. 


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