Lists Changed My Life

Published in
5 min readFeb 22, 2020


Photos: Betterish

Raise your hand if you use the Notes feature on your phone.

Raise your hand if your notes vary from a reminder to get toothpaste to a draft of an IG post, to bullet points of all the things you want to do when you venture to Mexico City next month.

Well maybe not exactly those, but you get the gist…

Those are the types of things that can be found in my Notes, and yet I need to keep track of so much more: a variety of links to local places I want to check out, inspiring quotes, promo codes, books to read, and random things of note like ideas sparked from thoughtful conversations with friends and colleagues.

As a creative person whose mind is often reeling with a plethora of ideas, visions, dreams and schemes, I attribute list making to keeping me sane. That’s no exaggeration. In addition to that Notes feature on my phone, I avidly keep a weekly to-do list, a daily priority list, and I even have a wall in my studio that’s practically painted in post-it notes. You name it, I list it.

In moments of overwhelm, the number one thing that alleviates my stress and anxiety is making a list. When I say “lists save lives,” it might sound like a hyperbole of sorts, but I honestly mean it. Here’s how lists have actually saved my life:

1. Lists help me organize my thoughts.

2. Lists help me re-focus.

3. Lists help boost my productivity and self-esteem (is there anything more satisfying than checking things off a list? In my world: nope.)

Add those things up and I’m a mentally healthier, happier and way more constructive human being.

Left: photo by Liz Birnbaum, Right: Photo by Betterish at Betterish HQ

When I learned about the Wribbn app, my list-tacular nerdy side was beyond thrilled. But I’ll be real with you: I’m not one to stick to using apps beyond Instagram and Spotify. Despite the chaotic state of my studio (and really any space I inhabit), I’m a real minimalist when it comes to apps. The work that I do is grounded in making more meaningful face-to-face connections among people, so I’ve grown pretty intentional and more mindful with my screen time. Honestly, I wasn’t sure how long this app would actually last on my phone.

But here we are, five months later, and I’m still using it regularly.


Because I can hub such an incredibly wide range of lists and items there! From travel planning, podcasts to listen to, and all of my favorite ice cream shops across America (yes this ice cream list does actually exist, and yes, you’re welcome my fellow ice cream enthusiasts).

Left: photo by Will Hunter, Right: list by Betterish

I also appreciate that Wribbn lists can easily be share-able and collaborative. My friend and I actually planned an entire creative retreat using the Wribbn app (stay tuned for that blog post in March 2020).

And honestly: Wribbn lists are just way prettier than the mess that lives in my notes feature.

Naturally, because I love this app, I am telling lots of folks about it. Having had those conversations, I thought it would be helpful to wrap this post by sharing the top three questions I’ve received about Wribbn:

Q: How is Wribbn different from Pinterest?

For me, Pinterest is aspirational. I got to Pinterest to explore new styles, scope out inspirational spaces, and cool visuals all-around. Wribbn, by contrast, is practical. My husband and I recently moved, and sure, we’ve been putting some aesthetic inspo into our WE House Wribbn list, but in that same list we also have different categories that have kept us organized and on track, i.e. a checklist we actively referred when moving in, phase one of fixing up the house, phase two, etc. Wribbn has given us a structure to stay organized while also providing a stronger sense of direction as we’re settling into our first home.

Q: Why not just use your Notes feature?

With Wribbn, you can actually organize your lists in a way that’s more productive, functional, and visually more appealing. And as I mentioned before: you can actually collaborate with other people on lists, which brings a whole new level of engagement to the list-making process that’s dynamic and more effective than your average shared Google Doc or Sheet.

Q: How often are you using each list?

It varies. Every week I’m adding to my Books To Read + Podcasts to Listen To lists, as well as my Explore More list, which is basically my hub for miscellaneous odds & ends that I want to check out when more time allows. When I’m traveling, I’m adding to that particular placed-based list nearly every day during the trip.

For me, Wribbn can be a brainstorming space (see: Crooked Path Retreat, the WE House), an archive and library (see Playlists), a platform for all my travel planning that then become recommendations (see my Santa Fe, New Orleans, New York, Detroit, Philadelphia and Denver lists), and an all around aesthetically pleasing reminder zone (see: Books To Read, Explore More).

What can it be for you?

Guest Writer:

Emily Hope Dobkin, Founder & CEO of Betterish

Emily is a mover, maker and collaborative doer. With her professional background in non-profit administration, arts education and community engagement, Emily brings a balance of optimism and honesty to Betterish. IG | WEBSITE



Editor for

A new way to make lists. #dreamingmeetsdoing