David Allen, author of Getting Things Done, uses lists so he doesn't have to make a plan. This may seem counterintuitive, but it's actually extremely intuitive thinking. As soon as something crosses your mind, it is best to deal with it immediately in the most appropriate way. Most of the time, that means writing an action item down on a list to do later. But addressing thoughts as they occur to you, even if that just means acknowledging them and planning on saving them for later, frees up your mind so the real critical thinking can be done on issues that really matter.