Why can't you use the lists themselves to target people with your edicts? this would save a lot of time, especially if you have a certain routine in your edicts (bribe everyone with high leadership [An almanac list?], jail and reeducate everyone with low respect, shoot all yanquis [immigrants?] on sight, etc.).
Yes, it sounds like a time saver -- BUT
the developers probably saved you from yourself by requiring the personal edicts to be applied "on map" that is in the game world. Consider how fast you could also incur a huge bill for multiple applications, and how fast the queues for pending actions would grow beyond practicality with just a point & shoot system.
The lists facilitate locating the potential subjects on the map. Of course, you are wise to pause the game for such serial applications. Then slide the Almanac to the upper left corner of the screen. Then click on the subject in the list who then appears in the circle window; then click on the subject in the circle window and the map will center on him\her. Are two preliminary clicks so much trouble?
I suggest that the personal edits are better applied with more consideration of all the person's individual characteristics rather than just one item that gets them on a list. Thoughtfulness rather than speed is perhaps a better gameplay style.