how I'm managing my to do list (+ a free printable!)

Monday, August 28, 2017

I have been on a mission to find the perfect planner/to do list/brain dump/task manager/note-taking system solution for all of my organization and productivity needs, but I haven't been able to find the right thing. I am still thinking about the white marble Midyear Day Designer and I've been working in a Moleskine cahier for a bullet journal over the last couple of weeks, but nothing was quite right for me.

When I lived at home and was juggling so many tasks, I actually typed up a to do list every morning and categorized it in my usual way [you can read more about my Trello system here] and absolutely loved that. I had room to add in additional tasks, it was a very visible way to see what I had already done and I became far better at completing tasks that absolutely had to get done before I moved on to fun tasks that I'd rather be doing.

I stopped doing that when I moved in with Patrick because my computer wouldn't connect to his printer. I do love my Trello system and it works great for me, but I like to have a visual piece of paper with my to do list written down on it. At the same time, I also wanted to be able to block out time for tasks and meetings, so I could visually see my tasks on my schedule and make time for everything.

If it's not clear to you, I am very particular. I wanted a very specific kind of page, and every other option I've tried or researched wasn't quite right. The Day Designer was too big and didn't allow me to categorize my tasks in Must Do, Should Do and Would Be Nice. (You know, my frogs.) I can't have anything that will weigh down my carryon. Mainstream planners like the Ban.do and the Lilly Pulitzer day planners didn't have room for my expansive to do lists, just a few priority tasks and events. I was making it work in my Moleskine, but I didn't want to invest in a larger Leuchtterm or hardback Moleskine and I was tired of redrawing the same things over and over again.

Here's what I needed and wanted in a to do list:
• Enough room to write with whatever pen or marker I choose (I can write rather big if I'm using a Crayola Supertip or a Papermate Flair pen, and some planners/notebooks are too tight for that!)
• The option to categorize my tasks the way I prefer
• Space to block out time and keep track of my appointments on my to do list, on the same sheet of paper as the to do list
• The freedom to skip a day and not lug all of the previous days around with me

In the end, I had one option: I had to make my own. And voila.



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How do you manage your tasks? Are you as picky as I am? (It's OK if you aren't – I am definitely special in that regard!

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