To - Do List

How My To-Do List Helps Me Get & Stay Organized

I love lists … it’s true ! I love making them, but I especially love checking things off my to-do list.

I make many kinds of lists, but my to-do list is my main list and then I make off-shoot lists from it. For example, I may list: go grocery shopping, run errands and pay bills on my to-do list. An off-shoot list from grocery shopping would be a meal plan list and a shopping list ~ an off-shoot from run errands might be drop off dry cleaning, return library books and pick up a prescription from the drug store ~ an off-shoot for paying bills might be to balance the check book, schedule individual online payments and then file the statements. Usually my main off-shoot type list is grocery related … only if I’ve procrastinated / blown things off like running the errands or reconciling the bank account, do I break it down into doable chunks. Writing tasks down is a way for me organize my thoughts and make a plan to accomplish everything. I’m a visual learner, so having a list in front of me helps me to see the “big picture” and then be able to prioritize things.

I make other lists for planning. If I’m planning an event or party, I’ll have a guest list, a food list, a decorations list, etc.

Over the years, I’ve started making notebooks for ongoing/repeating events like Christmas. I have a 3-ring binder that has tabs for things like my family’s wish lists, their sizes, what gifts I got for them (and the year). I also have a section for food ~ tried and true recipes, and new ones I want to try. We go to holiday parties for choir and our bowling league every year. I keep track of what dish I brought which year so I don’t repeat (cause I forget easily).

I have a garden notebook where I keep track of what I planted and where each season. I draw out my little garden plot and plan my crop locations. I note the dates that I start my seedlings indoors and when I plant them outside. I try to rotate what I plant and keep notes about how well they did. I also record where and when I planted perennials and shrubs.

I have a camping notebook that I started when we got our little pop-up camper in 2010. I do all my planning right in the notebook for each trip. I note the dates and which campground we visit. I plan our menu that includes 3 meals a day plus snacks and desserts … what can I say … we like eating 🙂

Camping Notebook & To - Do List

My camping notebook.

I make a list of each item that goes into our 3 coolers – one for drinks, one for meat and the other for refrigerated items. I have a big bin to store all our pantry type items. I have a list of what gets packed in the back of the SUV before we hitch up the camper. Before we break camp, I make notes about what we liked or didn’t like about that campground (for future reference) and what we need to replenish or repair for the next time. Having these lists in my notebook makes it easy to check everything off as it is packed to be sure nothing is forgotten 🙂 

I know these notebooks are sort of “old school”, but they work for me and I like them.

How do you stay organized? Are you a “list” person, too? Paper or electronic? I’m thinking about trying Evernote. Have you used it? What do you like or not like about it?

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