Creating a Paper To-Do List Document

If you know me, you know that I pride myself on my to-do lists…my written to-do lists. Many  of those that I love have tried to get me to use the nice new websites like Toodle-Do and Gubb that have corresponding apps to create to-do lists. I have tried…I have, really. But, they’re not for me.  My to-do lists are my life-line during the week. Without one, I get nothing done. They are ever-changing and I am ALWAYS adding to them. Now, these programs can do all of these things, add tasks, change them, etc. and there is nothing wrong with these applications! But…I like the paper. I am addicted to the piece of paper that I can physically mark with a check when I have completed a task. My husband reminds me that I was addicted to paper books as well, then tried the Kindle and now I love it…BUT it isn’t the same. Really, it’s not!

This year my oldest has gone off to Kindergarten, my middle child is in preschool three days a week, and my youngest is I have had to re-evaluate my to-do list situation. I have had to change my expectations. My to-do list from the days where we were home all morning and there were lots of naps going on are over. My days of running all over the place have begun! Now, don’t get me wrong, I am super stoked about this new phase of our life. I LOVE being on the go. I LOVE being in perpetual motion. I just need some re-prioritizing and re-organizing!

And therefore, I have started a new to-do list system. :-)

I am trying to be a little more green and since I LOVE paper so much, be a little better at re-using it. I printed out 6 sheets (one for each day during the week and one for the weekend) and put them in clear, plastic page protectors. This makes them re-useable. I write on the page protectors with a fine-point dry erase marker that I bought at Target, and then I can use them over and over, week after week. I created some easy, simple, Word documents that have spaces to write down that day’s priorities. (Download blank copies of my to-do list template HERE.)

Every day during the week, there are certain “household chores” that I try to keep on a schedule. Scrubbing the floor is SUPER important to me, especially with a crawling infant on the floor (one that likes to eat the Cheerios that he dropped at breakfast), so that is on the list a few times a week.  Then there is cleaning the bathrooms, dusting, vacuuming, and changing the sheets. These are all chores that get done on a weekly basis that I typed into my to-do list as recurring items. I left a bunch of blank lines (with check-boxes of course) for anything I need to add for any given week or day.

One thing I am trying to do more of each day is some “ground play” with my kids. I have found that it is really easy to forget just how important this is for the happiness and well-being of my children (and me). I am often caught up in this daily to-do list and by the time I get everything done, it is time for the bedtime routine. This ground play time needs to be on my to-do list. It needs to be a priority. Some of the things that I put in this spot are: taking an adventure walk, reading books for an hour, drawing with chalk outside, or playing board games. H is at a stage in his life where he doesn’t like to be still, so usually this time comes during his afternoon nap. Someday he will join in!

Another thing that I have included on my to-do list is meal planning. I have an AWESOME menu board that I made after getting some ideas off of my beloved Pinterest. I make sure to fill this out every Sunday before grocery shopping. Then I write the meals that we will be having on my to-do list so that I know what preparation I need to do during the day. It’s terrible that I will often forget to even think about dinner until 5 o’clock if it is not written on there, but that’s just how life is right now.

My favorite part about my to-do list book…C designed the cover! She worked hard to create her version of mommy crossing off all of her tasks. :-)

To-do Lists aren’t for everyone. There are those people that have the ability to be focused without one. I am not one of them. My mind moves at lightning speed and without a to-do list, I have trouble staying on course and not moving onto the next thing (a non-priority) before finishing what I was working on.  The difference for me between days with and without a to-do list is huge. Even if there is only one thing written on  it, crossing off that one thing makes all the difference in the world. It makes me feel accomplished and good about what I have done that day. It makes me relax and be able to enjoy the time I spend not working on my list. A huge bonus for our whole family!

If you would like to download my blank to-do list template for yourself to try out, you can do so HERE.

About Lauryn Blakesley

A woman out to explore, celebrate, and enjoy everything that my community and living locally has to offer. Blessed with three beautiful children and an incredible husband, our family embraces adventure while dreaming of what is to come. Lover of knitting, running (although mostly after little ones right now), the color orange, fun accessories, fall, tea, and a clean kitchen floor. I spend my days in awe of my family and trying to teach my three to treat others as they would want to be treated.

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  1. Audrey McCouch says:

    I <3 this idea!! As a gal who loves her gadgets always wants the online / ipad / ipone widgets to work well for me, I get away from them after a while and my live goes back into chaos. I am DEFINITELY going to try this for my family.

  2. Have you considered laminating? More durable than sheet protectors, cleans-up easier, and you can usually DIY with sheets from Walmart- or Staples-type stores. Plus it’ll keep C’s cover art forever!

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