A New To-Do View

I have a thing about lists. Last year I designed and pitched a planner. However I found the Volt Planner, which is perfect for me. It includes weekly prompts and goal-setting for the month and the year. Instead of using the planner as my weekly planner, I use it to document my week and look back on what happened. It’s almost like an informal index for my journals.

When we returned from Florida around New Year’s, I had about seven large Post-it notes full of less. They have been the best method for me to stay organized. I even read a book last year that made fun of people who organize their life through Post-it notes. They totally worked for me until they didn’t. I was overwhelmed. I had too many lists to manage.

A few weeks ago, I sat down and designed a new to do list that allowed me to use a couple different formats all on one sheet of paper. It was based on my practice of making a list of things that I needed to do before a deadline and having a catch-all for what I needed to do afterwards. Sometimes I would need a list for things that to do during the event. Perfect. This is the front half of my sheet, which fits right inside my planner.

I searched for a three column list. That’s when I came across a post about Ready, Doing and Done. The concept sounded interesting and like the perfect place for me to capture longer-term projects that I was working on but weren’t necessarily baby step items. That list is on the bottom half inside of the page.

Above the fold is a set of list for sneaking things in during the day. I find my time broken down between when I can easily sneak in phone calls in the car or on the playground. Then there is time when I am in front of a screen, my phone or the computer. I really need a list of what to do when on the computer. Otherwise, I wander off into the ethers and never accomplish anything. Finally I include a list of errands that I need to run, which feels like never. So if I can order it off of Amazon, awesome.

The money list is perfect for capturing all administrative tasks related to finances. I was read a book about money and how in order for your money to grow, you should focus your energy on it. Somehow the notion of Money Monday popped into my head. This may be the brain child of someone else. I apologize. But I started practicing Money Monday this fall and found it to be really helpful. By sitting down at a designated time once a week on Monday mornings, I pay our bill and do any thing related to finances. It was during that time that I realized we should refinance our adjustable rate mortgage. Yesterday I gathered information to file our taxes. Next week I plan to categorize that information. I like this notion of breaking it down into chunks of tasks versus dreading dedicating a large amount of time to just our taxes.

The Money Monday has been so successful that I have decided to name the other days of the week. So today is Touchdown Tuesday, which as you can guess I made up after the Super Bowl. This is the day that I really want to move the ball forward on big projects. Today I worked on a grant application. I want position myself to be successful for the rest the week. I’m trying to also write more, including two blog posts a week. So Wednesday is now Writing Wednesday. Thursday I will begin my third Servant Leadership class. It runs into a second session in the spring. So I named it Thoughtful Thursday. And, finally we have Fun Friday. I am trying to come up with some fun things to do with Oliver on Friday mornings. If I don’t plan them in advance, we just stay home and it’s not that fun. So this Friday is our first Fun Friday.

I have included a link to my to do list and hope that you found it helpful too. I find myself not rewriting my lists quite as much. I continue to tweak and add new additions like focus for the next week or the days of the week for this week and next week. I found out that I use this more than my planner. Let me know if you find it to be helpful or have any suggestions. Oh, and you may need to print one page at a time and make sure your printer correctly duplicates the worksheet. Our double-sided function is broken, so I haven’t laid it out to automatically do that for you.

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