How To Build a Better To-Do List

Ah the mighty to-do list.

I have a saying for myself that goes, “if it makes it to the to-do list it’ll get done, if it doesn’t then it gets lost.” I depend on my to-do list like a road map to my duties, so much that it can get a bit out of hand sometimes. I have been working on mastering the to-do list process for many months (okay, seriously years) and I think I’ve finally nailed down a process that is working for me. It might continue to evolve as I do but for now I think I’ve got a pretty good way to keep my mega to-do list organized.

1.) Pick up a notebook to keep all your lists and notes in. I find it so much easier to be able to keep all my scribbles together to reference when I need to. I have an 8×10 notebook with a golden pineapple on the front and lined pages that I absolutely love. I feel chic and organized.

2.) When writing out your to-do list try and group things together when possible. I can usually do pretty good with this when I’m initially writing out my list but I find things get a little scattered as I add more tasks so I color-code tasks also. For example, purple is for blog tasks, pink is for boutique launching tasks, turquoise is for paintings for upcoming shows, and black is for everything else.

3.) Highlight priority tasks. I currently have two levels of priority – yellow for high priority and pink for very near future.

4.) Review your calendar and note deadlines on your to-do list next to the corresponding task.

5.) Add some fun to-do’s like ‘schedule dinner with a friend’. This helps keep you engaged with your list, keeping it from turning into the mundane.

6.) Keep your Bucket List separate from your to-do list. You may include tasks that need to be completed to work towards setting up something for your bucket list though. For example, scheduling an appointment, booking a hotel, buying tickets, or picking up needed supplies.

7.) Use the box and cross-out method in conjunction. Check or ‘x’ the box when the task is started or in progress, cross out when complete.

8.) Re-write your list weekly, you’ll notice some things change. Some things are added, some things fall off. Keeping your to-do list up to date will help you manage the tasks and deadlines.

9.) Review your to-do list daily. I review mine three times a day – once in the morning, once mid-day and once in the evening. This helps me add things that come to mind and helps me manage what needs to be completed in that day or the next.

10.) Keep it close by. I take my notebook with me almost everywhere. If I am going somewhere I can’t take it, then I’ll write out a short list on a post it to stick in my pocket. This keeps my top priorities in front of me for the day. This also helps me to plan them into my day. For instance, if I’m going to the grocery store and need to ship I package I can map out passing a mailbox or a shipping center.

25 thoughts on “How To Build a Better To-Do List

  1. Love making a list, it keeps me organized! Without it, I’d be lost and I won’t have a process when finishing tasks. These are awesome tips, love that you mentioned to add something fun!

  2. I have a going out to-do list on my phone and a notebook by my computer for my work tasks. It’s definitely something that needs to be handy almost all the time. I don’t know how I would function without my lists!

    1. Oh my goodness, I would say the same thing! I always tell people, “if it doesn’t get on my to-do list then I can’t promise it’ll get done” lol

  3. It’s an amazing feeling to know that my to do list isn’t the only one that’s all over the place! Definitely going to try these tips! Thanks for sharing

  4. I cannot function without a calendar or to-do list!! For me, my iCalendar and ‘Notes” on my phone are what keeps me organized.

  5. This is a great post! I really need to work on this because it’ll be good to have daily lists for my home.

  6. I love the tip to schedule in some fun activities. I love crossing things off my to-do list but it can be hard to find motivation if you know that once you finish one task there is just another boring one waiting.

  7. I need around 6 notebooks, I have so many notes on different pieces of paper and do not know where I am. I need to get organised so thanks for the amazing tips!!

  8. Can’t remember when was the last time I followed/wrote my to-do list. Thanks for sharing this! I should make one again

  9. I try to do a lot of these things already. I am definitely a list maker and these tips will help me get even better at it!

  10. I always have a to do list, great tips!! Thanks so much for linking up at the #UnlimitedMonthlyLinkParty 5. Shared.

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