The To-Do List

I make lists left and right. It’s really hard for me to concentrate without having some sort of direction and my lists provide just that. I don’t have just one system and it definitely changes from time to time. My lists in high school were completely different than the ones from college… and even know, they’re still evolving. I’ve been working on it for the past month-ish, trying to really nail down a good system for this particular time in my life.
I broke it down into three different types of lists… but to truly benefit from a to-list, you have to figure out what works for you! If you’re complete lost, try doing what I do and then seeing what you don’t like, or like, or could do without, or absolutely need. From there, you’ll be able to hone in on your own perfect to-do list. It’s definitely more of an art than a science!
Sticky notes are amazing for reminders. I keep mine on my desk so that I can jot down quick notes of what I need to do. They’re perfect for moving around. Stick on your laptop screen, the table top, or even the inside of your notebook. (They also give you extra space on agendas!! Lift the “flap” and add more information.)
My notebook is like my right-hand man in the office. I start my morning off with personal goals and the list of things I need to get done. I take notes on the left and write the lists on the right. I group my lists based on what I have to do. As I go through the day, I cross things off and feel much better about my accomplishments! If your to-do list is obnoxiously long, star the things that absolutely must get done. Or number the tasks based on your priority levels. I love my monogrammed Maybooks!
None of my lists ever look perfect. Sadly. It’s the one thing that bothers me… but the legal pad is a place where perfection is simply not allowed. I go crazy on these big pads of paper. I write notes, doodle endlessly, make gigantic brainstorms, rip and fold the edges, and doodle some more. It’s a place where you can throw everything that’s floating around in your head down. Just get it all out there. And then you can sort through and organize when you’re done! I keep the legal pad on my desk at home. It prevents me from completely defacing every page of my pretty Maybooks!
What are your to-do list musts? What kinds of paper do you use? Any tips?

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Wow- I have a very similar system!
I use monogrammed sticky notes that I got from anthro on sale for quick reminders.
I use a monogrammed notepad (that I got as a party favor!) for messy/less formal to do lists.
And (my favorite!) I have a floral liberty notebook (from london!)that I use as my more formal planner for school.


I love to use lots of color in my to-do lists, like highlighter, fun pen colors, markers, anything to add color and fun to all the stress/ pressure.


I use my Maybooks as my calendar reminder with post it notes inside, and a legal pad at my office with a running list of task needing accomplished. It clears up the mind from clutter if you can write it down.


melanie cybriwsky

I have a notebook that I call my list book! I started off with a classic, lined moleskin with a soft cover and then switched to a recycled version when I finished the moleskin. I've literally held onto the same notebooks for years at a time. I think its important to have all my lists in one place so I take them seriously and don't have random scraps of paper floating around. Also I restrict myself to lists that I can finish that day- If I write down tasks that are too big I don't get the satisfaction of putting a check mark next to it!


I love my lists! I am a freshman in college and all of the girls on my hall are always entertained by how i quickly whip out my Maybook to write down something I need to remember to get done! I am so much more effective with my time when i have a list to work off of! 🙂


I love to-do list. They help me keep me organized and on task. I feel accomplished and more motivated when I check that little box!

I have two to-do list I currently use. My 5 day to do list mouse pad from Target(Dollar section!!!) for work and my little notebook from target as well that I keep with me at all time. Having that mini notebook is great when I forget to remember a few things.

Successful Senior

I discovered your college lists a month or two ago, and have been making a weekend list of homework ever since! I use a composition book because I had one lying around and no real use for it. I write everything down for the next week (usually on Thursdays because my weekends are pretty busy) and highlight each item according to the day (Thursday – Sunday) that I'm going to get it done! The colors make me feel organized and I can't EVER say that I don't have anything that needs to get done.

I also have a couple of note pads for daily to-dos, long-term ideas, or grocery lists. The $1 bins at Michaels and Target are the best!

Finally, I bought a 3 pack of notebooks (printed with soy ink :D) that I'll use 1/project so that I can keep everything together both when I'm making lists on my own and later when I'm leading meetings with everyone else.

Seriously, I'm obsessed with lists. My memory is the worst, so if I don't write it down, I get too worried that it won't get done!

Julia D.

I love lists, but definitely haven't perfected any sort of system yet. I really like the legal pad idea just because it is so conducive to how my brain works. Throwing everything down without worrying about how it looks or sounds and just knowing it is there so you won't forget it later is really comforting to me. I'm a big fan of going back and organizing my chaotic lists into something organized enough to deal with later.


This has nothing to do with lists (but I really do admire your organization– I will never accomplish being a neat/organized person) but I found a link to a picture of one of you OOTD and I think we have the same bedspread! It's from target and has blue designs! It made me feel so stylish :).

Becca Smith


I seriously could not function without this app. It syncs my macbook, my iPad, and my iPhone. It is extremely convenient to be able to have all of my notes with me where ever I am. Nothing beats a handwritten note, but to stay organized, I trust evernote with my life.


I love lists, everywhere. Best to-do list is the sticky to-do pads from the container store. They come in pink and green and are sticky and absolutely perfect. I actually break 1 pad into 3 pads, 1 for on my desk, an extra for my desk drawer and one for my personal list to carry with me. They are PERFECT.