How to use a “To Do List” to get things done!

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Last week I posted about this brand new Daily Planner Page that I added to The Intentional Planner Membership Site.  Today I wanted to touch on one aspect of this page that has really been a huge help to me…the To Do List!

One of the reasons that I created a new Daily Planner Page was because I wanted more flexibility to edit each section of the planner page to make it work for me.  One of those areas is my To Do List.  I find that if I make myself a list of things to get done each day, it helps me stay focused and on task.  Now it doesn’t help that I am one that likes to “make my list and check it off”….I have been known to write something down on my To Do List that I already have done, just so that I can have something crossed off!

Here are a few tips for you to get you started using a To Do List:

1.  Choose what you are going to use for your To Do List.  If you have purchased The Intentional Planner Membership, you can use the Daily Planner Page like I do.  If not, you can just use a piece of paper or some like to use software on the computer.  Whatever you decide, make sure it is something that you will USE and that you will see every day!

2.  Decide where the To Do List will be kept each day.  I like to put my Daily Planner Page with my To Do List on the refrigerator.  Since my planner page has my whole day’s schedule, meals, cleaning jobs, and my To Do List, it makes sense for me to have it where I will see it often throughout the day.  That may work for you and it may not, but decide where it will be kept so that you can easily refer to it throughout the day.

3.  Write out your To Do List for each day the night before or first thing in the morning.  On my To Do List, I have 7 things that I try to write down.  Sometimes I have a hard time coming up with 7 things to do, but I usually find something around the house that needs done!

If you struggle each day coming up with some things to do, start a “Projects to Do” list (Intentional Planner members can find this form on the membership site!)  Whenever you think of something that needs to be done, write it down on this list.  This can be things like: wash off the top of the refrigerator, wash the handprints off the wall in the bathroom, weed the garden, organize the homeschool books, sort kids’ toys, etc.  As you go through your day, you will most likely think of things that “need to be done some day”…THOSE are the things to get on your Projects to Do list.  Then use that list to add items to your daily To Do List.

The key is to write these to do items down BEFORE you start your day.  If you don’t begin the day with a plan, you will not accomplish much.

4.  Schedule a time during the day to work on your To Do List items.  Some of the things on your list may already have set times scheduled (like cleaning, homeschool, etc.), but make sure that you have figured out when during the day you will work on these items.  I usually grab moments here and there throughout the day to work on to do items that don’t take long to do.  Bigger tasks have to wait until I have the scheduled time to work on them.

5.  At the end of the day, check your list and see all that you have accomplished!  If there are items that you did not get done (and it IS ok if you didn’t get everything done…don’t be too hard on yourself!), decide whether the to do item can be added to the next day or dropped altogether.  Some To Do items will be time-sensitive and can’t wait.  Other items can be dropped for now and added back later.  If you have a Projects to Do list, those items can be added or kept on that list until they are actually done.  That way you won’t forget that it still needs to be done!


Use your To Do list for all kinds of things.  If you have a habit you are working on, put that on your To Do list every day until it becomes a habit.  If you have a project you are working on, use your To Do list to write down a couple steps a day to getting that project done.  Make it work for you.

Here is what my To Do list consists of today:

1.  Reading lesson with Jonathan

2.  Pay city utility bills

3.  Mail anniversary cards to parents

4.  Mail box of jeans I sold on ebay

5.  Work on activity pages for vacation

6.  Make double batch of tortillas

7.  Cleaning

I hope that giving you a “sneak peak” into my To Do list has helped you see how you can create your own to help you get things done.  Why not start yours today?

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  1. Glad you made the sections on this page editable. My only problem with my to-do list is that if I don't get some of the things done, I don't want to forget that I wanted to do them . . . so I've started writing to-do's for the near future on a separate page, and also using the daily lists-- so if something doesn't get done, I'll have the other page to refer to and can just throw away the now-time-expired daily page. This way, I get to have TWO places to mark off!
    1. Hi Diane, I do that to. I use my Projects to Do page to write a list of things that need done. I also just transfer To Do items I don't get done to the next day's planner page if I want to, or drop it for then. Glad you like the editable fields. I love it! Have a great day!

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