It's never overreacting to ask what you want and need. Amy Poehler Everyone wants to know how to get more things done, feel accomplished at the end of the day or create focus to their days. I have two to do lists that actually work and help people feel like they are crossing things off instead of spinning in circles.

The Post It To Do List

I LOVE Post It Notes. They are probably in my top 10 best inventions in the 21st Century and that is saying a lot when you look back at that 100 years (Google is pretty high on my list, too). My favorite size of Post It Note is the 3×3 square; the original. What can I say, I’m a purist.

Using the Post It Note as a To Do List

People think that they can dump everything they have to do on a sheet of paper and actually get things done. What happens more often is that people just feel overwhelmed. They don’t know what to focus on and they do the things that cause them the least stress leaving the things that might a little harder (and maybe a little more important) on the list without the coveted cross out or check mark.

You only use the 3×3 kind. Don’t get all fancy and pull out some of those larger Notes. Stick with the 3×3 because it fits on the back of you phone, you can stick it on your planner or binder, or you can put it in the middle of your steering wheel if you are running a bunch of errands that day.

The beauty of the Post It Note To Do List is that it is small. You can only put so much on it. Yes you might have micro handwriting, but this is when I recommend a Sharpie. The larger size nib makes you write a bit bigger making your list actually possible. At most you are going to put 6-8 things. If you are smart you will put your must do 3 things on the list and make sure those get done.

I sat in a meeting sharing about this one day and a woman said, “I do way more than three things a day.” Well, bless her heart. Of course she does. We all do, but there are some things that actually need to go on a To Do List and things that don’t. You don’t put brush your teeth on the list, but you might put brush your dogs teeth. To Do Lists are things that you do outside of your regular day to day life. They are the Things That Must Get Done.

The Printable To Do List

I created this To Do List 15 years ago when I was working as the Director of Creative at a huge marketing firm in San Francisco. I needed a go to place to write all the things down that needed to be done, that I could take with me to meetings, was clean and easy to use and I could print more of every month.

My printable To Do List has been downloaded over 3,300 times. Folks like it. You can download it here.

Using My Printable To Do List

I created a To Do that has a section for Do, Go, Connect and a place to doodle. It also has the date, and three check boxes for things I would like to do daily (meditate, write and exercise).

I fill out the To Do the day before with all the things I need to get done the next day. A typical list might have “send file to X, finish edits on newsletter, design draft of promo, bathe Franklin, and find receipt”. I Do Good Work To Do List found it was critical to put my personal and my business life on the list. Although they may be segmented, they aren’t separate. I am one person with a million things to do and keeping separate lists is impossible.

When I complete something I just cross it off. If I am not going to finish something or I am moving something I put an arrow next to it and write it on the next day’s to do. It is that simple. Some days I get more done, but I am always hopeful.

My Pinterest Goals, To Do Lists and Planner Board

I have a board on Pinterest that is where I pin all of my goal setting and To Do List research. You are welcome to follow along there to see what I am discovering daily.

Follow Jacqueline Wolven’s board Goals, Planners & To Do Lists on Pinterest.

xo – Jacqueline, who believes with the right tools we can all get the job done

A quick note about the quote from Amy Poehler. Here’s the thing. You have a lot that you want to get done, but the truth is that sometimes you need help. Ask for it. The worst possible outcome is that someone will say no. That’s ok. There is a 50/50 percent chance that folks will actually either help you OR help you find the help you need. (Free Stock Photo from Unsplash.)

3 Comments on The 2 Best Paper To Do Lists

  1. Suzy Taylor Oakley
    August 6, 2015 at 6:36 pm (2 years ago)

    Thank you for the tips! I read your previous post and am working on getting used to the 3×3 stickies for my immediate (daily) to-dos. This is such a process!

    • Jacqueline Wolven
      August 6, 2015 at 6:37 pm (2 years ago)

      You can DO this! Let me know if you have any specific hurdles or heartaches trying to get on the to do list bandwagon. – Jacqueline

      • Suzy Taylor Oakley
        August 6, 2015 at 6:41 pm (2 years ago)

        Oh, only the ones you cautioned against (mainly, putting too many items on it – but that’s what the Sharpies are for, eh?). I do like the idea, though. I just have to form the habit to write them THERE instead of on a big sheet of paper.


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