If you have a million things to-do but have no idea where to start, a to-do list notepad can help get you organized.
A to-do list is a simple, but highly powerful tool. When you organize your thoughts and see your tasks laid out on paper, you gain clarity on what needs to be done and when.
Here are some of the other benefits of using a to-do list notepad.
Productivity. When we have tasks floating around in our brain, we have a harder time accomplishing them. We can’t rely on memory alone to remind us to do something, especially when we have a lot going on. A to-do list notepad serves as a visual reminder—by seeing it on paper and in front of you, you won't be able to ignore it.
Motivation. Human beings love positive reinforcement. So when you start knocking things off your to-do list, make sure to cross them out or put a check next to them. The rush of seeing your to-do list getting smaller will encourage you to keep going.
Goal-setting. Goals can seem so big and ambiguous at first. But when you write down what you need to do, step by step, your goal will seem more tangible and achievable. A to-do list = action plan for your goal.
Stress management. When you’re overwhelmed with work and personal obligations, stress and anxiety can be hard to manage. But many people find that the act of writing a to-do list can alleviate their stress. When you take what’s weighing on your mind and transfer it onto paper, it’s a huge relief. You see what you need to do, and then you can take action steps to complete them.
Flexibility. The advantage of using a to do list notepad is that it’s easy to keep with you. You can keep a to-do list notepad at your workspace, where no task will go unnoticed. Or you can conveniently slip it into your bag and bring it with you to meetings, business trips, and errands around town.
We’ve provided some of our best tips and tricks on making an effective to-do list and a roundup of our favorite to do list notepads.
When to use your to-do list notepad
Mornings. Some people like to use their mornings to organize and create their to-do list. This way, you can get clear on what you need to do that day and get your morning off to a positive start. You can integrate your to do list into your morning routine. While you’re sipping your morning cup of coffee, you can start jotting things down.
Evenings. Other people like writing down their to-do lists in the evening. They use their evenings to review their day while it’s still fresh on their mind and then take note of what still needs to be done. Some people also find that writing a to-do list in the evening helps them manage their anxiety. When you write things down, you have an easier time putting it out of your mind.
Once a week or daily. As far as how frequently you should be using your to-do list notepad, is up to you. You can create one master to-do list at the beginning of the week and then add new items as they arise. Or you can create a new to-do list every day. The advantage of using a to-do list notepad is that you can use it whenever you need.
How to use your to-do list notepad
Create a “brain dump.” One technique you can use is to do what they call a “brain dump.” It’s literally like taking all the contents in your brain and dumping them onto the page. This is a great exercise for people who feel like they have a million things circulating in their mind.
The brain dump can be as scattered and disorganized as you like. You’ll have time to sort and organize everything afterwards. Do you have to clean your bathroom? Put it on the list. Send thank you cards to a friend? Put it on the list. You get the picture. Figure out what you need to do for the next week or two and put it on the list.
Organize your list by category. Next, you can go through your list and start categorizing your tasks. You can use a separate sheet for this or write on the margins of your current sheet. Look for similar themes. For example, if your list contains items like “clean bathroom” or “take out trash” categorize them under home organization. If you have tasks like “send invoice” or “respond to manager’s email” then put those under admin or work.
Prioritize. Now that you have all your tasks organized by your category, you can start going through your list and flag the most important items. Some people like to prioritize by deadline. So if your office has an invoice deadline in the morning, you’ll want to make that priority. If cleaning your bathroom can wait, then that can be less of a priority. See which tasks are your priorities and tackle those first. This is a great technique for anyone who has trouble figuring out what to do first.
Best to-do list notepads
Today Organizer Pad
Our Today Organizer Pad is a must-have item to help you manage your schedule. You’ll find hourly time blocks to help you schedule your day, a task checklist to ensure you meet your priorities, and a section to take note of tomorrow’s tasks.
Daily Task Pad
Whether you want to make a list of action steps for your goals or create a “master” list that contains home, work, and personal tasks, our Ink+Volt Daily Task Pad is a flexible tool for getting things done.
If you’re looking for a tool that will help you reach your goals, the Action Pad is the notepad for you. There’s a section where you can write down your top-priority goals and a separate section to list your stretch goals. This way, you can stay on top of your short and term longs, while also encouraging yourself to go big and reach for your stretch goal.
Meal Planning Pad
Yes, you can use a to-do list notepad to make cooking and prepping so much easier. Maybe you want to meal plan to eat healthier or save money on your next vacation or make family dinners less stressful, our Meal Planning Pad can help get you organized.
Errand PadWith our Ink+Volt Errand Pad, you can organize your to-do list by task and route. This is a great tool for admin or personal assistants who have lots of errands to run for the office, people who are planning weddings or big events and have multiple meetings and tasks to accomplish, or anyone who wants to run their errands more efficiently.