Wednesday, January 16, 2019

How I Organized My Entire Life by Creating a Series of Lists + How I Use My Planner to Easily Maintain Them

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I have been blogging for almost four years now and the number one question that I get asked (besides, “How do you take your OOTD pictures?”) is, “Can you please do a post on how you use your planner and stay organized?” 

For years, I have wanted to do this post, but I didn’t want to do it until I was 100% satisfied with my method.  The truth is, I have always kept my daily appointments and to dos pretty organized, but the rest of the long-term lists/ideas have been pretty scattered simply because I could never figure out the best way to keep them organized.  There are hundreds of things that we have to remember from day-to-day and month-to-month, and it was those less common tasks that I was having trouble keeping up with – like changing the air filter in the house or washing my car.  Who actually remembers to do those things?!

In fall 2018 I was feeling particularly scattered and I felt like I was wasting MORE TIME trying to stay organized and keep up with my planner than actually getting stuff done.  I knew then that I had to find a way to organize everything once and for all so I wouldn’t go crazy.  So I sat down and took a lot of time to evaluate what was working and what was not working with the method I was using to stay organized.  I identified pain points, thought a lot about how to alleviate said pain points, and then I decided that the best way to get rid of them once and for all was to write a series of lists to keep track of every single task that I do.  Like, ALL of them.  The lists are organized by frequency (Daily, Weekly, Bi-Weekly, Tri-Weekly, Monthly, Yearly, etc.) which makes it super easy to plan from day-to-day.  I also made the switch to an Emily Ley Daily Planner and I use these lists in conjunction with my planner.  Let me tell you, it has been a complete GAME CHANGER.  I have never felt so organized in my entire life.

Before I get started, I’m going to go ahead and tell you, you may think I’m completely crazy after reading this post because my level of organization is BEYOND.  I am incredibly OCD about list-making and staying organized and being productive, so don’t say I didn’t warn you.  Second of all, this system is what works best for ME.  This system may not be for everyone.  If you’re detailed and OCD like me, then you might appreciate it.  If you’re not, then you’re one of the ones who will probably think I’m crazy.  And that’s okay.  Haha.  One more thing to note before we move on… this post is going to be long.  But what else is new?  Most of mine are.  Haha. 

Before I get into the detailed portion of the post, I thought that I would give you a quick outline of everything that will be covered.  I think that will probably be less intimidating than just diving straight into all of the details. 

And before you go any further, be sure to follow me on Instagram (especially my stories!) for organizing tips and a live look at decluttering and any other projects I have going on!


I am able to be 100% organized using just two items – my daily planner and a clipfolio.  My planner is for my day-to-day activities and my clipfolio houses all of the other lists that I created to keep me on track.  Simple.  Here is the outline, and remember, I’ll get into the details on each of these things shortly.


-          Front Pocket – holds mini notebook to supplement my planner
-          Monthly Calendars – appointments/activities overview for the month
-          Daily Pages – appointments/activities + to dos + other notes


-          Front Clip – perpetual lists (Daily Checklist, Daily Blog Checklist, Weekly Checklist)
-          Front Pocket – all other lists that keep me on track and help me plan my entire year (Bi-Weekly Checklist, Tri-Weekly Checklist, Monthly Checklist, Monthly Goals Posts, Seasonal Bucket Lists, New Year’s Goals, Lifetime Goals by Year, Things to Clean Out, Master To Do List)
-          Notepad – place to jot down tasks that don’t fit on any of my other lists 
-          Middle of the clipfolio – items that need action (bills, etc.)

Sounds pretty simple, right?  Okay, well, now let’s get down to the nitty gritty details.  I’m going to split the rest of the post into four sections:

1.      Supplies – supplies I use to maintain this method
2.      Planner Setup – I’m going to show you exactly what is in my planner and where everything is located.
3.      Clipfolio Setup – I’m going to show you exactly what is in my clipfolio and where everything is located.
4.      Keeping Up With and Managing All of the Lists – I’m going to show you exactly how I how I plan, when I plan, and how long it takes me to plan.

Settle in, friends!  Heeeere we go!


Listed below is every single thing that I use to maintain this planning system that I’m going to talk about today.  Some of the items are necessary (like the daily planner and the clipboard folio), but some of the items are just to make my life more convenient and fun (page markers, specialty paper clips, stickers, etc.).  Here they are:

Necessary Supplies

Emily Ley Daily Simplified Planner (mine is Happy Stripe)
Emily Ley Mini Notebook (mine is Mint Pineapple)
Clipfolio with inside pocket and notepad (mine is Happy Stripe)
Martha Stewart with Avery Tabs (to divide mini notebook into categories)
Plastic Sheet Protectors (to hold lists clipped in front of folio – more on this later)
Pink Highlighter (to cross off tasks in planner and on lists when complete)
Pink Dry Erase Marker (to cross off tasks for Daily and Weekly Checklists)
Computer and printer (to type and print lists for front pocket of clipboard folio)

Accessories for Added Convenience/Fun

Emily Ley Page Marker (to bookmark the current day in my planner)
Emily Ley Heart Paper Clips (to mark other pages in planner as needed)
Emily Ley Stretchy Bands (to keep my planner closed when I haul it around)
Emily Ley Stickers (just for fun!)
Small Storage Bag (to keep all planner writing utensils together)

Everything that I use to plan... but the two most important things are the Daily Planner and the Clipboard Folio right in the center!  The rest of the stuff is just for fun.  ;o)
Every single thing I need to stay 100% organized... right here in this tiny little stack!
Tiny stack of planning stuff that I can easily take anywhere!

Planner Setup

I use my planner for all of our day-to-day activities and tasks that have to get done – appointments, meetings, reminders, to do lists, etc.  I cannot stress how much I love the Emily Ley Daily Edition Planner because there is soooo much room to write every single thing down that I need to do.  This was the thing that every single other planner was lacking.  In addition to having so much space, the paper is super thick so pens won’t bleed, and the planner folds in half easily so you can write on either side without the coil getting in the way.  Here’s how I use my planner:

Front Pocket – Every planner has a front pocket, and that is where I keep my Mini Notebook.  I use the Mini Notebook to supplement my planner because the planner does not have extra pages in the back.  Using my Martha Stewart tabs, I divided my Mini Notebook into three categories:

-          Financial – This is where I keep track of my spending on frivolous items AKA stuff we don’t need (clothes, house décor, etc.).  Since I quit my corporate job we’re on a tighter budget so I like to keep close tabs to make sure I’m staying within a certain amount each month.    
-          Reference – I used to use this section to keep track of notes for various projects, birthday planning, etc. but I’m not currently using it.  I decided to include it anyway in case I do decide to use it eventually.
-          Blog – This is where I keep track of all things blog related.  The first 12 pages of this section contain little mini monthly calendars that I use to plan my blog content.  To get the blank calendars, I found some online, resized them in Word to fit my Mini Notebook, printed them, and cut them out.   I then taped them into my Mini Notebook using some cute washi tape… how cute do these pages look?!  I use a pencil to fill in my blog content ideas because I change things up so frequently.  I also use this section of my Mini Notebook for other blogging notes, such as link-ups that I like to join, etc.
Front Page Sticker Sheet – There is a sheet of adorable stickers at the front of every planner, and I also keep a couple of additional stickers sheets that I like to use clipped to that sheet.

Monthly Calendar Spreads – There is a full two-page calendar spread at the start of every month.  I use these calendars to list all birthdays, anniversaries, appointments, meetings, practices, games, concerts, events, and other important reminders.  I color code the tasks by family member so it’s easy to see which tasks belong to which person.  I love having these monthly spreads because I like being able to see an entire overview of each month at any given time!  This helps with planning and also ensures that we don’t ever double-book ourselves or overextend ourselves.  The colors I use are as follows:

-          Pink – Lindsay
-          Black – Brian
-          Light Blue – Jacob
-          Green – Olivia
-          Blue – everything else (birthdays, anniversaries, and other reminders that aren’t associated with a family member)

Daily Pages – Each daily page is divided into three sections:

-          My Day – the left column is comprised of an hourly schedule (from 6 AM to 9 PM) and that is where I list all appointments, meetings, errands, and places that we need to be at a certain time (tasks that are also on the Monthly Calendar Spreads).  This helps me plan my day efficiently and ensures that we never accidentally schedule ourselves to be in two places at once.
-          To Do – the right column is comprised of 16 blank spaces and that is where I list all tasks that I would like to do for the day.
-          Notes – the bottom section is one big blank space that can be utilized for anything.  I use this space to write what I’m cooking for dinner as well as any exercise that I did that day, and I also sometimes keep notes on how I’m feeling that day (back pain levels, reflux issues, asthma/allergies issues).  I keep track of those things because it makes it easier to find patterns that can potentially help me understand why I’m having the issues.

And that’s it’s for the planner portion!  Wanna take a peek inside before we head to the next section?  You know you do!

My Simplified Planner
Front Planner Pocket + Stickers

Mini Notebook that I keep inside front planner pocket

Blog Content Calendar inside Mini Notebook
Monthly Calendar Spread in Planner - January
Daily Page in Planner at the beginning of the day

Daily Page in Planner after I cross off tasks at the end of the day

Clipfolio Setup 

Now this is where it’s about to get a little crazy… don’t say I didn’t warn you.  ;o)  The clipboard folio is for everything else that doesn’t go in my planner.  Remember all of those lists that I told you I made at the end of last year to make my life easier?  Well, this is where all of those are stored.    

Front Clip – My clipfolio has a clip on the outside front cover, and this clip holds my three perpetual lists.  Perpetual lists are lists of the things that I do over and over and over again.  I have three of these perpetual lists – a Daily Checklist, a Daily Blog Checklist, and a Weekly Checklist.  These tasks never change.  Therefore, they are all typed up and stored in plastic sheet protectors.  The sheet protectors are used for two reasons.  First of all, because they protect the lists so they won’t get damaged.  I also use the sheet protectors because they can turn any sheet of paper into a little dry erase board.  That means that I can cross items off of my lists using a dry erase marker, and then the next day, I can erase everything, and start all over again.  I do not write these perpetual tasks in my daily planner because there are way too many of them and it would be silly to write the same things over and over again every single day.  These perpetual lists are clipped to the front of my clipboard folio because that keeps them front and center every day since I refer to them so frequently throughout the day.  Now I’m going to explain a little more about each of the three lists:

-          Daily Checklist – This is a list of things that I do every single day and it is organized in chronological order.  For example, make bed, pack lunches and snacks for kids, sign Olivia’s homework folder, take vitamins, etc.  Most people probably don’t need a list telling them to make their bed or sign their kids’ homework folders, but I am super forgetful and this list just serves as a reminder for me to get these things done.  Plus, I’m more inclined to make my bed each day if I get the reward of crossing it off of a list.  ;o) 
-          Daily Blog Checklist – This is a list of things that I do every single day for the blog.  For example, write posts, link-up with other bloggers, share on social media, etc.  Again, most of these things are done each day on auto pilot, but I like to have a list to look over to ensure I don’t miss anything important.
-          Weekly Checklist – This is a list of things that I have to do on specific days of the week every single week.  For example, water plants on Wednesdays and Sundays, send the kids to school in church uniforms on Thursdays, etc.  This list is organized by day of the week, so each day I just have to glance at the section for that particular day. 

And that concludes everything you need to know about the three perpetual lists I keep in my front clip of my clipfolio.

Inside Pocket – The clipfolio has an inside pocket on the left side, and this pocket holds all of my other lists that help keep my life organized (Bi-Weekly Checklist, Tri-Weekly Checklist, Monthly Checklist, Monthly Goals Posts, Seasonal Bucket Lists, New Year’s Goals, Lifetime Goals by Year, Things to Clean Out, and Master To Do List).  These lists are all typed in Excel or Word and printed to keep in the pocket. 

-          Bi-Weekly Checklist – This is a list of things that I do every other week.  For example, laundry, ironing, meal planning, grocery shopping, etc. 
-          Tri-Weekly Checklist – This is a list of things that I do every three weeks.  For example, allergy shots. 
-          Monthly Checklists – Monthly checklists are a little different as they change from month to month depending on events/birthdays/holidays for that month.  Therefore, I have 12 Monthly Checklists, one for each month of the year.  Each Monthly Checklist is divided into categories like Blog, Computer, Home, Birthdays and Anniversaries, Holidays and Events, Personal, Planner, etc.  Some of the tasks are things that I do once a month every month, some are tasks that I do every 3 months, some are tasks that I do every 6 months, and others are tasks that are specific only to that month.  For example, I do a big house cleaning once a month, every month, so that task is listed on every Monthly Checklist for January - December.  I change the air filter in our home every three months so that task is listed under January, April, July, and October.  I try to deep clean our house every six months so that task is listed under January and July.  Some things are only done once per year, so those items are listed in the appropriate month.  For example, decorating for Christmas is listed in November.  Makes sense, right?  I also use these Monthly Lists to keep track of things I have to do for people’s birthdays (buy gifts, buy cakes, plan parties, etc.), things I have to do for holidays (buy gifts, plan meals, make bucket lists, etc.), and many, many other crazy things that I would never remember to do otherwise like wash cars, give Maui baths, back up all of our family photos from my phone, back up my blog, update pictures in frames around our house, etc. etc.  My Monthly Checklists are pretty long, but manageable. 
-          Monthly Goals Posts – I recently started writing Monthly Goals Posts for the blog, and in order to remember to actually do the things on the list, I print them and keep them with this stack of lists.  All of the things on the Monthly Goals Posts are pulled from my other lists, but I like to keep this list separate since I know I’ll be summarizing how I did on the blog.
-          Seasonal Bucket Lists – I also write Seasonal Bucket Lists for our family and for the blog.  I typically do a Fall Bucket List, a Christmas Bucket List, and a Summer Bucket List.  These are printed and kept in my stack of lists so we have them right there and ready to refer to when I do my planning.
-          New Year’s Goals – I also write a list of overall goals I want to achieve for each year, and this is printed and kept in my stack of lists so I have easy access to it every time I sit down to plan.
-          Lifetime Goals by Year – This is an overall list of things that I want to do/achieve in the years to come, along with ideas for the future.  I don’t refer to this very often, usually just once a year when I’m writing my New Year’s Goals Posts, but I like to keep it with my other lists in case I want to refer to it.
-          Things to Clean Out – Last year when I decided to clean out and declutter our entire house, I made a checklist, room by room, of every single thing I wanted to clean out.  For example, Jacob’s Room has several different tasks listed under it like clean out closet, clean out dresser, clean off bookshelf, etc.  Since I’ll probably do a round of cleaning out/decluttering every year, I decided to print this list and keep a copy of it with all of my other lists.  I cross things off as I go, and then when it’s complete, I’ll trash it and print a new one the next time I declutter/clean out.
-          Master To Do List – Finally, this list contains every single one-time project/home improvement task that I want to eventually do.  These tasks have their own list because they can be done at any pace and therefore don’t belong on any of the lists that have a timeframe.  This list is loooong y’all.  At the beginning of this year it was 472 lines long.  I created the original copy in an Excel Spreadsheet and it is divided into categories like Living Room, Kitchen, Master Bedroom, Blog, Personal, Media, Kids, etc.  I am constantly adding and removing things from this list since it’s so long, so that’s why I keep it in an Excel spreadsheet on my computer.  However, I do always print a copy and keep it in my clipboard folio so I can cross things off as I go.  Then the next time I edit it on the computer I’ll remove all of the things that I crossed off.  Some examples of tasks on this list are buy new curtains for front sitting room, paint kitchen cabinets white, plant herbs, fix kitchen sink handle, buy artwork for master bathroom, buy a desk for Olivia’s bedroom, have a quilt made from the kids’ old baby clothes, get a pool for the back yard (wishful thinking), landscape the back yard more, reorganize all computer files, finish kids’ baby books, switch blog over to Wordpress, redesign blog, etc. etc.  See?  This list is just a bunch of random stuff (472 tasks to be exact) of every single thing that I want to get done eventually.  Since I have them organized by category that makes the list much more manageable.

And that concludes everything you need to know about the lists that I keep inside the clipfolio pocket.  Do you think I’m crazy yet?

Notepad – There is a notepad on the right side of the clipfolio, and I use this for jotting down any tasks that need to be done fairly soon, but I’m not quite sure where to put them in my planner yet.  For example, hair cuts for the kids, get spare house keys made, and other odds and ends like that.  Once I figure out when to do those tasks, I transfer them to my planner and I cross them off of the notepad.  Simple.  And this notepad is necessary because sometimes there are just weird tasks that need to be done that don’t fit anywhere else.

Middle of the Clipfolio – Finally, I tuck any important papers that need action right there in the middle of the clipfolio so I can see them every day and know that they need to be done.  This eliminates the need for a physical inbox on my desk.  I used to use one, but found that I was never checking it and instead I was sticking everything in my planner, so I found this method just works better.  Some examples of things I tuck here are bills that need to be paid, permission slips that need to be signed and returned for the kids, etc. 

Ready to take a peek inside this one, too?

Front Cover of the Clipfolio

Inside Clipfolio

Front Cover of Clipfolio with my Daily Checklist clipped to the front (I blocked out part of my list because I don't necessarily want everyone knowing ALL of my business.  Haha)

Inside Clipfolio with all lists in left pocket as well as important papers that need action tucked in the middle in front of the notebook.

Aaaallll the lists!!!!

Keeping Up With and Managing All of the Lists

Now that I’ve shared all of the details about what is actually stored in my planner and clipfolio, you are probably wondering how in the world I keep up with and manage all of the lists.  Well, I’m going to show you.  The initial set-up and creation of all of these lists took hours and hours because there was so much reflection involved (What do I do on a daily basis?  What all do I need to do each month of the year?  How many times per year do I need to do certain tasks?  What other tasks and projects do I want to do?  etc.), but now that the initial set up is out of the way, it is a breeze managing all of them.  All it takes is a 30 minute monthly commitment, a 30 minute weekly commitment, and a five minute daily commitment.  That’s it.

Monthly – I usually take one day at the end of each month to plan ahead for the next month.  I do the following tasks and it usually takes about 30 minutes.

-          Transfer all tasks from monthly calendar in planner to appropriate daily pages in planner
-          Refer to the following lists and compile all tasks that I want to get done for the next month – Seasonal Bucket Lists, New Year’s Goals, Things to Clean Out, and Master To Do.  Take those tasks and type them into a Monthly Goals Post (this is the one I will post on the blog each month) and print to keep in my clipboard folio with my other lists.

Weekly I typically do my planning for the week ahead every Sunday morning and it usually only takes about 30 minutes.

-          Plan errands, gym, etc. for the week ahead and write on the appropriate daily pages in planner.
-          Transfer tasks from Bi-Weekly and Tri-Weekly Checklists to appropriate daily pages in planner.
-          Transfer tasks from Monthly Checklist and Monthly Goals Posts (from blog post) to appropriate daily pages in planner.
-          Transfer tasks from Clipfolio notebook to appropriate daily pages in planner if applicable.

Daily – I typically do my planning for the next day every evening after the kids go to bed while B and I watch TV.  It only takes about 5-10 minutes max.

-          Cross off tasks that I got done (so satisfying).
-          Transfer tasks that didn’t get done to the next day.
-          Add notes to the bottom (dinner, exercise, etc.).

Simple, simple simple. 

I know that you might not be thinking that’s the case, but I promise it’s not that complicated.  I literally have every single tool that I need to keep me 100% organized in just one daily planner and one clipfolio.  And It only takes 30 minutes one time per month, 30 minutes one time per week, and 5 minutes one time per day to maintain all of it.

Ever since I implemented this system, I feel like it is completely freed my mind from clutter.  I used to have to dos and ideas jotted down all over the place with no way to organize them or even find them when I needed to refer to them.  This method has allowed me to organize my entire life and give me complete peace of mind and I can’t think of a bigger blessing than that. 

And I cannot speak highly enough of Emily Ley and all of her Simplifed products.  Everything is top-notch, high quality, and gorgeous, and her Daily Planner has quite literally changed my life.  She doesn’t have many of the Daily Simplified Planners left for 2019 so I would highly advise you to go ahead and buy one soon if you’ve been considering getting one.  Right now they are 20% off so you can get a great deal if you’re ready to take the plunge!  If you miss out now, I believe you’ll have to wait until fall to get a Daily Planner that you’ll be able to use in 2020.  She usually does a spring launch, too, but those will be for planners that run by the academic year rather than the calendar year. 

NOW TO GO CHECK ALL THE THINGS OFF OF ALL THE LISTS!!!!  Here’s to getting stuff DONE in 2019, y’all!

Don't forget to link up with us below!  

Time for a link party! Blogging friends, share your post below and meet your hosts! 

Keri at Keri Lynn Synder / Faceobok / Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest 

*Linking up with The Pleated Poppy for What I What I Wore, Pumps & Push Ups for Oh, Hey Girl! Link-Up, The Mummy ChroniclesTucker UpShopping My Closet for Style Me Wednesday, Classy Yet Trendy for Trendy Wednesday Link-Up, The Blended Blog and Jessi's Design and Going the Distance for What's Hap-"Pinning" Wednesday.

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  1. WOW! That is amazing. What a great system. I think I worry so much about making my planner pretty that I hate to write in it.
    I love all the printed list! Thank you so much for sharing.

  2. Literally Planner PERFECT! I love your system and what it has led you to accomplish! Great job!

  3. I always find it so helpful to read these type of posts and girl this one is so detailed and amazing! Thank you for sharing! xo, Biana-BlovedBoston

  4. We are SO alike, it's not even funny! I am totally taking a few of your pointers and implementing them ASAP! I'm all about making lists, it's so much easier to me to have all the lists, vs anything else.
    I'm actually on the hunt for another planner. The one I purchased a few months ago for 2019 is meh -- I'm not feeling it like I was when I first bought it. Maybe I need to get things planned a bit like yours and see if that helps me love it again.
    LOVED this post!!

  5. What a great system. I love all the lists! I totally use a different color pen for each person too. The receptionist are always surprised when I write appointments down. ;)

  6. So organized! I love the biweekly, triweekly etc. lists. I need to do something like that to keep up with household chores!

  7. I recently got one of Emily Ley's books, and it made me curious about her planners. I already have a 2019 planner, but I'll have to keep her in mind for the future. I love how you set everything up and all of your lists! It might seem like a lot, but I'm someone who has to write everything down too or I'll probably forget it. LOL Speaking of blog link-ups, I host a monthly one called Keep It Together (third Thursday of each month) and you can share posts about scrapbooking, planners, anything memory keeping, so this post would be ideal!! The first one of the year is tomorrow. :)


  8. I recently made a daily task list to help me remember the things I need to do on a daily basis and it really helps! I do want to become more organized with to dos and you are an inspiration for sure!

  9. You know how much I love this already! You are speaking my love language lady!! Now ready to get mine set up and love how your use your mini notebook.

  10. You are definitely the MOST organized person I've ever seen and I just adore that planner! Thanks for sharing!

  11. I got my first Emily Ley planner, I got the large one and I got the folio for Christmas from my kids. Always fun to see how others organize!

  12. Last year I wanted to come up with more routines to make life easier, but never got to that point of making the lists. I think this post has finally given me the kick in the butt to actually get it done, knowing that after that initial push, it will be so easy to maintain! Love all the details - this is SO helpful!! Super bummed the Emily Ley clip folios are sold out. Thank goodness for Amazon, though!

  13. I love how organized you are. You totally rock it. And listing all of your supplies is awesome.

  14. You are my organization idol. I need to make myself a daily checklist like that, I cannot imagine hoe satisfying it is to check it all off. I am an Erin Condren person (especially since she was a DG like me!) but my sister has been trying to take me over to the Emily Ley side. I might have to pull the trigger. I used Erin's snap in meal planning inserts, does Emily Ley have anything like that?

  15. It's great that you are keeping everything so organized with this planner. Thanks for sharing at Cooking and Crafting with J & J.

  16. Great system - I had one like that set up for cleaning (daily, weekly, monthly, etc) and then I didn't do anything with it and it stressed me out so I threw it away haha. Now I have to start over!

  17. SO pretty! And now I need a planner with the front clip <3
    Green Fashionista

  18. Hi this is Kristina from Creative Muster. It's so funny because as I was reading this post I could totally hear myself! I am also OCD about planning and sometimes I feel I spend more time planning things out than actually doing them haha. I love your planner and your system. It simple and efficient.

    1. YES!! THIS!! That is exactly how I was! For the longest time I felt like I couldn't find the most efficient ways to plan and I swear it took me so long to try to get everything organized each week that I lost precious time actually getting anything done. After finally figuring out what works for me I finally feel like I'm actually getting things done rather than planning on how I'm going to actually do them. Haha.

  19. I’m loving my first simplified planner this year! So inspired by your organized system! I’m with you on getting all the things done in 2019!

  20. So well organized and thought out! I love seeing how others keep lists and tasks organized and this is so well done!

    1. Thank you so much! It feels good to have FINALLY figured out how to stay organized!

  21. To add to your organization - colorful (at least 6 colors available) Pilot Frixion pens and highlighters ! I label them with my handheld labeler so I don't even have to think about what color stands for whom/what. I time block with the highlighter and then write specifics in with the pen. If things change, like a snow day and school cancellation, then I can just erase and change things.

    1. Those are GREAT ideas!! Especially labeling your pens. OMG that is brilliant. I totally need to get a label maker so I can do that!! Right now I have a legend in my planner so I won't forget but it would be so much easier if they were just labeled that way already!

  22. Thanks for sharing this one again with Throwback Thursday! It is definitely chock full of goodness.

  23. So helpful, I just implemented a similar system using the Notion App to house all my lists and my bullet journal for monthlies, weeklies and dailies but was still working out the best system to integrate the two. Reading how you do it helped wrap my mind around it more :)

  24. I just found this via Pinterest and LOVE the level
    of organization! My husband thinks I’m crazy but my planner notebook just isn’t cutting it. Can’t wait to try it out!

    1. Thank you! I figured people would think I'm crazy for this level of organization, but that's okay with me! It keeps me sane! I hope you enjoy, too!

  25. Thank you! These lists are my saving grace. Life is so much easier when you're organized! I'm just glad I finally found a method that works for me.

  26. Stumbled upon this post on Pinterest, that it's awesome! Do you go into more detail on your weekly, bi-weekly, tri-weekly, monthly, things to clean out, master to-do list, etc. on a different post? I'm interested on how to start those lists!

    1. I don't have any posts about the details on those lists, but you're not the first person to ask! Getting my lists right took lots of time brainstorming and dumping everything out of my brain on paper. My lists are constantly changing and being tweaked as things change in our lives over time. My best advice is just to sit down and start somewhere and then just build on them over time!

    2. I bet it took tons of time! Thanks for the advice, appreciate it!

  27. Can I just say, you're a life-saver. I appreciate this SO much. I can't tell you how much anxiety you've just alleviated. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  28. Dear Lindsay,

    Oh my gosh. Thank you!!! I was so very happy I found your blog post and I almost shouted YES!!!! (I refrained from doing so because my boys just fell asleep). In 2018 my family had some life changes. Some sad and some sadder. My brain was on the fritz and I couldn't concentrate. I was so unorganized despite the fact that I had a planner. I felt ashamed of myself and frustrated because I just couldn't manage my life (work/personal/home) anymore.

    I read your blog and I also printed it out for reference. I started to implement your techniques and I am currently working on creating those checklist for myself.

    Long story short... Thank you so much for posting this blog. I really appreciate it.

    1. I'm so glad I could help! I wish you the best of luck getting yourself organized! It's a lot of work getting it all set up but it's worth it in the long run! I still use this exact system years later!

  29. I've been wanting to say this since this post was first published...Show us the lists! Give the people what they want! :) Obviously you can scrub the lists and only share what you're comfortable with, but a starting point would be super helpful. I'm one of those people that feels better just having the list even if I don't do anything on it. I have a home maintenance list by month that's super long but it helps my brain to have it all out on paper...and then we can choose to ignore haha!

    1. yes!!!! please share the lists!!!!

    2. I've had many requests for this, so I'll try to work these into a blog post soon, hopefully!

    3. same!!! i would love to see your lists!

  30. I like this post, and I do some things very similar to these things. Brain dumps are very helpful! However, I want to caution you against using "OCD" to describe your organizing mentality, unless you truly have an OCD-diagnosis. Having OCD myself, I can assure you, is not something I enjoy. It is anxiety-causing to the highest power and I deal with it daily, hourly. I wish true OCD only manifested in being organized, but that is not the case. Otherwise, thanks for the post!

    1. Hi Elizabeth, I have received anxiety and OCD diagnoses as well, and I, too, have been living with both for the majority of my life. I have been very open about my anxiety here on my blog, and I talk about it often. I'm so sorry that you are living with it, too. It is incredibly overwhelming and scary to navigate. Thank you for stopping by, and thank you for taking the time to comment! I wish you all the best!

  31. Super superexcellent.... OMG that is what I need ... Big thanks and keep writing. Now I am using your guide for building my own master list & to do in my planner.


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