3 kinds of lists for your bullet journal

Do you know what I’m really excited about these days? It’s how bullet journalling has made it cool and trendy to write things down 🙂

When you write things down, it frees your mind for more big picture thinking and you don’t have to worry too much about the details because they’re written down so they’re not disappearing anywhere.

Here are 3 types of lists you could use to help manage your time effectively. You can make the lists in your bullet journal or download them from my website.

Master to-do list

1. Master list
This is a place for a “brain dump”, a place for ideas you might want to pursue in the future or possible projects you need to tackle.

You can work off one master list for months, like I do with my business or blogging ideas.

I also have a master list of things to do in the house. I write up a new list every year and I work on that list the entire year.

To-do list

2. To-do list
This list can be monthly, weekly or daily. I post a weekend to-do list to Instagram every weekend.

The difference between this list and the master list is that this one has a time deadline attached to it.

I have a monthly to-do list, which is really my monthly goals list. I keep this one with broad goals like go to the gym 8 – 12 times, a weekly to-do list with about 3-5 business tasks to get done and then my daily to-do list which spreads out those 5 tasks so that I have only 1 or so to do daily.

Sometimes 1 task is very big and takes a couple of days so I’ll leave a couple of smaller ones to do all on one day.

I want to caution you to only put a maximum of 6 items on your daily to-do list so you don’t become overwhelmed!

My checklist to live my best life

3. Checklist
This is a place with a list of items which you check/ tick off.

This list is ideal for anything you need to do regularly, like the order in which you do your photo backups, a list of weekly business tasks, travel checklist, shopping list, etc.

My favourite checklist used to be my “newsletter” checklist which walked me through a process of ensuring I repurposed every bit of the content I create. These days, the one above is my favourite checklist 🙂

Once you start using the correct list for the task at hand, you’ll be flying!

You can download a variety of lists in the free pack on my website.

Do you prefer to print out your lists or to write them into your bullet journal?

3 myths about lists

There are two types of people in this world – those who like lists and those who don’t.
This post is for those who don’t like lists

lists are boring

A list is only as boring as your imagination! You can and should put some fun things on there as well as tasks to do.

I recently started putting things like “finish James Patterson book” on my weekend lists because all I was doing was chores.

I loved the change so much that I now regularly put fun things like “phone _____ for a lovely, long chat” and “paint fingernails” on my lists just to jazz them up.

lists are a bind because they have tons of items on them

Well, that depends on the type of list.

A master list and a checklist often do have tons of things on them but a daily to-do list really should have no more than about 6 items.

I’ve shared before how when I only have 6 items on my to-do list, I get through them all easily but when I try to be SuperWoman and add lots more, I get even less than 6 done!

I showed a coaching client my diary once and she was amazed that I almost always put less than 6 things on my list.

When you find the right list, your life will change

No, no, no! The list is only the tool.

I used to subscribe to tons of productivity sites and really, many of them were all about the perfect tool.

A tool is only something to help you get something else done.

Many people are so intent on creating the perfect list or finding the perfect planner that they get into an analysis paralysis mentality.

Because when you’re obsessing about the perfect to-do list, you stop actually doing the things on the list, right?

The truth is it doesn’t matter what you use as long as you get it down somewhere – whether on a post-it note, in a gorgeous notebook or in your phone.

So how am I doing with my lists?

I still use a weekly list and take off up to 6 items (sometimes a lot less) to do in a day.

My new favourite thing is doing a mind-map list for my weekly planning. I do a spoke for each area of my life – husband, babies, house, work, business, health and fitness, etc. And then, off each spoke, I make new mini-branches with things I have to do.

mindmap

Do you harbour any other myths about lists?

Are you a list-maker?

Are your lists working for you?

4 [31 days] how do you make to-do lists?

I have to say that today’s question is one of my favourites 🙂

Simply because lists are some of my favourite things in the world.

Amanda Jean says:

I need help making To-Do lists, I know that sounds too easy but I’ve never been a list maker and don’t know where to start. I need help knowing how to get started with each new task. Or motivational ideas to keep you going with you’ve reached the need for a second wind.

 

Lots of questions within that question.

 

Here’s my answer:

I’m actually a huge fan of to-do lists and I believe you need to have at least three but for today’s purpose, we’ll talk about two

a master to-do list

this is one with everything under the sun, so you don’t lose any of it while going about life

and a daily/ weekly to-do list

this is where you take things from your master list and add them to a shorter, more manageable list.

(if my master list wasn’t such a mess of colour and scribbles, I’d take a pic and show you)

 

Don’t put more than 6 items on your daily to-do list.

6 seems to be my comfort number. If I add any more than that, I still only do 5 or 6. When you do get your 5 or 6 done (whatever your comfort number is), you’ll feel AWESOME and productive 🙂

 

On starting

Start with the one that may be the most difficult but is the one that will bring you the closest to your goals. I call these tasks frogs.

 

On getting motivated

Here are some of my ideas. Accountability is a big one for me.

 

How do you make your to-do list? And then how do you tackle yours?

 

3 myths about lists :)

There are two types of people in this world – those who like lists and those who don’t.

This post is for those who don’t like lists 🙂

lists are boring

A list is only as boring as your imagination! You can and should put some fun things on there too as well as tasks to do.

I recently started putting things like “finish James Patterson book” on my weekend lists because all I was doing was chores. I loved the change so much that I now regularly put fun things like “phone _____ for a lovely, long chat” and “paint fingernails” on my lists just to jazz them up 😉

lists are a bind because they have tons of items on them

Well, that depends on the type of list. A master list and a checklist often do have tons of things on them but a daily to-do list really should have no more than about 6 items.

I’ve shared before how when I only have 6 items on my to-do list, I get through them all easily but when I try to be SuperWoman and add lots more, I get even less than 6 done! I showed a coaching client my diary once and she was amazed.

When you find the right list, your life will change

No, no, no! The list is only the tool.

I used to subscribe to tons of productivity sites and really, many of them were all about the perfect tool. A tool is exactly that – something to help you get something else done.

Many people are so intent on creating the perfect list or finding the perfect planner that they get into an analysis paralysis mentality.

Because when you’re obsessing about the perfect to-do list, you stop actually doing the things on the list, right?

The truth is it doesn’t matter what you use as long as you get it down somewhere – whether on a post-it note, in a gorgeous notebook or in your phone.

So how am I doing with my lists?

I still use a weekly list and take off up to 6 items (sometimes a lot less) to do in a day.

My new  favourite thing is doing a mind-map list for my weekly planning. I do a spoke for each area of my life – husband, babies, house, work, business, health and fitness, etc. And then, off each spoke, I make new mini-branches with things I have to do.

Do you have any other beliefs about list-making?

Do you make lists? What works well for you?

P.S. There are some lovely lists (standard ones and mind maps) waiting for you in the free Organising Success Pack

3 must-use lists to manage your time

When I coach people or do speaking engagements, I always stress the importance of writing things down.

Why?

When you write things down, it frees your mind for more big picture thinking and you don’t have to worry about the details.

So these are the 3 lists I suggest you absolutely should use to manage your time more effectively:

1. Master list

This is a place for a “brain dump”, a place for ideas you might want to pursue in the future or possible projects you need to tackle.

You can work off one master list for months, like I do with my business or blogging ideas. Or you can have a master list for a certain period, like a week, and then rewrite it at the start of the next week.

I have a master list of things to do in the house which I’ve been working on since we moved in four years ago. Honestly, I think there will always be items on this list.

2. To-do list

This list can be monthly, weekly or daily.

The difference between this list and the master list is that this one has a time deadline to it.

I have a monthly to-do list – I keep this one with broad goals like go to the gym 10 – 12 times – a weekly to-do list with about 5 – 7 business tasks to get done and then my daily to-do list which spreads out those 5 – 7 tasks so that I have only 1 or 2 to do daily.

I want to caution you to only put a maximum of 6 items on your daily to-do list so you don’t become overwhelmed!

3. Checklist

This is a place with a list of items which you check/ tick off.

This list is ideal for anything you need to do regularly, like a list of weekly cleaning tasks, office supplies, routine business tasks, etc.

Once you start using the right list for the correct task, you’ll be flying!

You can download free master to-do and other lists at http://marciafrancois.com.

Do you use lists? Which are your favourite ones?

P.S. Mine is my weekly to-do list 🙂

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