What’s On Your To-Do List? Everything or Just Extras?

To Do List Header

Traditional to-do lists have always been a problem for me.  The lists are designed to include only “out-of-the-ordinary” tasks, like scheduling a vet appointment or picking up a prescription.  Ordinary tasks like making dinner, doing laundry, straightening the house, etc. really don’t have a place on a traditional to-do list.  Unfortunately, because I’m time challenged (ADHD), I need those things on my list.  I need a complete picture of my day – not just a list of the extra things I might forget.  In all honesty, if it’s not written down, I can forget just about anything even if it’s something I do every single day.

I’ve tried using to-do lists so they include everything but I’ve only had limited success with that technique.  But over the years, I’ve developed two strategies that actually worked fairly well.  You can read about the first one here.  The second one is what we’re going to talk about today.

Rather than fighting the system and trying to include everything on my planner’s traditional to-do list, I created a separate page that I kept between my Franklin Covey 2 pages per day.  The page had a chart with my routine daily tasks and another section for tasks that needed done sometime during the week.  The page moved from day to day so it was always in plain view.  Here’s a sample:Franklin Covey 2ppd

You can make this page stand out more by printing it on colored paper, like this:

compact with green

You can also trim off a little of the right edge to make it easier to grab so you can write on the page below.

Franklin Covey orange page cut down

Or you can trim off the corners to make it even easier to grab and turn: Franklin Covey orange page corners

If you use Filofax weekly pages, you can use the same strategies.  But an added trick is to punch both the left and right side of the page so you can have the page visible when you’re on the Monday – Wednesday section of the weekly view and again when you’re on the Thursday – Sunday section of the weekly view.  In case that didn’t make sense, here’s what I mean:

weekly page with pink page on right


weekly page with pink page on left

 And those are the two ways I’ve managed to get around the traditional to-do list so it worked for me.  If you’re interested in downloading the page, here you go:

Daily & Weekly Chore Page Personal
Daily & Weekly Chore Page Compact
Daily & Weekly Chore Page Classic (or A5)

Does your to-do list include everything or just the special tasks?  If it includes everything, how do you make it work?

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Born in Kentucky, I am a wife and mom to 1 son and 2 daughters . I have an ink pen obsession, as well as a love for all things planner. I have been married for 10 years to my high school crush. I am a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

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30 thoughts on “What’s On Your To-Do List? Everything or Just Extras?

  1. Patty, thanks so much for this post and download ♡
    Just what I need too. There are so many other things I would rather be doing than housework! That they easily distract me. Thanks so much, will give your page a try in my a5 xxx

  2. I love this! I also have to note regularly reoccurring items on my list, or I forget to get them done. My solution has been to have a day per page spread, and I write all to dos on the individual day.

  3. Thank you! I absolutely love this! I need everything include in my to-do list also or it doesn’t get done. I love how easy this will be to move to the next day and can stay in my planner instead of having an extra sheet of paper floating around.

  4. I have to list everything. I have found that making a weekly sheet and checking it off helps a lot, but because I am a visual/kinetic learner that it is better for me to write the list daily. This seems to help ADHD/ADD problems as well.

    1. I know exactly what you’re talking about. That act of writing it down puts it in your mind whereas having the checklist doesn’t have the same effect.

  5. This is a fab idea, I will definitely be printing these and using them. Thank you for the great tip 🙂

  6. I definitely need to try a version of this – I’ve always felt it would be silly to have to write down things I should know perfectly well to do, but if I don’t I sure as anything forget several, and am not very productive.

    My struggle now is to actually set up a planner and *use* it with commitment, not for a week, then find it doesn’t work and either move on to another, giving me ‘materialism’ guilt, or not use anything, which gives me both ‘materialism’ guilt over the unused planners *and* means I don’t get things done 🙁

    1. I feel your pain! For 20 years I used the same planner and then I started floundering. It’s tough working that out. I hope you have success ASAP! The struggle gets old.

      I’ve always felt it was “silly”, too – to write things down I know I have to do – but I have to do it. If I don’t do it, everything just spins around in my head and I don’t get anything done. So don’t feel bad – just do what you need to do. For your planner, too – do what works for you!

  7. Very nice. I have not yet downloaded, the headings an be edited… Correct? I could see this as very helpful for both my work and home reoccurring items. The filofax tip is great. 😉

    1. The form is in Word so you can easily edit it to meet your needs.

      I’ve had the form for my household tasks and my blog tasks. It will definitely work for home or work. Hope you enjoy using it.

  8. I’m with you so this will be very helpful, thank you! Way way back in the 80’s I think someone gave me a personal size zipped planner which I no longer have. It came with a red plastic today insert much wider than the standard ruler and it said To Do at the top and was lined. The holes were slit for easy removal for daily use like the ruler. It also came with a wipe off marker. That was a handy little sucker and wish I still had it! You could add and subtract your to do’s and move the insert daily. Because it was red and taller than the pages it was easy to grab. Have no idea who made the planner…it wasn’t any of the standards around today…I just remember it was burgundy zipped and very business like true to form for the 80’s business world. Lol

    1. I’ve never seen anything like that dry erase page finder. Wow! That sounds really useful. Maybe someone should work on developing something like that.

    2. I wonder if this page could be laminated and then you could write on it with a dry erase marker if you could find one with a fine enough tip. As long as it didn’t smear though…it would make me crazy if it smudged the facing page . 🙂 The ‘to do’ page marker I spoke about above was plastic and slightly textured. I don’t recall it smudging but not sure if laminated plastic would smudge because its so smooth. Hmmmm. I’ve never tried a dry erase market on a flyleaf. Wonder if that would work. You could use the same form each week but just put a flyleaf over it and fill out the form but on the flyleaf and then erase and reuse it the next week. Does anyone have any experience with ‘smudge free’ transparency film that they used to use on overhead projectors? I think they still sell that transparency film but its pricey and comes 25 sheets or 50 sheets to a box. Just wondering if you printed the form onto a transparency sheet, cut it to the personal size to fit your binder and then just used a dry erase marker to fill out. You can also put slits in the hole punches to make it easier to move around. Of course I am just rambling here…this is all in theory!

  9. Great idea! I’m one who likes to write every little thing down. I do sort of like you though in that I have one page for routine tasks and weekly goals and another for scheduled things and non-routine tasks.

    1. Thanks for stopping by. The chore list works great for me! I’ve modified it a few times but always end up back the way it is. Why mess with perfection, right?! 🙂

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