This post was made possible by Ingo Money.
Hi. My name is To-Do Book. (Hey don't judge, I didn't name myself you know.) I'm cute, obviously. But my real magic is that I keep Jordan's life on-track. Well, as best as anyone can, anyway. Jordan has fallen back in love with me recently. She bought me a while back (I was on sale, so that was a no brainer), and started using me as her place to write down her to-do list. It worked great for a while, but then she got out of the habit and I started collecting dust. (Between you and me, that's when Hurricane Hilda started taking over the Page Household.)
Recently Jordan picked me up again and I haven't left her side since. Our relationship is going great! We're keeping each other encouraged, on-track, organized, and what do you know, Hilda is on vacation much of the time! Now, if only she could find me a boyfriend for her husband…
It's true. There's no lying. This simple, pretty little book is the secret to how my life functions. Don't get me wrong, it takes an army to keep me functional – Google Calendar, paper calendars, emails, Notepad and Evernote apps in my phone, apps (see below for a pretty cool one!) and a patient and loving husband that puts up with a lot of chaos. But above everything else, I have found this one little book to be the best tool of all.
Here's how my To-Do Book works:
- I always have my to-do book with me. I keep it at my desk while I'm working, on my nightstand at night, or in my purse when I leave the house – I never leave home without it.
- Throughout the day I write down ANYTHING that I need to do. No matter how simple, quick, or mindless it is…I write it down.
- I choose to write it manually rather than keep it digitally on my phone for a few reasons: I like being able to make quick scribble sub-notes, I like crossing to-do's off (see below), and when you physically write something down it embeds itself in your memory better so I'm more likely to stay on-track even without my book!
- I divide up my To'Do's. Since I work from home, I have one page of HOME to-do's, and one of BLOG to-do's. It helps me to divide out my time so I can work on work-stuff when I'm working, and home-stuff when I'm not working, and not cross over.
- If it needs to be done that day, I mark it as priority. I'm careful only to mark priority items as those that MUST get done today.
- I refer to my book CONSTANTLY throughout the day. If I have a quick 5 minutes, I scan through my book to see what I can accomplish. When I am done with one task and am ready to move on to another, I scan my book to see what my next priority should be.
- As soon as I accomplish a “to-do”, I cross it off…and boy does it feel good! This is one of the main reason why I choose to write down my to-do list rather than keep it digitally in my phone – the satisfaction of crossing things off keeps me encouraged and helps me feel productive!
- Once a page is mostly crossed out, I will put a big X through it, and will turn the page and start on a new page. I will transfer the non-completed to-do's from the X'd out page to the new page. (Note: The picture above isn't the best example, but it's a super old page that I don't mind if you see my to-do's. I have to keep my current to-do's secret because I have some exciting things going on that I don't want you to read about yet!)
- I chose this particular book for a few reasons. It's sturdy (needs to be! It gets pretty trashed.), its cute (that's a must!), it was cheap (only $2.99 at TJ Maxx), it has the bookmark in it (easy to find where you are), and it had big, wide lines on it which makes it easy to read my chicken scratch and scribbles.
I also really like how thick it is. Bulkier to carry around? Yes. But I like the feeling of writing in a thick book I guess! Plus it gives me lots of room to grow.
- My favorite pen is this super-skinny pen that Bubba got from the Four Seasons hotel on a business trip. I only have two of them and I'm already mourning the day when my pen runs out of ink or gets lost. I LOVE IT. I keep my pen tucked inside my book and carry it around like that.
So there you go! Couldn't get any simpler.
I have to tell you, this system really works for me. On the days that I don't consult with my to-do book I find myself circling the house aimlessly, not sure what to do with myself. It's not an exaggeration, either. I literally say “what do I need to be doing right now?” and can't answer. Don't rely on your brain to remember everything! Find a system that works for you!
Ways to personalize the To-Do book system, and why it's important:
- You could write the estimated task completion length next to it. Write a 5, 10, or 30 next to the task, so if you have a quick 5, 10, or 30 minutes you know exactly what you can work on.
- Color-code your tasks based on priority.
- Use technology. If you aren't a writer-down type, keep an ongoing list in your phone! I LOVE using apps to keep me on track.
- In general, SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE! Use any and all tools to help make your life EASIER!
The other day I heard about this new mobile app called Ingo Money. It helps you deposit checks right from your phone onto a reloadable Prepaid card without having to go to the bank. There is NO NEED to make a special trip to the bank, just to deposit a check! That's one of those to-do's that you really shouldn't need to write down any more. This is also perfect for those who are starting out on a budget and want to try out Prepaid cards in order to carry around less cash. Plus I caught wind that Ingo Money is hosting an instant win game and giving away $20 gift cards and a grand prize of $500towards a smartphone on their Facebook page!
Now, if only there were an app to make it so that I never have to go to a post office ever ever ever again…
Do you have a to-do book? What do YOU use to stay organized and not forget the little things? Are you going to try a to-do book? Leave a comment and share! Or better yet, post a picture of your book online and be sure to tag me so I see it – @funcheaporfree.
I am blogging on behalf of Ingo Money and received compensation for my time from Ingo Money for sharing my views in this post, but the views expressed here are solely mine, not Ingo’s. Learn more about the Ingo Money mobile app at http://www.IngoMoney.com, or connect with the Ingo community at https://www.facebook.com/