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Checking Off the Boxes

Buried in the Slushpile

It’s a new year, and that means new organization. This year, though, I’m going to continue with a system that I started last year that worked well for me: Monthly and Daily To Do Lists.

After trying all sorts of planners, I eventually realized that I had to just make one form myself. I got a super cheap composition book with graph paper on the inside. (Less than $2. I’m not kidding about the super cheap.) I then decide it by months and weeks with the extra pages in the back available for general notes.

The result is a page for the overall month with all the tasks I need to accomplish that month. That’s followed by 4-5 pages of weeks where I designate those tasks to certain days. Everyday I look to see what I’ve assigned myself for the day, and then I look at the monthly overview to see if there’s anything else I can try to squeeze in.

Below are pictures of this month’s master page and the page for the first week of the year.

Current To Do Lists

January 2018 To Do Lists and December 31-January 6 daily planner

Having implemented this system, I found that not only did I get more done each day, I also forgot fewer key tasks. When something comes up (like reading a submission), it gets added to the master list. If it’s a task I want (or need) to tackle in the next few days, it goes on a daily To Do List as well.

Of course, everyone manages their tasks differently, and I would love to hear how others go about staying organized. Let me know in the comments how you stay on task.

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