Life can get a little busy sometimes. With so much going on in our daily lives including jobs, homes, children and grandchildren it’s almost impossible to keep track of everything you need to do.
I always find that the best solution to this is to start writing everything down. Planners are a neat way of keeping track of all the little things, and I am particularly obsessed with bullet journals. I like the fact that I can customize my lists to suit my needs on a weekly and monthly basis and I’m not restricted by a company design (plus, I like to doodle too!). My bullet journal contains lots of lists (who doesn’t love a good list), many of which have been set out in trackers.
Here are some of the most useful must-have lists that I keep in my planner.
The last time I…
This list is ideal for keeping track of all those little jobs you need to do periodically but aren’t necessarily part of your regular list of chores, so would likely have no idea the last time you did them. For instance, when was the last time you changed the batteries in your smoke alarm? Or cleaned out the freezer? By jotting down the dates of when you completed these tasks, you can more easily assess when it’s time to do them again. I like to create a cleaning tracker in my bullet journal and highlight these sorts of things as reminders.
Forgetting to book appointments is easily done (and, let’s face it, easily avoided), but your health is important. It’s a great help to keep track of your last appointments with your GP, dentist or any other healthcare professionals, so as to make sure you’re not overdue a check-up. You can also use it to note down upcoming appointments so you don’t forget them.
Keeping track of your money is always insightful, and there are several benefits to making note of all your spending. With the prominence of card transactions, it can be all too easy to not really think about the money coming out of your account. By actually writing them out on paper, you are more aware of your outgoing payments, and can better consider your future spending habits and savings goals – it’s a great way to visually see how easily your money is frittered away and where you can cut back.
Birthdays, Addresses and Gift Ideas
This list is always at the front of my bullet journal. I map out birthdays throughout the year, but I also take some time to jot down some potential gift ideas and relevant addresses too. This saves me so much time – I don’t have to hunt down my address book (half of which the contents need updating as friends have moved house) and on the rare occasions that I have a spare minute I can purchase and wrap presents and cards and get them ready to be sent out.
The Classic To-Do List
Of course, no lists of lists would be complete without a good old to-do list. A simple checklist of everything you have to remember to do for the week is especially helpful for all of those really specific things that wouldn’t fit in to any of the lists above. It keeps you organized, and who can deny the sheer satisfaction you feel each time you cross through an item on there? I like to set my daily to-do lists out in a monthly calendar layout – I use a double page and jot down the tasks that I need to accomplish that aren’t part of my trackers.
And, just for fun:
We truly are living in a golden age of cinema and television. The rise of streaming services means that we have a seemingly infinite amount of content at our fingertips, and of course everyone has their own idea of what is the best series or movie currently available. Keeping track of all the recommendations you get from family and friends can seem like a futile task, but by noting them all down inside your jotter, you can have them all in one place and maybe even finally get round to watching them like you promised! Similarly, this can be adapted for books that you have read – great for those of your who are avid readers!
When starting to use a new planner, make sure that you don’t overdo it. Start with one or two lists that you find useful and keep using them until it becomes a habit, then add more as you feel more confident. Keeping (and using) effective lists in a planner is a surefire way to keep on track of your daily life and stay organized!