There are two types of planners and list makers in the world — those who like paper and those who like tech. I’m a paper lover. Always have been, always will be. There’s just something so utterly satisfying about checking something off with a nice bold pen. That type of satisfaction just can’t be duplicated with a checkbox on a screen. If you feel the same, you need a to do list notebook in your life.
Why a To Do List Notebook
I don’t know if I’m just naturally not great at remembering things, or if I’m not great at remembering things because I’ve gotten so used to writing everything I need to remember down that I don’t make my brain work for it anymore. Regardless, I’m a list maker for life.
One issue list makers often have is little lists scattered everywhere. Lists on the desk, in the car, on the kitchen counter. The problem with this is that lists get lost, and a lost list is no good. For a list to be useful, you need to find it and refer to it. Obviously.
That’s where the to do list notebook shines. All my to do lists are in one place and they’re bound, so they won’t get lost.
In a previous life, I would list all my tasks in my planner, but I found when my planner was jammed with activities, PLUS tasks, things would get lost in the jumble. Removing most of my tasks from my planner and keeping them in a notebook allows me to focus on different aspects of my day at different times.
My to do list notebook is from Limelife Planners. Limelife is a small, woman-owned business that makes custom planners on demand. The quality and customer service can’t be beat and the covers are adorable.
I have been purchasing Limelife’s planners for years, but more recently tried their notebooks and love them. Besides being gorgeous, I love I can customize notebook with their add-ons and can even request custom changes to existing products.
And that’s how I got my to do list notebook.
To Do List Notebook Tour
My to do list notebook is 7″ wide and 9″ tall, which is a standard planner size. I had 50 pages added to my notebook (more on that below).
The paper in the notebook is 80# paper, which is smooth and thick. It’s a dream to write on and anything short of a permanent maker shouldn’t bleed through, but these S-gel pens are my favorite.
There are 4 to do list sections on each page and 11 lines and check boxes in each section.
My cover is white with black dots (The Claudia Cover) and is a firm, laminated cardstock.
The coil of my to do list notebook is aluminum (upgrade available).
I did not add any add-ons to this notebook, but I included recommendations below.
How I Use My To Do List Notebook
I purchased my to do list notebook (which I also call my “checklist notebook”) in January 2020. Despite a few super slow and awkward weeks in the spring of 2020 (IYKYK) and when we go on vacation, I’ve used it almost every day.
I write household chores to do, whose laundry needs to be done, phone calls I need to make, and occasionally tasks that need to be done for my business — although I prefer to keep that list separate.
Side note: I separate laundry by person and do one load a day. Writing whose laundry needs to be done ensures I don’t miss anyone. You can read about my laundry routine here.
I usually write one list per day, but I often combine Saturday and Sunday. I write the days of the week in the headings. When I first started using this system, I included the dates, but then I stopped.
Ordering a To Do List Notebook
Start here: Click Notebook (Choose Your Size) — what the little tab doesn’t say is that you can ALSO choose your page layout. This is where the magic happens.
Step 1: How Many Pages
First, choose how many pages you’d like in your notebook. Keep in mind, if you get the exact layout I purchased, you can write to do lists for 8-10 days on a single page (front and back). A 50 sheet notebook is going to be 400-500 days’ worth of checklists.
That 50 page notebook costs $16 and will last you over a year if you make lists every day. You could add pages on, but I prefer to keep my notebooks at 50 pages and buy a new one after a year and a half.
Step 2: Pick a Cover Design for your To Do List Notebook
Limelife Planners is owned by a graphic designer, which shines through with the fun cover options, as well as the functional page layouts in the planners and notebook. You can choose a cover design for your notebook from the options on the website, or you can request your own. You can even select one of the provided options but ask for custom colors.
I chose the Claudia Cover for my notebook.
Step 3: Select a Notebook Size
Limelife provides four options for planner sizes: B6, A5, 7″ x 9″, and 8.5″ x 11″. For those not familiar with paper sizes, B6 is about 5″ x 7″ and A5 is about 6″ x 8″.
My to do list notebook is 7″ x 9″, which is perfect for me and the counter I keep my notebook on.
Step 4: Choose Your Page Style & Page Design
Page style refers to what you want your paper layout to look like. With options like lines, dots, and graphs, there are so many fun notebook options, but in this scenario, if you want a to do list notebook, go with “checklist.”
Page design refers to the graphics along the edges of the page, but because the checklist layout doesn’t leave a lot of space in the margins, it’s not actually an option if you choose that style. Therefore, you will want to select “checklist” again.
Step 5: Notes (optional)
If you have a special request for your to do list notebook, this is the place to make it! If you think half-page checklists are too small (they have 11 lines, and I rarely fill them all in one day) you can request just two full-length checklists on each page.
If you like the idea of boxes instead of circles for your checklist (me!) you can request boxes.
If you’d like grey list headers instead of colors, you can request that, as well.
Basically, if you want it done, they can probably do it. Like I said earlier, amazing customer service.
Step 6: Optional Add-Ons & Accessories
Another way to customize your to do list notebook is to add some add-ons to it. As I mentioned earlier, I do not have any add-ons in this notebook, but I have added them to others and am always keeping an eye out for changes I’d like to make in the future.
- Future Planning Monthly Add-On – unnecessary if you’re going to use your notebook in conjunction with your planner, but nice to have if you’re using them separately
- Cover Image Add-On – an adorable and affordable option to make your notebook yours.
- Planner Band Trio – Great for keeping your page if you close your notebook a lot or take it on the go
- Pen Loop – Again, great for if you’re on the go and can never find a pen
- Rose Gold Coil – Totally unnecessary but so very pretty
To Do List Notebook on a Budget
While I think Limelife Notebooks are worth every penny, when I peruse the aisles of Walmart, I know that they’re pricier than others. The additional expense is worth it for me because I know I’m supporting small business and getting a custom product I’ll use for over a year.
But if you’re on a budget or if you’re not sure a system like this will even work for you, creating your own to do list notebook is simple. Grab a notebook (I like spirals so they can stay open and lay flat) and draw a vertical line and horizontal line on the page.
Now you should have four squares. Label each square with a day of the week. You could stop there, but you could also take it a step further and draw yourself some little check boxes. You know they make getting stuff done so much more fun!
To Do List Notebook
My to do list notebook is an essential aspect of my productivity. I use it daily and am already planning on getting a new one when I run out of pages — in about a year. When the time comes, you know I’ll be ordering another Limelife Notebook.
Would a setup like this work for you? Drop a note below or give it a try and see!