Going Off Grid for Productivity

by Katy on February 3, 2015 · 64 comments

I wrote the other day that:

“I’ve had more spare time on my hands than usual lately, and I seem to be squandering it. I should be working on household projects, writing, fostering friendships and other worthwhile endeavors. Instead I’m goofing around on the internet, puttering around the house and somehow wasting what should be a great opportunity. I  know it’s because my focus is all over the place lately, but I should still be able to accomplish something with all the time I’ve been given.”

So when I found a moment without distraction yesterday, I took out a receipt and lowly pen and scrawled a to-do list for the day. Not an ambitious list, but a realistic list that includes a few things I’d been meaning to do, yet kept putting off. A list that included:

  • Maintenance tasks like putting laundry away and planning and making a dinner.
  • Daily tasks like writing a blog post.
  • Avoided tasks such as clearing the piano bench and dining room desk.
  • Tasks that only have to be done occasionally, but I’d somehow not been doing like sweeping the basement stairs.
  • Random things I’d been meaning to do like putting a garbage bag in the car.
  • Enjoyable tasks like calling my best friend Jennifer who lives on the East coast. (I always think to call her when it’s too late for her time zone.)
  • Bigger tasks like going through a pile of paperwork to sort and shred. (Our shredder had stopped working and magically started working again, so there was a big backlog of papers to go through!)

Did I do everything on my list? Nope. I neither cleared the crap off the piano bench nor did I clear the small desk in the dining room. (We have a bad habit of clearing the dining room table for dinner by stacking stuff on these temptingly horizontal surfaces.)

But having a set to-do list did make me more efficient throughout the day. Accountability. In our app-happy internet age, people think that deliberate efficiency needs to be guided and organized electronically, but I find taking pen to paper is the most immediate and productive method for me. I doesn’t require turning on a device to check on my progress and I love physically ticking off my little boxes. I did sweep the basement steps after dinner last night which I am 100% certain I wouldn’t have done if it hadn’t been included it on my list.

I don’t write out a daily to-do list, as I feel that every moment of my day doesn’t need to be accounted for and justified. I’ve made deliberate decisions in my life to not be a busy, busy, busy person and it’s a slippery slope to let the management of a household eat up my every waking moment.

Are you a pen-to-paper list writer or do you take advantage of all the electronic age has to offer? Please share your methods and thoughts in the comments section below.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 64 comments… read them below or add one }

Carolyn February 3, 2015 at 11:41 am

I do both paper and electronic.

What can I say, I am obsessed with being productive.

However, with a surprise snow day today all that careful planning went out the window in the snow.


erin @ dfmi designs February 3, 2015 at 11:42 am

I am a write-on-my-hand kind of person. It seems to be the only way I can remember. Otherwise, I lose paper lists and find using electronics kind of a pain. Although, I do use my phone quite a bit to set alarms to remind me of places to be.


Jeana February 3, 2015 at 11:43 am

I’m a pen and paper girl. I don’t always have a list going, but we did an eat from the pantry month in January and I kept an ongoing list of items we needed to replenish on February 1. Sometimes I’ll add an item to a list just for the joy of crossing it off!


Betsey February 3, 2015 at 11:49 am

I buy a rather large calendar every year with lots of space on which to write. Ergo, I put a mini-diary on each page of what I need to do, whom I need to call, and appointments (of course). I have done this for years, and it’s so interesting to see what I was doing last year on this day.


Katy February 3, 2015 at 11:50 am

Like an appointment book or a wall calendar?


Ashley February 3, 2015 at 11:59 am

I use a year calendar/appointment book that I keep with me for all things! I write my appointments, things I randomly think about that I need to do or pick up, a grocery list, etc. I like having it all in one place and it saves time when I do run errands so I can plan out my trips, not go anywhere extra and go all in one time. It is so helpful and I wouldn’t give it up… in fact, I tried using more technology but nothing beats good old fashion paper and pen!


Jenny February 4, 2015 at 11:18 am

That’s pretty much my system too, Ashley. I keep my to do list in my planner, and every Sunday night, wrote it on to the next week. Anything that gets rewritten for the third time without a good reason (like waiting for paperwork I. The mail to complete my paperwork) gets a star and high priority to get it do e that week.
Love pen and paper. Electronic lists did not work for me!


Skidd February 3, 2015 at 11:50 am

I recently found the Youtube channel, “OCD MUCH”, and it has helped me schedule my days (on paper) and get more done. I’m NOT ocd about it, but I like the way she plans out her overall month, sets goals, and then breaks those tasks out when she plans her week every Sunday. I’ve been doing that in a make-shift journal and I really love it. It helps my meal planning, budgeting, and to reach personal goals. Who doesn’t love to check off a to-do list?!!
Here’s the link to OCD Much’s weekly planning: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KRKrmcBY4Ok


Skidd February 3, 2015 at 11:53 am

P.S. She does NOT subscribe to the Non-Consumer Advocate so some of her techniques make me want to cry a little…


kathleen February 3, 2015 at 1:33 pm

Wow, that sounds almost exactly like how I do it. I’m going to have to go check out the video.


kathleen February 3, 2015 at 2:02 pm

Nevermind…not at all how I do it.


Jill February 3, 2015 at 12:06 pm

I am very old school about everything – I don’t have a smart phone so my lists are pen and paper. And it’s truly what works best for me. My lists are not extremely detailed either – kinda general suggestions – and I even write lists for errands I need to run so I don’t forget when I am out. I did have a friend in college who was the queen of detailed lists including things like “shave my legs” and “brush my teeth” though!


Heather February 3, 2015 at 8:11 pm

Ha! I totally relate to your college friend. I will sometimes put things like “eat breakfast” or “get coffee” on my list so I have some super basic, totally-likely-to-get-done items to check off relatively easily. I like the satisfaction/motivation of a partially checked off list.


Kristen February 3, 2015 at 12:08 pm

Always paper lists here. And I have a paper blog planner and a paper life planner.

Electronic planning/list-making does not work for me.


Jane in Seattle February 3, 2015 at 12:25 pm

I write a rough list of what I want to accomplish for the day. Just a couple of things . Otherwise, I can puts the whole day and not really accomplish anything. I have been trying to go through a pile of stuff a week and sell or take to the goodwill. I got a pleasant distraction today when I got a call to fill space in a store with my product– the list got out on hold while I got stock ready. ! Yah!


Sara February 3, 2015 at 12:40 pm

I’ve just started using the Bullet Journal method. http://bulletjournal.com/

It has only been a month, but I like this method. It allows me to get all the “stuff” out of my head, but it is very flexible. I keep lists of house projects (long- and short-term) and upcoming work projects. Then, each evening before I leave work, I set up what I need to get done the next day. I maybe spend 5 min a day planning.

I’m still sorting it out. There are a lot of videos/blogs about how other people have modified this method.


Karen d February 4, 2015 at 1:22 pm

I just started a bullet journal, too. So far I am liking it as well.


Valerie February 3, 2015 at 12:41 pm

Totally paper and pen! I do my budget this way too and still leave written notes and ‘to-do’ lists for my family. Not really over the top for technology – it has it’s place. Like you, I get satisfaction by physically crossing off tasks. To each his own. 🙂


Nathalie February 3, 2015 at 12:41 pm

I do it all:
1) I have an app called 2Do on my phone where I schedule alarms like “take out the trash” otherwise I’d forget. My phone beeps at me constantly because of all my alarms!
2) However, those beeps are also easy to ignore so for more pressing tasks I set alarms on my phone using the alarm function of the clock app. Those will ring very loudly and not turn off until I manually turn them off. I use those for tasks that I absolutely have to do.
3) I keep a weekly goals list on my blog. It’s more of a wishlist though. A lot of the time I don’t do everything that I list. It being on a public forum though has helped me be a little more accountable.
4) On days when I have to fight with myself because I’d like to just veg out on the couch and the internet, I make a pen and paper list of the minimum tasks that I need to accomplish that day and cross them off as I go. I have 8 items on my list for today and I have done 2 and a half as of 3:37 p.m. I guess it’s time for me to get off the laptop!


Kate February 3, 2015 at 12:41 pm

Pen and paper all the way. I recently got a smartphone and put list on it, but one day managed to erase it…and all memory of what was on it. So, back to pen and paper for me. Generally, I use leftover school spiral notebooks from my kids, all the pages of which never get used up. Oh, and if I get to make the list in Sharpie, all the better. My son agrees. He’s not good at all at accomplishing chores, but as soon as he was old enough to check off – or cross out with a vengeance – with a Sharpie, doing chores was a little more fun. 🙂


Isabelle February 3, 2015 at 12:59 pm

chalk board for me!


ann February 3, 2015 at 1:04 pm

I’m definitely a paper and pen person. I write a weekly to do list at the weekend or on a Monday morning and try to do as many of the things on it as possible. Many get carried over to the next week or the next or the next if you get my drift, but it does help me not forget the very important things that need doing. I do like the feeling of physically crossing off the things on the list. Very satisfying. A click just wouldn’t do it for me.


Ashley February 3, 2015 at 1:17 pm

I had a mini stroke when I was 27 and lost my short term memory function. I use a giant calender that is dry/erase so I keep everyone in the loop for the week. I keep a day planner in my purse and one at home so I schedule appointments over the phone, etc. I do invest some money in having a nice planner but it is absolutely essential for me. I spend about $10-20 each year for the refills.


kathleen February 3, 2015 at 2:10 pm

I use a 6″ x 9″ spiral notebook designated for GOALS LISTS only, and it gets used till full. Every Sunday I start a new page, and date it, and lay out page by:

This way I only have only one easy-to-keep-track-of list, not a bunch of small ones that get misplaced. I keep a pen or pencil clipped into the spiral, so I never have to look for one. I can track progress by flipping back through.

I’ve tried lots of methods, but keep coming back to this one as I have most success with it.


Katie February 3, 2015 at 2:35 pm

I’m a post it on my car mirror or phone kind of girl. Sometimes 1 post it will last a week. Some days I need 3 post-its. I have tried to do lists in many different apps on my phone but out of sight, out of mind. A bright pink post-it stuck to my phone is a much better reminder.


Amy February 3, 2015 at 2:48 pm

I use paper and pen. I seem to end up with everyone’s extra notepads, which I don’t mind, because I’m always making some kind of a list. Long-term lists (outdoor projects, lots of big projects to tackle, year long stuff) end up in a spiral notebook, which gets put away in a drawer frequently. It is fun to go through it and cross things off once in a while. We also continually add to it and will add things we did just so we can cross them off!

To take care of the cleaning that needs to get done on a “scheduled” basis, I made a cleaning list that has weekly, monthly, quaterly, semiannual and annual tasks on it. By putting it in a picture frame under glass, I can use a dry erase marker to check things off. It helps to keep me focused on the overall picture, rather than getting caught up in the crap sitting on the table or the counters.


Katy February 3, 2015 at 2:53 pm

I am loving how many pen and paper lists makers we have here!


Patti February 3, 2015 at 3:14 pm

I would hate to have my phone beep at me all day (I hate to hear the telephone ring, too) so I guess I am “old school” pencil and paper. Each year I set goals for things such as knit 12 items, sew 12 items, try a new recipe each week, rotate the books I read (home, library, Kindle), exercise three times a week, etc. This helps me to focus on what is important to me since I tend to get distracted by Pinterest, Facebook, and the blogs I read. I keep these lists in a notebook. I also hate to designate every minute to a task and I really hate to hear that it is imperative that you accomplish X by 9:00 AM on Monday. Each week I pick a few tasks to concentrate on (such as clean the corner in the master bedroom) and then each day I try to do two or three tasks that will accomplish that – this is in addition to my regular household chores. I have a habit of cleaning certain rooms on certain days and cooking according to my schedule at night so I don’t spend too much time on that. I do try to know every day what I am having for dinner so there is no temptation to go out to eat, cooking from my pantry (as I shop only the sales). I also keep a daily planner book where I jot down meal plans, appointments, and to-do shopping lists. I take this book with me everywhere.


NMPatricia February 3, 2015 at 3:50 pm

I use paper and pencil. It just seems quicker and easier. Besides, if I sit down at the computer, I begin to make it too involved, not to mention getting lost on the Internet/FB/email/etc.

I liked the way you broke down the tasks into the different ways you thought about them. Maybe might help with prioritizing.

Great post.


Christa February 3, 2015 at 3:51 pm

I love putting pen to paper. I think I was the last person in the free world to get a cell phone and still don’t have a smart phone. As long as I don’t make too many to-do lists, I am pretty successful in getting things done. It helps to have it down on paper instead of floating around in my head like moths.


Betty Winslow February 3, 2015 at 3:51 pm

I read somewhere about doing a “brain dump” – a running list of everything – EVERYTHING – you have to/want to get done, on a legal pad, which you then go over daily and pull off things to do that day. It’s a big help for those of us who constantly forget things that aren’t crucial (the spiderwebs in the hall corner I only ever notice when I’m doing something else, the new thrist shop I keep forgetting I want to check out…. etc.). Mine’s got almost 400 things on it, with a lot of them crossed off now. It sounds like it would be overwhelming, but for me, it gives me peace of mind knowing that it’s all on paper and I don’t have to keep trying to remind myself. I do keep a small pad of paper and pen on me as I go about my day, to scribble down times to transfer to the BD list. I love it!!


Ashley February 3, 2015 at 4:28 pm

I use post it notes on my kitchen cupboard, right above the spot I seem to end up standing most of the time as I prep snacks and meals. If there’s anything I need to remember for the day, week or future, I just jot it down on a post it, and cross things off as they get done. Some days I have lots to remember, and other days I don’t need a list at all. Simple, but highly effective 🙂


Emily @ Simple Cheap Mom February 3, 2015 at 5:35 pm

When I feel bogged down, I’ll write a list, sometimes in an email to myself, or as tasks on my digital calendar, or on a pad of paper. I love being able to cross things off (I put easy stuff on there to make myself feel good). The big thing for me is not to worry if I don’t finish everything and just start a new list about the stuff I’m worrying about next time. I sorted a pile of junk that was on top of a dresser today that’s been there for way too long. Felt great.


Su Mama February 3, 2015 at 5:39 pm

This has been so interesting to read — and like Katy, I’m happy to see so many pen-and-paper listmakers like myself! (I’m also glad to learn I’m not the only one to add an unlisted, just-completed task to the list, just for the thrill of crossing it off!) For years, I’d make a list (by pen!) on a long legal pad, headed “This Week’s Tasks.” Some items managed to migrate from week to week to week — but eventually they’d get done. Nowadays, I try to make a list each night on a 3 by 5 card of tasks for the day to come. I met a very successful man years ago who said, “A good day starts the night before.”


Kristin February 3, 2015 at 6:02 pm

I always have a written (pen -n – paper) list at work. Sometimes I even write it out before I leave for the day for the next day. I rarely make a list at home, unless I feel overwhelmed or have a lot of small tasks to do and don’t want to forget any. I probably would be more productive if I did, though.


Sarah February 3, 2015 at 6:19 pm

I use pen and paper. For some reason, doing it this way helps me to remember what I need to accomplish, which in turn means I’m much more likely to complete my tasks. I also enjoy crossing items off of my lists! Electronic list making has just never worked for me.


Lilypad February 3, 2015 at 6:49 pm

I am a pen and paper person, both for list-making and for scheduling. It feels so good to cross an item off the list, I don’t think it would be as satisfying in a digital way…


Allison February 3, 2015 at 6:50 pm

Long term lists go in my phone – they are huge and multilevel. Daily lists go on paper. I’ve tried half a dozen listmaking apps, none of them work remotely as well as my lovely Palm Pilot did fifteen years ago. Plus, I hate the slowness of all that tickety-tickety touch-typing all day long to manage the list.

Katy, your comment about moving the dining room piles to the other horizontal surfaces gave me a giggle. I used to work as a professional organizer, and I had colleagues who referred to this as “horizontal surface disease”.


Katy February 3, 2015 at 7:02 pm

So . . . it’s called “H.S.D.?”


Tina S. February 4, 2015 at 7:47 am

My dad calls it H.S.S.S., for Horizontal Surface Stuff Syndrome.


Maria February 9, 2015 at 7:48 am

OMGosh! My BF has H.S.S.S.!!! It drives me up the wall!


Katy February 9, 2015 at 10:01 am

Why? If you don’t live there it shouldn’t effect you.

Katy February 3, 2015 at 7:26 pm

I buy the spiral notebooks when they are on sale for 20 cents before school starts. I write what I want to accomplish each day. I tried lists on my phone and didn’t care for it. I tried going without lists and I wouldn’t get anything done. I also need the accountability and focus.


Carla February 3, 2015 at 7:33 pm

I actually use a plain text files on my desktop for my lists. I’ve tried more involved electronic systems and always fell off the bandwagon. I do still use pen/paper for the relevant items (shopping list, etc) when I need to take my list with me. I just got a smartphone last week, so we will see how that changes things.


Heather February 3, 2015 at 8:25 pm

I’m a paper and pen. I keep a hard cover journal book with multiple lists in it: to do today, projects, random thoughts. I like the book because I can tuck notes in it or pieces of paper that I need to hang on to. My husband is a techie and keeps his to-dos on his phone. He’s tried to teach me to use the phone and I just revert back to paper because it’s easy, I don’t have to futz with it and I get to cross stuff off with relish!


Kim February 3, 2015 at 8:43 pm

I am a lover of digital lists! I use the Colornote App for just about everything. I use it for my to do list, project lists, list for things I’m looking for at the thrift store, books I want to read, grocery lists and more. I love that I can color code my lists, cross out completed items and reorganize the order of my list by dragging and dropping.

I also like that I can access it from my phone or tablet.


Jean February 3, 2015 at 9:08 pm

Wow, we could almost make a generalization that frugal people prefer the simple old fashioned (and cheap!) pen and paper. And the feeling of accomplishment that comes from scratching off a completed task! Since I tend to have an errand list, a things to do list, a grocery list and maybe a sheet or two that are detailed breakdowns of steps to a big task (last weeks was a baby shower I was co-hosting) I use a 5×7 clipboard that fits in my purse or tote and I can easily add more sheets, attach relevant coupons, tickets, directions or receipts. There is always a blank sheet or two for “brain dump” items. If I can find them cheap I use the mini legal pad sheets, but otherwise cut up whatever scrap paper comes my way. I recently saw a version of this that uses a full size clipboard, different color sticky notes in columns for each type of task, and a final column called ta-da! to move all the completed items into. I briefly flirted with this idea–I think it was the siren song of the ta-da! column–but in the end I was too frugal to invest in the sticky notes and wasn’t sure the visual of the ta-da! column would be as satisfying as crossing through an item. In a time when my techie children and coworkers are always urging me to get a smart phone and manage all of this electronically, I was gratified to see all of these comments in favor of paper and pen!


Jenny February 3, 2015 at 9:09 pm

I’m on my second year of Bullet Journaling, so I’m definitely a pen and paper gal. I’ve modified the original method to fit my life — full-time work from home, mom, home schooler, and active volunteer in an astronomy club. I am definitely 10 times more productive and relaxed now than I was 18 months ago. I’ve always been a natural planner, but this free method has organized my planning, if that makes sense 🙂


Kristin February 4, 2015 at 3:14 am

I use a Web app called IQTELL to create my to-do-list. Each day, I pick a few things from my master list and add those items to my next actions list. Then I can just focus on those few things without looking at the huge, overwhelming list. Seeing just a few things on my daily list makes it feel doable and I find I get a lot more done.


Jennifer February 4, 2015 at 3:24 am

I am so glad you called! Xoxo


Diane February 4, 2015 at 5:04 am

I keep a small notebook that helps guide me through some days. I list the projects and chores I want to complete and then cross them off when done. I need to do that today, actually as little tasks have multiplied in front of my eyes recently.

Thanks for the reminder!


Bellen February 4, 2015 at 5:17 am

I’ve always been a pen & paper list maker. Now, being retired (68 & 70) and just the 2 of us life less hectic. M-F I have a room/area to clean, daily I sort/file/discard paper/mail, I only fix dinner, breakfast & lunch we do ourselves, for the 2 of us so I just have a protein that rotates (beef, chicken, pork, beef, chicken, fish, chicken) with a large salad and a starch for him – this makes my life easier. Never a question of what’s for dinner and stops us from going out unless it’s planned.

For appointments, errands, phone calls & extra projects I use a monthly calendar with days large enough to write on and it’s kept on the kitchen counter – where both hubby and I can see it. Next to it is a steno pad for grocery lists for the 3 stores we shop at.

All this is in my plan for ‘aging in place’ – we need our lives to be full yet simple.


Cindy February 4, 2015 at 6:06 am

i really really wanted to love digital calendars- especially so I could send things to my husband like dr. appointments and weekend plans (he’s a digital calendar guy) but it absolutely did not work for me. I like to see the whole month at once just because with little ones I don’t want to overbook us, for the past few years I’ve been using an 8.5 x 11 full page calendar planner like “at-a-glance” makes, nothing fancy but it works perfectly. I can jot down dinner ideas for the week, appointments, regular weekly stuff… I also usually have a few side post its or lists going and paper clipped in the front: a running grocery list, life/ household to-do, gift lists, thrifting list, important forms to fill out & hand in, right now a name idea list for the new baby, packing list etc. If I ever misplace this book I get all panicky and it’s the one thing the kids are not allowed to go near with their grimy little paws.


JD February 4, 2015 at 6:57 am

Pen or pencil and paper for me! I was the school kid salivating over the vast selection of notebooks, pencils, binders and pens when school started each year, so naturally, I have to use pen and paper now. I have a notebook in my purse at all times, and write notes to myself on pads at home. There are slips of paper and a pencil stored by the phone. Grocery lists, suitcase packing lists, big holiday dinner lists and schedules, to do lists, and a daily journal — all are on paper. I treated myself to a nice fountain pen, too, for both lists and writing letters. I’m the only one in my family who still writes letters. Everyone tells me they love to get them, but no one sends any back, which makes me sad.


Cristie Glasheen February 4, 2015 at 7:57 am

At work I use ToDo, a free app for electronic to do lists. Since I am on the computer all day, it’s easy for me to keep it updated. Plus it keeps a record of what I’ve done which is really helpful for performance review season. At home it’s pencil and paper all the way. After spending 8 hrs staring at a computer screen, starting the computer again to keep a to-do list is abhorrent to me.


Seattle Nancy February 4, 2015 at 9:47 am

Pen & paper for me. I have a large Daytimer binder that shows one week in a two page spread, plenty of room to write in each day’s box. That’s kept open on the kitchen island, and the family’s calendar plus little reminders or notes for me go in there. I also put what we had for dinner so I can look back and see what we haven’t had for awhile or get ideas. I also have a small 4″ spiral notebook that I write a daily to do list in, along with longer term tasks. I cross off and copy undone things onto the next day. I am a huge list maker. Someone mentioned that they email themselves lists and I do that, too.


Jill February 4, 2015 at 10:08 am

I have tried both methods. But I like pen and paper for daily to-do lists. For multi-step projects (repairs, painting the house, etc.), I will sometimes use an app. But I find that a list or spreadsheet and Google calendar pretty much keeps the task in hand.


Lisa February 4, 2015 at 11:00 am

I completely agree about taking pen to paper. I think I do more if it’s a real list instead of being on an electronic device. I fell the same way about doing my budget. Strange since I am actually pretty technology savvy.

I love your attitude about being deliberately not busy. That is somthing that I want to do. About seven months ago I quit my high powered job to take care of my ailing 90 year old mother. I am working part time, but find myself feeling guilty if I am not being productive most of the day.


Elizabeth B February 4, 2015 at 12:00 pm

I do both. I have an app called ToDoist on my phone for repetitive daily tasks that I otherwise sometimes space out on, but I keep a datebook for appointments and tasks that aren’t daily. There’s a certain satisfaction in physically checking things off, and it’s just so much faster to write down appointments than to go through all the steps of creating a calendar event in Google.


cathy February 4, 2015 at 1:15 pm

Pen & paper all the way. I go back and forth between writing daily to-do lists on scratch paper and writing them on printouts of the “daily docket” from The Art of Simple blog. I like the daily docket because it has a section for all the things I hope to do that day, but a separate thing that forces me to pick the top 3 most important tasks. Also space for notes about dinner (or other meal). In addition, I keep an engagement calendar, and have for years–usually Sierra Club (the photos are gorgeous and there’s plenty of room to write notes for each day). My husband gives it to me as a holiday gift. They also serve as a journal of sorts with everything from birthdays and school performances to vacations and what got planted when so I store them in chronological order.


Diane C February 4, 2015 at 3:27 pm

I suck at this, especially since I retired. The best to-do list is no to-do list, but then, of course, nothing gets done…
An electronic trick that has worked wonders for me, despite the odds, is a Shopping List that I keep on the Notes App that was preloaded on my Android phone. I have one for Costco and one for Winco. I entered my shopping list as a master page. When I need to shop, I simply put an X next to the items I need. I leave the Xes there until the next trip, so I am reminded of what I purchased last time, which is particularly helpful for staples. Believe me, if this trick works for me, it can work for anyone!


Amanda S @ Passionately Simple Life February 4, 2015 at 4:05 pm

Pen and paper all the way! That is the reason why I purchased a small planner that I could carry everywhere. On my day off, I try to focus on getting three big tasks done and 3 small ones. The rest of the day is mine. Good for you for not planning your whole day, that’s not what life is about!


Katy February 4, 2015 at 4:38 pm

Yes, having no downtime makes me want to scream into a pillow.


Linda in Mass February 5, 2015 at 10:56 am

I guess I am a hybrid. I make a paper to do list because I have found an electronic to do does not work for me. I do have an electronic tickler list for business stuff. And I am definitely an electronic calendar person. I went to an all electronic calendar about 2 years ago and have never went back.


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