Hey, Masha here from Masha Plans!
While we are sitting in quarantine and trying to figure out this whole new “working from home” thing, I bet you’re looking for a way to be more productive.
So I’m here today to talk about a little trick that helped me increase my productivity - a running to-do list.
It’s a pretty simple technique you can easily add to your Bullet Journal.
To be honest about creating a running to-do list all you need is a ruler and a black pen. But of course, I have to justify buying all that stationery so I used tons of other supplies I have.
Notebook: As always, I’m using my B5 Archer and Olive notebook. It’s my loyal companion that has been keeping me sane during this difficult time of social distancing.
Fineliners: I’m pretty content with these, and spoiler warning! you’ll see me using only Faber Castell Pitt Artist pens lately since they are my favorites.
Color: For coloring my to-do lists I’m using EVERYTHING! Among the favorites, you’ll see on the pages below are Tombow Dual Brush Pens and Zebra Mildliner Brush Pens.
WHY RUNNING TO-DO LIST
If you work from home, you’re most likely overwhelmed with all the things you have to do, especially if it’s your first experience with it.
My problem has always been remembering the tasks. If there’s something I don’t write down, it’ll most likely be forgotten and definitely not done.
However, I find that often, if I don’t really have a special day I want to assign to the task, it’s more of a must be done this week kind of thing.
The second issue I had is that my days would not be properly balanced. One day I suddenly remember ALL the things and write them down as a daily to-do list, and then another day I wouldn’t have any tasks in it at all.
These two things created quite a mess in my head and day to day life, but I found a solution - a running to-do list!
It’s a very simple thing you can easily add to your weekly spreads and it will help you a lot with balancing your week and reducing the stress of daily to-do lists.
RUNNING TO-DO LIST
So, what is this mysterious running to-do list? Let’s look at how you can create one in your Bullet Journal.
Start with creating a table, which has to be 7 squares wide (a square for each day) and as high as you need it to be.
Since the height defines how many tasks you can write there, I recommend making it at least half a page high. Personally, I usually use ⅔ of the page.
Next thing to do - on the top add the first letters of the days of the week.
Your running to-do list is pretty much ready to use, now simply sit down and start writing all your tasks on the side of the table.
A little trick here - the best way to use this is by creating the table on the left side of the page, so you have plenty of space to write your tasks on the right. It’s just more convenient for writing.
HOW TO USE IT
Ok, you’ve got it now and all your tasks are there. What’s next?
Well, next, you start scheduling your tasks. Pick the task, pick the day of the week when you want to complete it and draw a circle in the corresponding box.
For things to be clearer it can also be helpful to create a line between the circle and the task.
Go on until you schedule all the tasks.
If you didn’t complete the task on time, just use an arrow and create a circle on the other day you’re planning to do it.
If the task becomes irrelevant, simply cross the circle out.
PROS AND CONS
This system, of course, isn’t for everyone and or for every week. I don’t use it that often myself, only in situations when I feel like I need some extra help.
Let’s go through some advantages and disadvantages of using the system.
- All tasks are clear in one list
- Can schedule your week more evenly
- Can look a bit messy and be confusing
- Can get difficult if you have too long of a list
I’d recommend you give it a try anyway, you never really know if something works until you personally try it!
TIPS FOR MAKING THE RUNNING TO-DO LIST BETTER
In case you decide to really go for it and give a try to this weekly planning, here are a few things you might want to try as well.
- Schedule similar tasks together. Try to assign similar tasks to the same day. For example, cleaning the house will be more efficient if you set a mindset and do it all in the same day.
- Try to write similar tasks next to each other. This might take a bit more pre-planning, but it will really help to make the running to-do list clearer and easier to use.
- Try using it together with a full-on weekly. You might want to have a running to-do list and use it together with your usual weekly spread, it always helps me to get a better view of the week and weekly events.
I couldn't leave you without a little something, so sign up below to get a free printable running to-do list weekly spread you can start using right away.
And remember: Keep Bullet Journaling and Don’t Be A Blob!