Skip to content

Why To-Do Lists Rock My World

Why I have to write things down.

Let’s get all old school here & talk about to-do lists.

No, no, not an iPhone to-do list or iPad checklist.

I’m talking about the real freaking deal. A piece of paper ( does anyone use paper anymore? ) & a pen.

My to-do list obsession started in second grade when I discovered Gelly Roll Pens.

Pause. Can we just remember Gelly Roll Pens for a second? Life was so simple back in the Gelly Pen day. Such a good #tbt. RIP Gelly’s ( especially my favorite metallic blue-ish, silver color ).

Ok, I got off topic ( weird, that never happens…HA )…anyway, so back in the day my teacher would constantly yell at me because I was distracted ( OBVIOUSLY!! ) with my to-do list. To have a blank piece of paper & a rainbow of Gelly Pens was my kinda heaven. I would write out my list of what needed to be done after school ( AKA: feed the dog, clean my closet, go to ballet, work for my dad, etc. ). And I loved it.

I’ve always been a list girl. There’s something oddly therapeutic about putting an organized to-do list. I’m an EXTREMELY ( like, extremely ) visual person so that’s…

The Skinny Confidential shares her favorite tips.
Can we get real?

( Not that we don’t always get real here. TSC is kinda like The Real World, you stop being polite and start getting real ).

Anyway, back to getting real: writing tasks down is POWERFUL.

You’re able to multi-task BIG time.

As an entrepreneur or corporate person or mom/dad/etc., you’re damn busy. And having a spot to jot down a quick thought is golden.

The Skinny Confidential talks diet and fitness.

If you saw my house, you’d think I was psycho.

But no really, you would.

I have notepads everywhere.

Recently I just bought this GIANT-ass Post-It. It’s SO big & I keep it by the computer while working.

Lemme tell you: it’s used constantly. Whether I write down a birthday date, potential post ideas, e-mail notes, house chores, job assignments, goals/ambitions, or appointments, to-do lists make life so much easier.

& FYI: iPhone notes aren’t the same. They just aren’t, guys.

I want them to be.

I really, really do.

But they’re not.

In my opinion, writing things down makes all the difference. Multi-tasking at its finest.


And honestly? Who doesn’t like crossing something offΒ their to-do list? Soooo therapeutic, right?!

What’s your most powerful & simple habit? Please share because it’s something that REALLY gets my wheel’s spinning. TELL MEEEEEE! K, thx.

x le

  1. Ah, I 100% agree! Lists are everything. I don’t only make daily or weekly to do lists, I have one (or twenty) for my life. My favorite quote is “People overestimate what they can do in a single day and underestimate what they can do in a lifetime.” So, while I may not finish everything on today’s list, hopefully I can finish everything on my life list. Maybe I’ll skip the farmer’s market and hurry up & buy a plane ticket to Thailand.

  2. Oh my goodness, Gelly Roll pens! Definitely guilty of using those. But my to-do list writing really picked up later in life when I started high school I believe. I still do it EVERY evening! On random notepads I usually get from conventions or freebies by mail or who remembers where…haha. I love written to-do lists! Technology ones just aren’t the same.

  3. yes, yes, Ipad, iphone or any smartphone note or app is NOT THE SAME!! I’m not a big post it person but I do still use a paper calendar so i can see ( i mean really see the entire week & month) it’s not the same on the smartphone. I also carry a 7×5 notebook to write notes, whether meeting notes, coffee notes, to do lists in chronological order. Sometimes they are cute notebooks and sometimes just MEAD brand in different colors, but always 7×5. Perfect to toss in my purse. And when i fill it up, i start a new one!

  4. I love to-do lists too, but you’re going to hate me because I’m actually in love with an iPhone app. I totally get what you mean about paper and pen (it’s just so physical and official), but this app called Clear is pure awesomeness. I think it’s like $2.99, which seems stupid (I just think paying for ANY app is dumb on principle), but it’s worth it. It organizes multiple lists for you, which you can arrange in your preferred order. And within each list you can rearrange the points, swipe them as done, or swipe to delete them. Also, you can change the colors. I love it. Download it!

  5. packing lists! i make like two before i go on a trip and a grocery list. I love writing it out and seeing everything right in front of me! by the way love the quotes throughout the post!

  6. Most powerful habit: dry brush in the morning, massage almond oil on the skin and then step under the cold shower. Its from the kundalini yoga tradition and one of the most healthy habits you can actually develop for your body and skin.

  7. I can’t go a day without making a list!!! I get anxious and feel like I won’t do everything I need to do…haha!

    Thanks for this post, I feel normal now πŸ™‚


  8. this could not have come at a better time!! Sooooo weird, i have been driving myself crazy with lists on my ipad, iphone, email, etc, all technology. This morning I was so scatter brained, unfocused and anxious. I sat down and WROTE my to do list! Ta da!! so much better!!! PLUSSSSSSSSSSs how awesome is it to CROSS things off of it!! Productivity!! πŸ™‚

  9. I also make to-do lists, especially at work, but I always use Todoist. They have a desktop version and it links up to my phone. Sometimes (often) I lose my train of thought at work and all of a sudden think “I need to get gas!” I love how I can have as many to do lists as I want and reorganize them by priority.

  10. yes i completely agree! i have a work notebook, one for the kitchen, one by my bed, and one in my handbag at all times! i feel lost without my to-do lists! plus I love stationery πŸ™‚

  11. i LOOOOOOOVE lists! I need to get a little more organized with mine, though- I have like 5 half-finished lists written on various scraps of paper/in notebooks… I need to just have one master list with everyyyyything on it!

    One of my best tips is doing a weekly to-do list for my biz: every friday (or monday morning) I sit down for 30 mins and brainstorm the stuff I want to do in the next week. It keeps me on track and then I just make a daily to-do list off of that each morning!

  12. Ah I am a total list freak. I just LOVE lists. I make goal lists, to-do lists, wishlists, any kind of list possible, I make them. I probably have like 20 pieces of paper in my purse with lists on them. It can get pretty out of control sometimes.. but I do just love the power of crossing stuff off my lists πŸ™‚

  13. Great post! I love a list! Got me through my exam revision and makes me remember what I’ve done and accomplished!:) I’ve even made one for the Summer of things I’d like to do! You have a very good way of writing it really shows your personality! Abi πŸ™‚

  14. Seriously one of my fave posts ever! I am a major list-maker. I too took part in the Gel Pen Revolution – the silver blue metallic was my fave, also!! I’d forget half, if not more, of the things I needed to get done without lists. Writing down tasks helps ease my mind so I don’t need to constantly be anxious about all the stuff that needs to get done – I can tackle it a step at a time, in order, and feel much more at peace! I’m off to buy gel pens this weekend πŸ™‚

  15. To-Do lists are the best! I always feel so accomplished when I look at my list at the end of the day and every little box is marked. I use a monster legal pad, but I’m so very tempted by those massive Post-Its!

  16. Oh my god I’m obsessed with to do lists, I even draw little squares next to my list items so I can actually check a box haha. I also put everything in my calendar, especially workouts! It helps me get so much more organized and it gives me so much more control over my day.

  17. I am a HUGE to-do lister as well. I keep a notebook at hand whenever I’m working, or out and about and will jot down lists based on what they are for: Internship to-do list, Personal to-do list, Upcoming Vacation to-do list. I love it!

  18. OMG YES!! I am all about the list…. pen and paper lists! I make them for everything…. sometimes I think I go a little list crazy but hey, I feel better when I write it all down. πŸ™‚ And I totally agree, iPhones are just not the same when it comes to to-do lists!

  19. Oh goodness, I am the EXACT same. I try to write to-do lists on my phone, but just feel overwhelmed and then get nothing done. When I write it out and can calmly check each item off the list, I feel UNSTOPPABLE. Also, those people that just keep mental checklists? I could never do it. I would remember to dust my headboard and forget to turn off the stove. Disastrous.

  20. Thank you for this post! Everyone thinks I’m crazy for having a old school planner. But I love writing down my schedule and to do lists. It’s exciting to have fun plans to look forward to (like my trip to Costa Rica in November!) and extremely satisfying to cross off a task I’ve completed (like research for a work report!). I may be 25 going on 85 but nothing beats good ole paper and pens. (And handwritten thank you notes are the bomb)

  21. You are so right about this – there is nothing better than jotting down your ideas or a to do list and crossing those suckers off one by one, preferably with a juicy red sharpie.

    xoxo, love this!!


  22. Gahhhh I feel exactly like you! Ever since I was in elementary school, I have obsessively wrote stuff down in a million different journals and binders haha

    of course back then everything was about the Gelly pens and Lisa frank folders/pencil boxes πŸ™‚

  23. Have you ever heard of Trello? I use it at work – it’s like Pinterest for notes! You can make all the to-do lists and boards you want πŸ™‚

  24. I was beyond ecstatic to see this! I am a crazy list maker – each and every time – with pen and paper!!! Fine point FlexGrip in blue ink is my pen of choice πŸ˜‰ Yes there is satisfaction in writing your to do’s in neat little rows and even GREATER satisfaction in crossing each item OFF the list! So happy to know I am not the only one!

  25. Can I even tell you how much this relates to me. Starting around 17 my parents noticed to do lists all around the house for me. I get super detailed. To an embarrassing amount, ( drink coffee 30 min in morning to wake up, wash face 5 min, etc). Buuuutt if you put everyyingg down and parse up your lists into a daily amount over a week that you want to achieve, it helps us anxious people “turn it off” and just chill with loved ones once the list for the day is done. When I have lots to do I even write “breaks into my lists” re: check my fave blog (skinny conf) after I get to a certain point in my list as a mini reward. I seriously do not know how my hubby does so well in his career just flying by the seat of his pants. I’ve even been known to write something down that unexpectedly comes up that I have to do just so I can cross it off. I really think to do lists have led to 99% of the success I’ve had in my career thus far! Big fan!

  26. morning yoga, warm lemon water with ACV, and dry brushing. essentially “self care”. first thing in the morning. it sets the day off right, and becomes my intention throughout the day. how could i start the day so lovingly and gently and not carry out the rest of it in the same way?

  27. I don’t know how people who don’t make to-do lists get anything done! I would consider myself something of a list fanatic (the paper and pen kind, of course – it really does make a difference!) It keeps me motivated and on-track through the day, and it feels really great to finally cross things off. Sometimes my lists have lists…

  28. I am totally a list girl too! I remember when the palm came out and I was so excited, but then I ended up just writing down everything as well. Haha. I get it!

Questions, Comments, Thoughts?

Get the Skinny

Stalk Us

This is the best way to stay up to date with The Skinny Confidential. Be the first to know when episodes drop, new blog posts, and product launches.