Are you feeling like your life is a bit chaotic? You have all these thoughts swirling in your brain all the time – things you have to do, remember, and deal with. When life gets crazy, making lists always helps. Here’s how to organize your life with a notebook, and 15 lists to make in life.
Using a notebook to stay organized is one of the easiest ways to unclutter your life and your mind. Let’s take a look at things to keep a list of to make your life better.
Use these lists to organize yourself and your home, and everything else you have going on. Organizing your mind this way frees up your brain so you can better focus and relax.
No more lying awake at night with that whirling brain. I know you’ve been there!
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15 Lists to Make to Organize Your Life
Grab a super cute notebook or your planner and let’s get started!
We’ll start by answering the question:
How can I stay organized at home?
You can automate so many tasks around the house. That will take the burden off your brain to have to think about them on a daily basis.
1. Meal Plan
Since we all need food 3+ times a day, knowing what you will actually eat makes life a lot easier.
If you’ve ever been stumped by what to have for dinner (at 6:00 when you’re starving and cranky) you know what I mean.
Making a meal plan can be as simple or complicated as you want. You can create a detailed one, complete with every meal and snack and recipe. Or if simple is your middle name (like me), just choose dinners.
Even if you don’t want to assign each meal to a particular day, at least you’ll know what items to shop for at the grocery store.
- 5 Easy Meal Planning Strategies for Beginners
- How to Get Started Meal Planning Today: 10 Super Easy Tricks
- 10 Easy and Cheap Meals ANYONE Can Make
Or check out the cute vintage-style Meal Planning Made Easy Binder in the shop!
2. Grocery or Shopping List
Since we’ve just made our easy meal plan, the next logical step is your grocery list. Just add the ingredients you’ll need to make those meals to your shopping list as you go.
Be sure to include your favorite breakfast, lunch, and snack foods too.
While you’re at it, take a look at your other household supplies like toilet paper and dish soap. That way you don’t have to go back to the store later when you realize you forgot something.
- Save yourself time (and sanity) by using a Master Grocery List
- How to Create a Cheap Grocery List: A Step by Step Guide
You can make shopping lists for things besides food too. Maybe there are some wardrobe staples you’re in need of.
Every time you remember that your son needs new baseball cleats, your daughter needs a notebook for school, and your husband obviously needs socks because his toe is sticking out, add it to the list.
3. Weekly Chore Checklist
The idea here isn’t to make more work for yourself. But if you have a list of weekly cleaning tasks to complete, you can easily knock 1 or 2 out when you have a couple minutes.
You can also assign certain chores to particular days of the week. Maybe every Sunday you do the laundry, Monday you clean the bathroom, and so on.
That way you never have to do it all at once, and you don’t have to think about it. It just becomes a routine.
And don’t forget to assign chores to the other people living in your home too!
- Keep Your Home All the Time by Doing These 6 Things
- 10 Minute Chores: Cleaning Tasks to Do When You’re Short on Time
- Cleaning Supplies Checklist: The Very Best Things to Keep in Your Cleaning Caddy
I know, that nasty B word. But again, this can be as simple or detailed as you’re inclined to make it.
At the very least, make a list of the bills you pay every month and their due date. This will save you from trying to keep it all in your head.
Plus those late fees and reminder calls are such a drag!
If you want extra credit, check out these posts and become a budgeting rock star:
- Budgeting for Beginners: A Step by Step Guide for Getting Started
- Sticking to a Budget: 15 Easy Budgeting Tips for Beginners
- Where Does All My Money Go? 15 Spending Leaks That Are Destroying Your Budget
5. Gifts to Buy
You probably know people with birthdays all throughout the year. Not to mention the parties you or your kids get invited to, the weddings, anniversaries, etc. Oh and don’t forget those holidays.
Ever stop at the store on the way to an event to buy a gift or card? Yeah, me too.
If you keep a running list of gifts to buy each month, you can start being prepared ahead of time.
Next to the recipient’s name, you could even brainstorm gift ideas as you think of them.
Ok, you’ve made the lists to keep you organized at home. Now we’ll look at ways to organize yourself.
We’ll start with the practical ones, and move on the the fun ones at the end.
10 Lists to Make to Organize Yourself
6. Master To Do List
A master to do list is essentially a brain dump of all things you want or need to get done. Just freely write down anything that comes to mind, from any area of your life.
Keep adding to it as you think of things, and cross things off as they are completed.
Don’t worry, we’ll be breaking this big list down into more manageable chunks.
7. Weekly To Do List
Let’s move on to how to plan your week!
Now that you have that major pile of tasks, you can start divvying them up into different time frames.
At the beginning of the week, take a look at your master to do list, and add a few that you want to accomplish onto your weekly list.
Also look at your calendar to see what events you have, and jot down whatever you have to do to prepare for them.
Cupcakes for Johnny’s class party? Renew your license plate? Finish book for book club?
Check, check, check.
Once you know what you are planning to accomplish this week, you can start assigning it to specific days.
8. Daily To Do List
Starting each day with a plan is so very helpful. It leaves more space in your mind and keeps you from constantly worrying about what you might be forgetting.
So (preferably the night before) take a gander at that weekly to do list, and choose what to add to your daily to do list.
You can choose based on urgency, importance, or desire to do the task.
Some people like to get the most annoying or cumbersome to-dos out of the way early in the week. Others like to save them for the weekend.
You do you, of course.
9. Projects you’re working on
Keep a running list of the projects you’re responsible for, whether it be work, school, home, or personal.
Everything from work or school assignments, to home remodels, to decluttering projects and so on.
Check in with this list from time to time. Review your status, and add the next steps toward completion to one of your to do lists.
I keep meaning to organize my photos and recipes, but honestly forget to even think about it most of the time.
By adding it to my project list, I can break it down into steps, and work on it when I have time here and there.
10. People to contact
It’s so easy to forget to make those phone calls or send those emails.
Whether it be events to RSVP to, appointments you need to make, or checking in with a friend or relative (reading her Facebook posts doesn’t count!).
This way, when you know you’ll be in the car or cleaning your house, you could make a phone call or two.
Send that RSVP email when you’re watching TV, or call to make an appointment during your lunch break.
These tiny, lingering tasks can usually be accomplished in the tiny pockets of time we all tend to waste.
Having a list for quick reference is the way to get them done.
Let’s move on to some lists to make for fun!
11. Books to Read
Every month I write a post reviewing the books I read. I link it up with other bloggers in a fun group called Show Us Your Books, so we can see what each other is reading and get book recommendations.
I keep a ‘to be read’ list of all the books that sound intriguing, so I can request them from the library, or see if they’re free on Amazon Prime.
Whenever you see or hear of a good book, add it to your list of books to read.
Not only will you stop forgetting what you meant to read, you’ll get reacquainted with how fun reading is!
12. Your Goals
Goals aren’t just for January 1st ya know. Having some ongoing goals can keep you motivated throughout the year.
They don’t have to just be tedious ones like cleaning out the basement either.
You can make fun goals like number of new recipes to try, steps to walk, or books to read this month or year.
Continuously working on improving yourself will keep you engaged with life, and keep your own self care a priority.
- How to Set Goals You’ll Actually Achieve
- Twenty 30 day Challenges to Improve Your Life
- 15 Rich People Habits You Can Start Today
13. Your Dreams
Dreams are a bit different than goals.
Goals have more immediate action, while dreams are all about envisioning the future.
Freely write down a list of dreams, without confining yourself to ’reality.’
This exercise both inspires you and reveals things about yourself you maybe hadn’t realized.
It also helps you hash out what you really want in this only-happens-once life we have.
Now, go read The Success Principles. Just kidding! (But seriously, you should read it.)
14. What’s working and not working in your life
Look at all the things you do on a daily or weekly basis. How many of them would you change if you could?
By making a list of the things that are and aren’t working in your life, you can gain some very helpful insight.
We all do things over and over that we might not even realize are either a.) being done poorly or b.) wasting our precious time.
By nailing down what those things are, we can come up with alternative strategies.
You could change up the way you do something, delegate it to someone else, or just stop doing it.
Related: Check out the Enjoy Your Life More Workbook to help you discover exactly what to change about your life so that you can enjoy it more.
15. Seasonal Bucket Lists
Of course, you can also keep a master bucket list of everything you want to do before…ya know.
But you know what’s more fun than thinking about dying?
Seasonal bucket lists!
Before each season, come up with a list of the seasonal activities you’d love to do.
If we don’t write them down, life tends to pass us by. You don’t want to look back only to realize that you never watched your favorite holiday movie, or drank that pumpkin spice latte.
For inspiration, check out:
- Summer Bucket List: 120 Free and Cheap Warm Weather Activities
- 107 Ideas for Your Fall Bucket List
- Winter Bucket List: 75 Ways to Enjoy the Season More
- Fun Things to Do in the Spring: 70 Ideas for Your Spring Bucket List
Okay, get your notebook ready
Hopefully you can see the benefits of using a notebook to organize your life, and what lists to make to stay organized or feel inspired.
From lists to make for fun or when you’re bored, to meaningful ones that reveal things about you, to practical lists so you can free up that precious brain space.
Living life with this style of intention will mean you enjoy it more and feel much more prepared. Happy list making!
Be sure to also check out:
How to Use a Master Grocery List (to save your time and sanity!)
Declutter Your Home Checklist: 135 Things to Get Rid of to Organize Your House Fast
Twenty 30-Day Challenge Ideas That Will Improve Your Life
12 Habits That Just Might Change Your Life
Budgeting for Beginners: A Step by Step Guide to Getting Started
10 Minute Chores: Cleaning Tasks To Do When You’re Short on Time