It seems like I’ve had a smart phone FORRREEVVVVERRR, FOREEEEVVER… sorry, I love that movie.  Ahem.  It seems like I’ve had a smart phone for a long time.  But it was just over 4 years ago when I started keeping my calendar and to-do lists on my smart phone and stopped keeping them on paper.  All of a sudden, I could get by with just my little electronic gadget to make appointments and create lists.  I was being modern and efficient!  Life was so good.

And then, a few months ago, I realized that having a giant, recurring to-do list on my iPhone was STRESSING ME OUT.  I never felt like I could sit down because I had push notifications or little white numbers encased in red angry circles telling me that I should be crossing something off my ever growing to-do list.

Because I’m a list maker, and must always have lists, my new plan was to go back to pen and paper.  Fortunately I had a neat little abandoned notebook that, with a little tweaking, could serve several purposes in making my life less stressful.

5/8 3-Ring Binder (Target, GreenRoomCo) | Pencil Case

The binder is the perfect size to fit in my purse.  The pencil pouch fits perfectly over the binder and ensures that I have pens and other supplies when I do take my binder with me.

Lined 3-Ring Binder Paper | 5 Divider Tabs

The lined paper has just enough room for my to-do list and prevents me from making it un-doable.  I did a little research on making a good to do list, some good articles are:

The divider tabs help me separate my to-do list, my home projects list, client lists, receipts, and there’s even an open spot in case I come up with something else in the future.  I’m not being intentionally vague, I just don’t have current plans for that tab and it’s always nice to have room to grow!

Binder Pockets 

The binder pockets help me keep track of client receipts, I label them with a post-it note because these are very temporary holders.  For my own receipts that need to be tracked in our budget, I use the Post-it Pocket (below).

Post-it Pocket

Once I made the change, after the initial panic that I would forget to dust something, I felt like a giant weight had been lifted from my shoulders.  I’ve been successfully, and less stressfully, writing out my to-do lists the last few months and there’s no turning back, I love it.  It also has the added bonus of keeping my receipts neat and tidy!