There’s something incredibly satisfying about crossing an item off your to-do list — a feeling that you just don’t get clicking boxes on your computer. Taking a pen to a piece of paper is the only way to get that satisfaction. While you can just make a list on the back of any scrap of paper you can find, the right paper task list can help you keep your to-dos organized, even without any fancy technology.
If you’re used to relying on bullet points to separate out tasks on your list, the Word Notebook system may be a good fit for you. After the designers noticed that they used bullet points and other symbols to organize their notebooks, they decided to codify their system: each line on each page in the notebook has a light circle that you can turn into a bullet point, mark to note that a task is important, or cross out to show that a task is complete. Word Notebooks are available in ten different designs, including both camo and floral designs.
Boygirlparty To-Do List Notepads
Illustrator Susie Ghahremani offers her own twist on the task list, available in fifty sheet pads that can help you sort through your day. Where Ghahremani diverges from a basic notepad with a line for each task is the tick boxes: she includes one for “done” and another for “not yet.” Given the rarity with which everything on a given list gets done, the two boxes make sense. You’ll be able to easily check through older lists and move items to your current page as you need to with a Boygirlparty pad.
Moleskine Daily Diaries
Moleskine has long been known for their high quality notebooks, including daily diaries. The pages in the pocket-sized version may seem a little small for someone who is very busy, but it has the advantage of limiting you to a number of tasks you can realistically tackle in one day. The larger version Moleskine offers makes it a little too easy to plan more than you can handle.
If you need a more robust task management system, Levenger’s system of Circa notebooks offers more versatility than any other paper system. In addition to notebooks that are hardier than your average pad of paper, the system depends on being able to move pages around in your notebook to stay organized, even for big projects.
Creating a custom journal with different types of pages can guarantee that you have all the organizational tools you need for each different type of project you plan. Bound’s custom journals let you choose exactly what pages, so you can organize your life however you want. Beyond checklists, you can get grids (both square and isometric), different line arrangements, storyboard and wireframe layouts, and much more. You can also choose a variety of sizes and covers for the journal that precisely matches your needs.
While skeldesign has plenty of different notepads, the company’s daily notepads are particularly useful. Each page is meant to be used for one day, to the point that you have space to write down the day and the date. Your tasks are broken down into categories, like “call” and “buy” — the sorts of things that you can do as a batch together and speed through. The design of these task lists can help you get your to-dos done a little more efficiently.
Want to keep things simple? Scout Books offers a small book with page after page set up as checklists. The company has some more elaborate designs, as well, but this notebook is perfect for situations when you just need to make your lists and start checking off items. Why not keep it simple?
Knock Knock Paper Mousepad
A mousepad made out of paper may sound a little strange, but we really do spend a lot of time at our computers making notes. Writing out your to-dos while you’ve got everything you need in front of you is convenient, and you can tear off the page to take with you when you’re ready to go out and get some work done.
Finding the right paper task list isn’t always the easiest project. Depending on how you organize your projects, you may have different needs at different times. It’s worth investing in a couple of different options and trying them out; if it takes several purchases to find a paper to-do list that actually helps you accomplish more, the price is well worth it.
Photo credits: Alvimann, Word Note Books, Boygirlparty, Moleskine, Levenger, skeldesign, Scout Books, and Knock Knock Stuff.