Temporary To-Do’s

Feb 22

It’s no secret that I currently have a lot on my plate – motherhood, planning for a big cross country move this summer, every day life stuff and more. It’s also no secret that I enjoy being organized. With everything resting on my shoulders, I have lists and lists galore. Those lists are working for me, but my recent struggle has been funneling those down into the big question …

“What am I going to do TODAY?”. 

I’m all about taking it one day at a time – especially in this phase. So, what I had been doing was consulting my wunderlist each night after the kids were in bed. I’d scan my various lists and start my to-do list for the next day, but suddenly I felt unmotivated. Almost overwhelmed. Then I remembered I had written down a few to-do’s while sitting in the carpool line. Those were more important tasks that should get done immediately. And because motherhood is my ultimate job, with the blog taking a back seat, while sitting in carpool I also realized I wasn’t sure what I would blog about tomorrow (if I had time to blog, that is). Oh, and don’t forget to call that school to set up a tour!

*deep breath*

When things get overwhelming, visuals calm me down. I decided before the lists really get to me that I should look into something visual to hang in the office. But since I’m currently living in a rental house, the idea of hammering nails into a wall isn’t going to work.

I set off to browse my pinterest boards. With all of the organization-related pins, surely I’d find some inspiration there. This cute little goal list has been on my organization board for months and thought it was genius when I first laid eyes on it…

I think that version is great on a small scale, but am keeping track of several areas so I needed something a little bigger.

I love this version from Alejandra…

But don’t have quite as much to stay on top of as she does.

Then I remembered an e-mail I received a few weeks ago from a big chain office supply store. Turns out post-it is now selling their popular sticky notes in an enlarged version. When I say enlarged, think BIG…

Yes, this 11″ x 11″ pad is pretty big…

( source )

And while that is super cool, think even BIGGER. Think post-it’s on human growth hormone or steroids…

( source )

Yes, friends. 22″ x 22″ of post-it note beauty. You can see here just how big these post-it’s are compared to their standard size…



I grabbed both large pads, excited to get a few sheets up on the wall and put them to work for me….

After looking over my lists and lists and even more lists, I decided (for now) to break down my sections into home / move and blog. Then added 2 side notes – one for today to-do’s and the other for tomorrow’s tasks. I view at the “tomorrow” section as my staging area.

I may end up adding a 3rd side area titled “weekend” just so we have something to look forward to. Kinda like my dangling carrot. We’ll see.

And that’s the beauty of this system – because these are temporary adhesive pages hanging on the wall, they can be easily changed. Without nails!

If you like the post-it note calendar, you can find it here
( source )

For the time being I’ve structured this system in a way that makes me feel successful. Not overwhelmed! It’s set up as a weekly system. Here’s how it works:

* Anything hanging on the blue post-it are tasks that need to be accomplished within the next 5-7 days. I can add more during the week as they pop into mind, arrive via e-mail, or come home in backpacks.

* Each night I will grab a few things to do the next day. It will be a mix – things that must get done and maybe 1 or 2 things from my long lingering to-do lists, like making those nutrition copies for my son’s therapist. That task has been on my list since I took him to see a nutritionist, but because this isn’t something mandatory and is something nice I offered to do for her files, it’s not on the top of my priority list.

*I’ve told promised myself a limit of 5 to-do’s each day – a mix of things that must get done and things hanging around the to-do list. This will ensure I won’t feel burned out and stressed. Instead I will feel accomplished and successful!

* I can also put a few things on the tomorrow section so I have an idea of what to prepare for tomorrow.


This section is much fuller now that I had a few e-mail exchanges with our real estate agent, but here is the home / move section up close…

And I love this little blog section…

I’ve added to this section ONLY the topics I’ll be working on over the next week. This is not my hopes, dreams and goals for the blog. Too overwhelming. Remember, one week at a time here!

Yes, a few have been blurred out…I have to keep some surprises…

It’s hanging right above my desk where I can see it and feel motivated…

The supply of smaller sized post-it’s, flags and a pen are sitting in a tin bucket below the wall system ($1 from the target dollar section)…

Here is what I did today…

Feeling accomplished and less-stressed already. 🙂

This is a great permanent or temporary solution – whether you own a home or are renting. I’m personally excited about this because we’re renting and didn’t want to bang up the walls with a new system. If you are looking for a to-do visual of your own, hope this simple idea is useful!

Have a great weekend!

comments +

  1. TC Harris says:

    Great Job! I LOVE this simple plan!

  2. Alana Taylor says:

    Oh, I so need this for blogging/business stuff! Such a simple idea, yet… GENIUS!


  3. Olivia says:

    That's a great idea and since it's sticky, you can remove it or change it when needed. I might have to try this…it will feel good to pull down sticky notes rather than cross it off a list!

  4. This is a genius idea… Love it! I have been trying to go digital and it is working OK but I have found that I still need a visual reminder. So this is the perfect tool to make my "system" more complete. Your blog is awesome!

    • yes, me too! i have been trying to make digital work for me, but i write down so much stuff that it just adds more to my plate…write it down and then add it digitally later = annoying! 🙂

      thank you so much!!!


  5. Carrie says:

    Love this! We are also in a rental as we do some work on our house so I love the idea of not putting holes in the walls. I went out and bought the supplies today. I look forward to getting my week organized & feeling accomplished 🙂 Thank you!

    • yay!!! let me know how it worked out for you! were you able to find them quickly? i had to drive all over town to locate them 🙂 the joys of living in a small town.


  6. MelissaG says:

    I love everything you do! I am feeling, however, like this could be equally served in a calendar. In my calendar for moms, there is a section to put stuff to do weekly, or daily. This is separate from where you list activities etc. I just wouldn't want this hanging on the wall. Plus, if I am sitting at a kids activity, I can pull it out of my purse and see if there is anything I can do while sitting there waiting for them to be done.

    • you're so sweet!!! 🙂

      i hear you, different systems work differently for everyone. but with the stress i am under…this has been incredibly helpful for me! 🙂

      all the best my friend,

  7. Carol says:

    I think this is a great system, Samantha, and over the years I've used different variations of similar systems to keep us organized. When you first introduced Wunderlist on your blog, several months ago, I fell in love with that. It works beautifully for me because there are only the two of us — long ago empty nest. It's always fun reading your blog, and I almost always come away with a new idea or two. Thanks so much!


  8. glamgirl006 says:

    what do you use to put the white writing on your pictures?

  9. glamgirl006 says:

    what do you use to put the white writing on your pictures?

  10. love this, lovin the colours, great way to stay on top of everything

    I would love it you could share this on my my link party – Serenity Saturday

    Natasha @ http://www.serenityyou.com

  11. laura bell says:

    I love this idea. I already use sticky notes on a dry erase wall calendar for blog posts, but I love the idea of using post-its for daily to do items. Just pick a few off the board and get busy for the day. Thanks for sharing! I seriously need help getting things done, since I seem to accomplish less and less as I get older! Lol!

    Laura @ luckypennylove.com

  12. wow! These are stunning!! I would love to have something like this for myself. I am trying to figure out how to create something similar (I have not found these big post-its here in Norway).

  13. MsCarmi91 says:

    I love Alejandras idea too !!!!

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