To Do lists (The Ultimate Guide)

Having a whole bunch of tasks that need completing can be daunting and stressful, but it doesn’t need to be. With these helpful tips, you’ll be able to create a To Do List that will finally put your mind at ease and help you tackle those pesky tasks.

Why make a To Do list?

Before making the perfect To Do list, you first need to understand why you’re making one. What do you want to get out of it? Do you want to be more organised? Finally put an end to your procrastination? Have more time to spend with friends? Once you know why you’re creating a To Do list it will be much easier to break it down and create the optimum list for you, since you will have a goal in mind.

Where to keep your list:

Whether you want a To Do list that you write on paper or keep on your phone totally depends on you. 

If you’re someone who is on the go a lot, it will probably be best to have a To Do list that is easily accessible. Try an app on your phone that allows you to keep your To Do list with you at all times. 

Image retrieved from: https://www.wunderlist.com

An app I recommend for this is ‘Wunderlist’- it’s free to download on the App Store and is super easy to use!

If you tend to work from home, it’s totally fine to keep your To Do list on a piece of paper or in a notepad that is easily accessible. You could also try keeping a mini whiteboard on your desk- I find these to be really useful, especially since you can wipe away tasks that you’ve completed.

I received this lovely To Do list from Blackstone Studio- you can check out her instagram here http://instagram.com/blackstonestudio

Multiple To Do lists:

If you’re a person who is on the go a lot, don’t shy away from more than one To Do list. Just make sure that you check off the tasks on each list as soon as you’ve completed them!

Keeping it simple:

If you’re new to making To Do lists or if they haven’t worked out for you in the past, keep it simple. Try making one To Do list with a maximum of three tasks at a time, and start by checking off the easiest to complete task. This way you’ll feel more motivated to try checking off the other tasks. Three tasks are much more manageable than, let’s say, eight. So start small and work your way up to a longer list when you feel more comfortable. 

Setting time slots:

By setting a date and time slot to complete your tasks, you make them much more manageable. By doing this you will also know when different tasks need to be completed so that you won’t miss any important deadlines. If you’re using an app or the calendar on your phone, you can set reminders so that your phone will notify you when a task needs completing. If not, make sure you keep track of the day and write the date your task is due next to it on your To Do list.

My example To Do list.
I got this mini whiteboard from WHSmith and find it really useful to keep on my desk.

Quick tip: If some of your tasks aren’t study related (e.g. ‘Clean Room’, ‘Buy a Birthday card’) keep them on a seperate part of your list, or a different list altogether.

Prioritising tasks:

Use different colours or symbols to prioritise different tasks. This way you’ll be able to clearly see which tasks need completing first.

Try using the colour red for tasks of upmost importance, orange for tasks with an upcoming deadline in the next few weeks and green for tasks with no deadline. You can also use different ‘Keys’, e.g. ‘!!’ for really important tasks, and ‘~’ for tasks that can be postponed for a little while.

Breaking down your tasks:

Make sure your tasks aren’t too ambiguous and can be achieved over the course of a few days, rather than all in one go. For example, instead of having a To Do that says ‘Write Essay’, try writing tasks like this instead:

  • ‘Plan Essay- Monday’
  • ‘Write Introduction- Tuesday’
  • ‘Finish Essay- Thursday’

If you try to complete a large task in one go you’ll start to feel tired and unmotivated. When you break down a task it becomes much more manageable.

What about emails?

If you receive any emails with information about tasks that need completing, copy the tasks onto your To Do lists (along with any other useful information) and delete the emails- unless the conversation is still ongoing of course. That way you won’t forget to do a certain task and all of your uncompleted tasks will be in one place- your To Do list! 

Get inspired:

If you’re unsure how to lay out your To Do list, have a browse on Pinterest! It’s the perfect app to find inspiration. Just type in ‘To Do lists’ and find a template that suits you best. You could also try searching for To Do lists on Instagram- there are plenty of Studygrams that share their To Do list inspiration! 

To Do list Pinterest search from the Pinterest mobile app.

Thanks for reading!

Hopefully, these tips have helped inspire you to pick up a pen (or your phone) and get creating your perfect To Do list.


If there’s anything that you’re unsure about or think I should have added to this post please comment below or message me on Instagram (@studiousleigh)!

All opinions expressed in this post are my own.

This post is NOT sponsored.

All pictures are used for reference purposes only.

Published by studiousleigh

My name is Chelsea Leigh and I am currently studying BA Honours English at University. I am also studying Japanese as an extra module (and just for fun). I created ‘Studious Leigh’ as a place to share my study tips and experience with studying and university life with you, so I hope you will find this blog helpful. Remember to also follow me on Instagram (@studiousleigh) and like my page on Facebook (Studious Leigh). Happy studying, Chelsea Leigh xo

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