Sometimes the simplest tools are the best

A variation of the below first appeared as a comment on the following blog post, Where Abby Glassenberg responds to a follower’s email.


Why I Run My Business on a Yellow Legal Pad


Work TO Do lists

Once in a while I go looking for electronic tools to help me out on things like “to do lists”. I have tried things like Evernote etc., but have never managed to settle on any one piece of software in particular.

I’ve got out of the habit for various reason, but one of the things I did (back before we used Portable Computers with wifi at work, haha), was have a notebook to take notes of meetings, and I would also have multiple post it notes somewhere….During meetings, generally when I was bored, or my mind was skittish with too much to do, I’d write my to-do list on the post-its. Easily movable, ditch-able, etc. Great for working!

At work I now use the “check flag” option on emails, which creates an annoying pop up, or create a specific task, again for the annoyance factor. Surprisingly effective, at least for me, in order to get work stuff done one way or another.

suzy hazelwood to do list

Personal To Do Lists

I have yet to find an equivalent for home, though I am currently looking at the hardback diary sitting on my table, barely used. My handbag is already heavy – for some unknown reason, and I don’t want to add more stuff in to make it even heavier.  My iPad already comes with me.

I use the “notes” app on my ipad to start writing anything up to a blog post.  I never get a full blog post on the notes app – there are things like spelling and formatting that get to be done on a computer with a writing app before the post ever gets published.

What do other people use to do things like to do lists? The thing that put me off with Evernote is that it seemed to need a permanent connection to the internet in order to work properly.  There didn’t seem to be a “off line” version, where you could store your info locally and have it sync the next time you were on the wifi.  Am I wrong in this?

Blog Posts and Media Content Packs

When I had more blog posts to schedule, I made use of an excel spreadsheet, with a sheet per month, and I added in posts (either complete or ideas).  It allowed me to get into some kind of predictability – a book review post on alternate days, a book related essay alternate Sundays, a craft related post alternate Fridays.  Having used up my stock of posts, I have no more post to schedule that far in advance. Posts now come out within a few days of me writing them.  There is currently no formal schedule (sorry).

However………I do have a version of a media content pack, to help me with content.   It provides me with several things:

  • a list of post titles and links.
  • Each post should be marked against at least one category. e.g. Romance. Historical. Textiles.  Therefore if I want to tweet about a specific subject (e.g. May holding Free Comic Book Day, so lets talk about comics), I can find my posts about Comics and focus on them……
  • A sheet per month (similar to the above) which reminds me of anything specific, such as a specific day or month. e.g. June 2019 will be dedicated to a friend talking about Persephone Books; 13th May is Daphne Du Maurier’s birthday, so should I be reading or writing about her books during that week or month?; etc.


Bullet Journals

In looking for images for this post, I was reminded of one thing I’ve never really gotten into – Bullet Journals.  What do you know? Love em? Hate em? Cant do without?

bich tran Bullet Journal

So you, Constant Reader

What tools to YOU use to keep things on track?



2 thoughts on “Sometimes the simplest tools are the best

  1. I love writing out lists. Nothing beats pen on paper for helping me get stuff done and stay on track. I have a very lightweight weekly diary where I write/schedule my blog posts, which has really helped me stay on track with my upload schedule and content. If only they could come up with a way to make paper lighter so it was easier to carry around all my notebooks and diaries. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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