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The Checklist Fairy

2012-12-31 10.37.36

I’m a sucker for checklists. I think I’ve mentioned it before, but one of my favorite movies is an ABC Family Original movie called Lucky 7, when she writes something on her to do list, then does it right away, and then checks it off, all within about 2 minutes. That is me. I have several different checklists I use throughout the day, because one system just isn’t enough for me. I have recently gotten my daughter in on the action too.

My daughter is 7. I was frustrated one morning because I went to take a shower and told her the things she needed to do to get ready for school. When I came out of the shower none of the things I asked her to do had been done. She’s 7, I get it. While I was a little annoyed and upset that she didn’t remember the things I asked her to do, I decided that she needed a checklist too. If I can’t remember anything unless I put it on a checklist, why should I expect her to remember? So I created a word document with a checklist on it. While we are tweaking it we are wasting paper by printing it out every day, but once I know I have everything just right on the checklist, I’ll laminate it and she can wipe off the checkmarks each night.

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I have also created an evening checklist for her as well.

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What I like about these checklists is that not only are we able to remember all of the things she needs to do each morning and night, but it makes HER responsible for getting it done. Teaching your kids to be responsible for their own tasks and lives is an invaluable skill for them to learn. You aren’t always going to be there to tell them to do their work, or chores. If they don’t learn to do things on their own, they will get a rude awakening when they head off into the real world.

Having the checklist for her, also helps her to create good habits in her life, such as keeping her room clean, and basic hygiene among other things. Every night when we set out her clothes for the next day, we put the checklist right on top of the clothes, so she’s able to get to work on it right when she first wakes up (which is always around 6 AM… what can I say, she’s my early bird). She is usually done with most of it by the time I get out of the shower, and then all we have to do is head off to school! It’s really worked out great for us. Then, while she’s at school, I place the evening checklist right on the kitchen table. When she comes home from school, I’m usually still upstairs working, so she can get to work on her evening checklist by starting her homework right away.

So, these checklists are all well and good for my 7 year old… but what do I use for myself? Well, it’s a combination of several different applications and services, since they all do different things for me. For my regular to do list that I add things to on a daily basis, and for my “recurring” tasks such ask “work out” and “clean my email inbox” I use a website called ToodleDo. I love the way I can set up the recurring tasks, and how I can categorize my other tasks. That way when I’m sitting down to work on Bloggers Help Desk tasks, I can filter out just those. Or I can just view personal tasks I need to accomplish, such as “call doctor for an appointment”. It’s a very robust system, and I adore it! I love that I can add tasks right from Chrome on my desktop, or on my Android phone I use a program called Due Today which syncs up with ToodleDo. It has some great widget options and I can always view exactly where I stand on my to do list.

My next “list management tool” is Google Tasks. I don’t necessarily use this as a to do list, since I already have a system for that. I use it more for checklist type things. Such as “Movies I want to buy” “Movies I want to see” a standard “packing list” for when I go on business trips, “household projects”… you get the idea. Again, this syncs perfectly to my phone using the app called Tasks.

Last but certainly not least is the app I use for all of MY chores. It’s called Chore Checklist. So, when it’s time in my daily schedule to “clean” I can check that app to see what exactly needs to be cleaned today. This way I’m not wandering the house picking up things here and there and never really getting any cleaning done. I can look at this app to see the deep cleaning I have scheduled for that day, and the daily things I need to do to keep the house ship shape. The tasks repeat automatically which make it perfect for keeping a nice clean house.

These are the checklists that run my life. Let me know if you want a download of Maddie’s checklists!

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Written by

Sarah Kimmel, the Organized Mom Find out more on Sarah's Google Profile.

13 thoughts on “The Checklist Fairy

  1. Checklists run and ruin my life… at the same time! Haha… I find myself lost and frustrated if I forget or leave my checklist somewhere else. And no, absolutely no digital checklists for me. Believe me, I tried. Turns out “Battery Empty” excuses no one. Haha

    Happy New Year! :)

  2. I do something similar at our house for myself and my husband – we laminated it so we can re-use with dry erase marker and hung it on fridge.

  3. We have a morning checklist for our 6yo similar to yours. It’s been a great help for him, and for us. He’s less likely to be late for school, and we’re less frustrated having to ask him to do his jobs!

    All in all it’s working out very well. Such a great idea. :)

    Thanks for sharing your post with us!

    Chris West How To Organise Your Life

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