5 lists you should have in your planner (or journal)

5 Lists you should have in your journal or planner

5 Planner Lists Every Busy Mom Needs: Your Guide to a Streamlined Life

Don't miss the chance to grab our FREE cheat-sheet at the end of this post: '100 Must-Have Lists for Ultimate Planner Productivity!'

Hand writing the word declutter on a calendar

A Planner to Declutter Your Mind and Schedule

Being organized sounds great, but it's not always a walk in the park, especially if you're balancing a jam-packed schedule. That's why you need smart and efficient lists to guide you. If your to-do lists are making you to-don't, this is your sign to tune in. Let's go over 5 essential lists you absolutely need in your planner or journal to:

  • Simplify complex tasks
  • Make actions straightforward
  • Keep stress and chaos at bay

woman falling

List-Making Pitfalls to Dodge

First, let's tackle some common slip-ups in the world of list-making:

  1. Complexity Overload: The best list is one you'll actually use. Keep it simple and straightforward. Our nifty Inserts are perfect for this.

  2. Dispersed Lists: When lists are scattered, they lose their purpose. Keep them neatly tucked into your planner with marked pages for quick finds.

  3. List Overpopulation: A list here, a list there, a list everywhere—stop! All your lists should reside in one place: your trusty planner.


Checklist with pen

5 Planner-Perfect Lists You Need

Ready to level up your list game? Need a fresh set of planner inserts? Explore our Quad Lists right here.

  1. The "On Hold" List: Note down what's in limbo—like a pending client email or that lawnmower you lent to a neighbor. Keep tabs on this list.

    Quick Tip: Add an "On Hold" list to your planner today.

  2. The "I Owe You One" List: Capture commitments you make—from volunteer work to promises with pals.

    Quick Tip: Write these down as soon as they’re made, and make it a weekly habit to review.

  3. The "Stressbusters" List: Got worries? Take a moment to jot them down, and then map out a game plan for each.

    Quick Tip: Block out a slice of time each week to revisit and tackle items on this list.

  4. The "Home Sweet Home" Inventory: List out valuable household items for emergencies or insurance situations.

    Quick Tip: Dedicate a weekend for this task and keep the list secure.

  5. The "Big Picture" Task List: This list is for the crucial but not-so-urgent tasks that you need to handle.

    Quick Tip: Stash this list in a special planner section for easy access.


Mindful vs Mind-full

Bonus: The "Brain Dump" List

Unburden your brain by pouring tasks, thoughts, and ideas onto paper, making it easier to categorize them later.

Quick Tip: Arrange a regular 'Mind Decluttering' session to keep things neat and tidy.


Before we wrap up, we've got something special for you. If you've found these tips helpful and you're ready to take your planning to the next level, we've created a FREE printable cheat-sheet just for you! It's called "100 Lists to Keep in Your Planner for Ultimate Organization and Productivity," and it's designed to provide you with even more ways to structure your life, eliminate stress, and focus on what truly matters. Simply enter the information below to begin!

About Jane's Agenda

Founded in 2013, Jane's Agenda is a planner brand dedicated to helping people become more organized and efficient through the use of paper planners.

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Oh my goodness…I could not have said it any better as what “April” had written. She had it spot on how I feel as well. Also want to thank you for this post. I too have have used notebooks and planners…the world jus gets crazy trying to keep up with life. This list is exactly what I needed…thank you from the bottom of my heart. You literally have saved my overwhelmed life. 💖


…um….. hi! I’m April and just wanted to drop a little something for the creator here.

I don’t ever… like, once in a blue moon maybe, post comments to any of the blogs or whatever, that I read on Pinterest. I just read or take screenshots and pin, but mostly I just gaze aimlessly hoping I find some good content that I can ACTUALLY implement in my life and see positive results that last… that become a practical part of my day to day functioning. (I’m a 32 year old single mother of four children, all under 11- aka life is hectic AF) So, anyway..As I say, I DO appreciate everyone’s blogs and ideas and the work it takes to put into this, – I RARELY if ever… thinking….thinking….thiiinnnnnkinnnggg…… yeah uh, idk, I’m sure I have…. but I don’t think I have ever found anything that TOTALLY resonated with me, I picked it up, took it seriously, used it – staying consistent, and “that thing” or the idea they were trying to share, led to making a significant, helpful difference in my life. In the ease and functionality of my chaotic life and ADHD brain.

UNTIL NOW! (Da-DA-DAAAAAAAAAA spirit fingers🙌🙌👏👏👏👏👏👏🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌🎉🎉🎉🙌🙌👏👏👏)
THIS IS SUCH A “DUH concept but I never thought like this. And girl, let me tell you I have (embarrassed to admit but) literally a countless…completely unable to count…. Number of blank, barely used, note pads, journals, little notebooks, planners….. OH LAWD Jesus the planners… I have tons and tons of all of them because I LOVE lists, hand written lists and to do what nots and brain dumping, BUT I constantly change the pads/books because I’m always needing to add a list or category or an idea or a phone number or WHATEVER and then I loose what I had and I never get anything done! Find lists months later and … defeat. Sadness. Irritation and straight frustration comes over me.
but something in my beautiful brain sparked while reading this blog! I am totally adopting all your ideas and reading this even made me have lightbulbs go off in my head about shit I was doing wrong and how to make a more functional solid, ONE GOOD all in one book. I hope this works out and SUPER LONG comment short…. Thank you. Sorry for the gabbing lol I just had to tell you
As I said before, I never comment but I am thankful for your information and just had to tell you thank you. I’m trying to spread a little love!!! :)
…and gratitude!!! … where it’s deserved especially.


I keep list to keep me organized. They tell me what I need to do and helps remember what I have done.

Marsha Kivlehen

While I was reading your words, I felt like I had wrote them myself! I thought it was just me that had these problems? I already know that these tips are going to make a big difference with my list-making! I am especially excited to use the Primary Task List! Everyday, I would find myself making more and more (unrealistic) to-do lists and then, only to feel like I had failed every evening! I thank you so much for the new ideas!


Love the tips! I will be using these tips right away. I already had some of the list but really digging the waiting list!!


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