Introducing: the Daily Docket’s little sister

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by Tsh

Tsh is the founder of this blog and lives in Bend, Oregon with her husband and 3 kids. Her latest book is Notes From a Blue Bike, and believes a passport is one of the world's greatest textbooks.

to do list
Photo by J.B. Hill

One of my unexpected surprises with this blog is the spread of my little old Daily Docket.  It makes my day that so many of you have written to tell me you use this simple tool to manage your day.  And it thrills me when you tell me in person, and go out of your way to show me your Docket!  Truly – I’m so glad my tool works for so many of you as well.

The number one request for an addition to the Docket is a smaller size. I hear you.  Even though I print my Dockets two-sided, I still don’t like using that much paper – seems so… anti-Simple Mom.  So I’ve created a scaled-down version of the original Daily Docket, fitting on half a standard US-letter page.  Now you can print four to a page – two front and back.

This doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of the original Docket, because there just isn’t enough room.  Call it the Daily Docket Nano – it still has the basic framework of a full-sized Docket, just taking up less room.

Here’s what you’ll find:


1. What’s for dinner?
This is still at the very top of the page, because it forces me have a plan for that evening by the morning I fill out the Docket (and many times, I fill it out the night before).

2.  Today’s To-Do List. There’s still a max of ten items on my checklist, which helps me keep it to only what’s realistically possible for one day (and who are we kidding – I very rarely check off all ten).

3.  MITs. To the right of the To-Do List is a place to star any item that qualifies as a Most Important Thing.  These are the things on which I should focus most my energy – if I get anything done today, it should be these.  It’s really important to have a maximum of three MITs – too many, and they dilute themselves.  You have to be selective about what qualifies as an MIT – if nothing else gets done, I’d say my day was a success if those three things happen.

4.  Schedule and/or Appointments.
This is the spot where you can jot down your tasks that have a time framework – a doctor’s appointment, meeting a friend for coffee, or even a set time when you want to exercise.  Whatever needs to have a set time assigned to it, you can scribble it here.  You might remember that at one time I tried to schedule my entire day, in the name of staying disciplined and being productive.  It did the opposite.

5.  Notes. The bottom still has a place to doodle your thoughts, ideas for tomorrow, phone numbers, or whatever else doesn’t fit in the framework of a to-do list or an appointment.  This is where your right brain can roam freely.

If you like having place to write Scripture or something else meaningful to you, a reminder for your exercise and water intake, a mini-checklist for your side work (like if you work part-time, or if you blog), or if you generally prefer having more of a timed schedule, then the original Daily Docket is for you.  It’s still available free for download!

woman juggling
Photo by Lucy Boynton

The important thing as a home manager is to do what works for you.  Don’t put false pressure on yourself to fit a mold of ultimate productivity, as though there’s a specific definition to “a woman who gets a lot done.”  Find your rhythm, stay flexible for those curve balls thrown at you all day (kiddos waking up sick, anyone?), and focus on only those things that really matter.  That’s when the concept of MITs come in handy.

You are the best person to be Mom to your kids.  No one else can be the partner to your spouse like you. And the tasks that go with those significant hats you wear – well, I for one believe that if God’s called you to do those things, He’ll give you the ability to do them.

And if you like having a tool to keep you motivated and on track, then perhaps the Daily Docket or the Daily Docket Nano* would work for you.  Just go with whatever works.

*I really need to come up with a better name for that.

Download your Daily Docket Nano here, or head over to the downloads page to find all the free downloads on Simple Mom.

What’s on your short list for the ultimate productivity tool that works for your life?

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Comments

  1. I have tried with a to-do-list and it does help improve my productivity by a bit. I have seperate list for personal work, students work and home stuff in seperate books to avoid getting the different lists mixed up.

    Dominique´s last blog post…Many Faces of Roy

  2. Great tool, Simplemom. I like the scaled down version. I was starting to get my to do lists all mangled, so I’ve recently started making a list on Sunday evening for the week-a list that’s defined by my roles. This helps me prioritize and remember what’s most important.

    The roles are: Disciple of Jesus, Wife, Mother, Home Manager, Employee, Neighbor/Minister, Blogger

    Under each of these roles I put my goals for the week-things I want/need/must accomplish. Each day, I’m trying to prioritize the roles that are most important. If I don’t get all the home managing to do’s done, I look back to see if I met my goals as a wife and mom that day. This keeps me encouraged and keeps me focusing on what’s most important (even when my to do list is more do’s than done’s).

    Phew, that was too long of a comment. More of my musings at: http://burningbushes.org/

    Nicole´s last blog post…Telling True Stories

  3. Great idea. Just today I started using your daily docket again after a rather slack couple of months. I love how it keeps me focused on the MIT’s but there’s still a space to jot down other things that I can do if I get a few spare minutes.

    Journeyer´s last blog post…Childhood Immunisations

  4. Very interesting – will have to look at if further. I’m always trying to new to-do lists and calendars trying to find the best way to keep our household organized. It’s a work in progress. :)

    Tabitha (From Single to Married)´s last blog post…A Little Friday Gratitude – An Escape From Reality

  5. Hi Tsh, I spent a bit of time on your site this weekend and found your daily docket for the first time. I LOVE it! A simple one pager that captures everything you really need to keep track of in one day.

    My short list for a productivity tool that works: What’s for dinner, to do list for the day (with 5 MITs starred), and a lot of blank space! I’ve printed out your version and am going to give it a go.

  6. I am so excited! JUST this weekend I started overhauling my whole home management system, and I was so sad to put my dockets to the side because one sheet is just too much. These are perfect!

    Thanks so much for sharing!

    Lucie @ Unconventional Origins´s last blog post…Ideas for celebrating Black History month with your children (Part 2)

  7. You could call it the greener daily docket.

    I really enjoy your daily docket and use it nearly every day. Thanks!

    Shannon´s last blog post…My Breastfeeding Story: Low Milk Supply

  8. Thanks so much for this! My husband loved your original Daily Docket and had created a smaller version for himself. He’ll be happy when I show him this one (which I also love, btw).

    Why not call it the Daily Dockette (haha, corny I know).

    Nicki at Domestic Cents´s last blog post…Oatmeal Banana Cookies

  9. I think your advice about doing what works best for you and your family is right on! That is so important, because no two people are exactly alike and no two families are exactly alike. Heck, no two days are exactly alike, so you have to be flexible. Thanks for providing this tool for everyone!

    P.S. Tsh – I wrote a blog post naming my favorite simple living blogs, and you’re on it if you want to check it out! (see link love post below)

    Taylor at Household Management 101´s last blog post…Feb 22, Simple Living Blogs I Recommend

  10. I have been a lurker on simple mom for awhile, but I just had to say I love the mini daily docket, I printed it out to help me keep better track of what needs to occur during the day! Thanks! I have tried so many “systems” in the past, I need something simple and flexible!

    sheila´s last blog post…

  11. I use something similar, but I put my copies in a page protector and then use an overhead marker to write on them. It wipes off easily with water.

    Amy´s last blog post…The mind of a two year old

  12. I just wrote about some of my productivity ideas on my blog today! I also love having to do lists help organize my thoughts and tasks so they can stay out of my head! My favorite productivity tool, though, is a kitchen timer :)

    Lisa Byrne´s last blog post…The Magic of Touch: A Gift For The One You Love

  13. thanks for another great tool!

    jodi´s last blog post…Bless this Nest

  14. Thanks for this. I have been using a modified version of your daily docket, customized to fit my own needs, but I love this shortened version. Uses less paper, takes less time to fill out and easy to fold up and take on the go if you have to.

    Maybe you could call it Daily Docket Mini-Me?

    Cara @ repurposeful´s last blog post…When is “green” too much of a good thing?

  15. How about the Daily Docket and the Daily Brief (for the new one)?

    Yolanda´s last blog post…Wait? People don’t leap at the chance to sing karaoke?

  16. Thank you so much! I love your daily docket and use it everyday, can’t wait to try out the baby one.

  17. I like calling it “nano.” I immediately had an image in my mind of “pint sized.”

    I’m still trying to figure out what “works for me.” I used to be a “fly by the seat of my pants” kind of girl. But, now that I have SIX kids, I can’t do that. You can’t turn an aircraft carrier on a dime. It takes some planning.

    I’ll give the nano a go this week and see what happens.

    FishMama´s last blog post…Food Budget, You Have Been Chopped

  18. maybe you could call the mini one the Daily Dockette. :)

    Christy´s last blog post…New Video

  19. I love, LOVE your daily docket. I hacked it to fit my needs so my sections include:

    Boxes in the shaded section:
    – Today’s MITs
    – Goals (My yearly goals are listed here)
    – Gratitude ( I write a few things I’m grateful for each day)
    – Workout
    – Relationships (Reminders to call/email/make plans with Family, Friends, Boyfriend)

    List area below the shaded section:
    – Personal blog to do list (5 lines)
    – Work to do list (8 lines)
    – Other to do list (3 lines – things like pay bills)
    – Misc notes

    It’s really been a great system for me so far – thank you!

  20. Thank you! This looks like a great little tool, and takes a bit of pressure off of me, trying to keep everything about the day at the front of my mind! :o)

    Charity´s last blog post…It Works!

  21. i have been a fan of the daily docket for many months, but felt i was wasting SO much paper each day. i love the scaled down version! awesome! :)

    oh, and just a thought for those who prefer the original… because i refused to NOT use the daily docket, i came up with a creative way to reuse the same paper. most likely isn’t a new idea but none the less i thought i’d share… i slip my daily docket into a page protector and use a dry erase marker on it. then i simply wipe clean at the end of the night and start fresh the following day!

    thanks again tsh! :)

    Angie @ The Creative Mama´s last blog post…surviving the laundry madness.

  22. LOVE IT!!! Thanks Mama!!

  23. Awesome! Now I can take it with me on the go if I need to. Thank you for helping all of us stay a bit more organized! I’ve been using your Daily Docket for a couple of months now and love it – soooo much cleaner than my chicken scratches on my notepad :)

    Monique´s last blog post…Jason’s Deli offers organic

  24. I love your Daily Docket but found I never used some of the sections. I think the new one has everything I need so I think I’ll give that one a whirl.
    For anyone that still prefers the old version but would like to save paper why not print two to a page, this is what I have always done, so you get 4 dockets per sheet. I don’t write tiny but found there was still enough room to get everything down.

    Nicki´s last blog post…Menu Plan Monday

  25. I’ve been thinking about a chore chart for my nearly 3 year old twins and a way to give them an allowance since they are getting the coin thing a bit. I had no real idea what to do until I found your chart! Now I have a starting place and I will make a few other icons to add to our chart! Thanks so much!

    Emily´s last blog post…easy and affordable seed growing with used yogurt containers

  26. I love it! The daily docket actually has a bit too much on it for me, but the ‘dockette’ (as suggested by an earlier commenter–love it!) is just perfect. I like that I could also hole punch and keep it in a smaller notebook :)

    Amanda @ http://www.kiddio.org´s last blog post…Bring Snowy Fun Indoors with a Wintery Icicle Garland

  27. I love your daily docket, but as a work outside the home mom I needed a little more separation between work and home. I used your docket as a template and created one that was perfect for my needs in excel. With a little formatting I can print 1 or 2 “dockets” per page, and it’s just perfect. Thanks so much for the inspiration!

    Steph´s last blog post…Medela Swing Pump & Bottle Set Giveaway!

  28. Thanks for the great tool!

    steadymom´s last blog post…should i be feeling insecure?

  29. Great tool! I’m going to try it out this week. the what’s for dinner always get’s though of at the last minute in our home and I hope this will help me plan that of all things better!!!

    Kristen´s last blog post…reflective friday

  30. Not sure how I ended up on your blog, but your highlighted words towards the end of this post hit me like a ton of bricks. Sometimes in the day to day, with little ones running around and feeling like you can pull out your hair, a little reminder is nice…that YOU are the only you…and to live each day to the fullest. Love the daily docket nano…Thx for sharing.

  31. I am so thrilled to have found your daily docket! I have a home management notebook but have felt it was itself unmanageable! I am thrilled to start using your Dockets! Thanks!!!

  32. I’m a list kind of person, so I love the daily docket–especially the “lite” version.

    By the way, I like the “dockette” name suggested above–or perhaps Daily Docket Lite.

    Sandy´s last blog post…The New Grandbaby

  33. Thanks for the links Simple Mom. I have used these in the past and they really help this Lazy Mom stay on track. I just need a nudge now and then to keep it up!

  34. I have been interested in consistently using something like this for a long time…another commenter said they are more like a “fly by the seat of your pants” girl, but with 6 kids it doesn’t work so well…that would describe me except that I have 4 kids…I really like the Daily Docket (full spread)-seems like it would work well because you keep it simple. I have sometimes used the weekly schedule that the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People book suggests, it includes an area to highlight the different roles you play in life and the goals to accomplish for each of those and then above each day a list area and below that an hourly schedule. At the moment, however, I have no ink in my printer and am having to write things out by hand! Ack! Hopefully this situation will be resolved SOON so I can try the Daily Docket…

    Becky´s last blog post…A Vote and a Giveaway

  35. I love it! I use the Daily Docket at work but it always seemed so bulky, this is so much cleaner looking for my limited desk space.
    My ultimate productivity tool is my little notebook planner that I got at Starbucks back in Sept. It has the week on one side and a notes page on the other. I put all my shopping lists, to dos for the week, prayer list, etc on the notes and then put general scheduly things in the schedule. Everything I need in one little book :-)

  36. Hi! I’ve had your blog in my “Favorites” folder for a while! (forgot how I came across it! :) And, only today have I taken the time to read a lot of your posts! I LOVE your blog!! :) I am a new mama to a 7mo little girl and have been wanting/trying (kind of) to have a daily to-do list. Mostly because I forget when the last time I did something was! lol! I REALLY LOVE your idea of having a “Master” list and then picking each day what to do!!! Like you, I don’t really want to get strapped in to a tight schedule. I’m more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-her-pants sorta girl, but I DO need some structure..:) And thanks for having all of the sheets available to download! God bless! :)

    Catie

    Catie´s last blog post…Not doing so great.. :)

  37. Thanks so much! You’ve included the things I use most on the Daily Docket. Can’t wait to see how this new format works out.

    Karen´s last blog post…Top 5 Home Accessories For Your Favorite Reading Corner

  38. I have taken your DD suggestions and merged them with my computer calendar program – though, admittedly, I am a pencil-pusher, and prefer paper to screen; however it is easier to move things around and tidier on the counter too! Thanks for sharing your insights though :). Life seems happier when it is organized!!!

    Leah´s last blog post…the sweet life

  39. Oh ya, I ‘ve got my notebook. As of late, several! One for blog stuff, book stuff, life stuff.

    How about *simple the job!* for your slogan! Keep using it and people will get it (you know, for simple mom!)

    Great post, so helpful. Sandy

    sandy´s last blog post…They Didn’t Make their Beds!

  40. Tsh- you continue to amaze me! Thanks for all of the great tools. When I first found your Daily Docket I was a little overwhelmed by it so I came up with a plan I call Geek Week (my husband and I are both engineers so it fits!)

    It’s my week at a glance and it’s been awesome for me. I’ve tweaked it a few times, but I love that I can move my week around if need be (impromptu dinner at a friends) and still stay on track. Here’s a link to my post about it and a link to download it. Thanks for the inspiration.

    http://thelonggirls.blogspot.com/2008/10/my-geek-week-plan.html

    Erin´s last blog post…Dad & Daughter Dance

  41. FANTASTIC! As always, so many thanks for all you provide for this community of moms looking to be more simple – in the best possible ways. You really rock, Tsh!

  42. Thanks! I have not been consistent with the “regular” daily docket. Here’s my chance to try again with the streamlined version! Also, the inspiration for my weekly homeschooling checklist came from your master checklist. You can see what I did here: http://thoughts-of-home.blogspot.com/2008/11/home-education-getting-it-onto-paper.html

    Carole´s last blog post…going natural with: charlie’s soap

  43. Awesomeness! I love the list and was thinking about scaling it down myself–thanks for saving me the work. Although I do have to admit, I have only gotten as far as downloading it two weeks ago, and buying a binder. *sigh* Too busy to get organized. :)

  44. You should market these on notepads!

    Heather´s last blog post…Sonnet for Adele

  45. Thanks Tsh. I just downloaded both versions. I was thinking I’d use the original on a daily basis and the Nano (or Brief) can be used when I am leaving the house. However, there is a way in Adobe to print the larger version two to a page. In the Printer window click on Page Scaling, then choose Multiple Pages to a Sheet and select number of pages as 2. And voila! So now I think I will just stick to using the original! Well I will try, I tend to not be so good at keeping up with To Do lists, sadly. :)

    Francine´s last blog post…Take only photos

  46. Thanks for the great ideas and tools. I have a planner that’s working well for now, but I am going to mark my MITs on my to-do list.

    Alison´s last blog post…My Second Baby

  47. How about Daily Docket Digest?

    Kim´s last blog post…Sunday Musings

  48. Oh, I love it!!!

  49. What about the Dainty Docket? :D

    (Sorry to anyone who may have already posted that idea…I glanced through the comments but I could have missed it.)

  50. Perfect!! I loved the daily docket, but the nano version fits my style even better! I’ve always been a list maker, but since I’ve been following your blog, I’m a list maker with a purpose! Thank you for the tools — and the inspiration and affirmations along the way!

    Gena´s last blog post…My Favorite Things

  51. (Me before I had a baby): “I don’t see why I would ever need 3 MITs on my list. I just always get things done.”

    (Me now that I have a baby): “MITs are such a great idea. I think I’ll adopt them posthaste.” :>)

    Thank you for making something that is going to keep my life sane. God bless you. I totally love your attitude on life too. Focusing on three things now and not counting my life a failure as long as I get those three done.

  52. The nano daily docket sounds like a great tool. I love its limited space to keep you realistic.

    Right now I use a combination of a calendar on the wall for writing down appointments and weekly household goals, and a weekly meal plan that is on the fridge. That information then gets transferred to my index card to do lists (I usually do two or three days at a time) which are held together with binder clips. I have a few blank cards at the back for ideas and doodles and notes. I keep them on my counter when I’m home and in my bag when I’m out.

    Pretty low tech, but I’ve tried lots of other systems and they never pan out as well as my own. Even when I was teaching and i had to have a daily and weekly planning binder, I still made up my own sheets in my handwriting and photocopied them — the computer type of the standard sheets distracted me.

    jill´s last blog post…Sunday Stash — I Spy Edition

  53. I used your tool, adapted it, and LAMINATED it at a local print shop. Instant dry-erase board!
    It is still filed in my notebook, but I can use wet-erase markers for the day. When I start a new day, I simply use a wet rag and begin again.

    It might help those who don’t like printing so much and throwing away. Laminating at many stores is just 1.00.

  54. thank you! I really do enjoy implementing the docket and the notebook and all. Many days when I’m in the kitchen all day(or so it seems ;) ) I just leave it open all day long on one of the counters.

    Sarah .aka. Mamalotsoftots´s last blog post…Wordless Wednesday ~ Beautiful Daughter

  55. I love your Daily Docket! After using it for awhile, I ran out of ink in my printer. I had to do a quick handwritten outline to keep my week together and I’ve done it over since. Not as pretty as yours though :) Thanks for giving me a jumping off point to stay organized. Such a great help!

    CarrieK´s last blog post…Demarle

  56. I love that you made the mini one. Those are great for during the week. I work outside the home leaving at 7:45 returning at 5:45pm so the big was too much for week nights.

    But I like the big one for Saturday and Sunday or if I have a day off during the week and have a project planned.

    Thanks, these are great.

    Peggy´s last blog post…2008 is finally over

  57. Can’t wait to try this. How about calling it the “Pocket Docket”?

  58. I really like this small Docket, especially having the ‘what’s for dinner’ part on the top. That will remind me to plan dinner ahead of time and not wait until 4:30 in the afternoon!

    Susan (A Happy Heart at Home)´s last blog post…Our grandbaby has arrived!

  59. avatar
    munchkin_momma says:

    I love this idea, stumbled onto it in my neverending search for tools to simplify and organize my insane life. My DH pokes fun at my to-do list and so i gave it up for a few months, my house is in shambles and I keep missing appointments and forgetting to pay bills. I think its time to give this a whirl and get back to the to-do!
    Thank you soooo much for the wonderful site and tools. I am going to be a frequent flyer here!
    Oh an I to do the sheet protectors with dry erase markers to cut down my paper waste. I have a master grocery list printed and I use dry erase to add sale items ect. to it or make notes and change items/ stores out. (I have it organized by store for cheapest prices, we have a bunch of grocery stores in the area).
    I have begun constructing my Family Binder and this site has been a fantastic resource to me. Keep up the awesome work!!!

  60. thank you for this =)

  61. Any chance you could offer these in an editable file? I love the idea but would like to add my own list of daily things that have to be done, without having to write them out each day. TIA!

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