Back in February 2021, I read the book “How to Get Things Done” by David Allen

eBook from Google Play


The method he presents in the book are based on 2 key objectives

  1. CAPTURE > capturing all the things that need to get done
  2. Have the discipline to make front-end decisions on what to do with the thing you’ve “captured” and have a plan for “next actions”

Capture is where my List of “Stuff” planner printable comes into play with my planning.

Capturing all the things that need to get done (“open loops”) – for now, for later, someday, big things, little things or in between – into a “system” that’s logical and trusted (meaning you will refer back to it regularly) that is out of your head and mind. Get it out if your head and onto paper … or digital if that’s the way you manage your list of “stuff”.

“Stuff” according to David Allen, is anything you have allowed into your psychological or physical world that doesn’t belong where it is, but for which you haven’t yet determined the desired outcome and the next action step.

So for me, my List of “Stuff” list is a placeholder for things I need to do, but either don’t yet know when to do them, what to do with it or the next physical action step to take.

My list has 8 columns:
– tick box once you’ve completed or attended to the task
– description of the “stuff” to-do
– 6 columns you can use to organise the tasks into – for example, action, delegate, file away, waiting for …

For me I use the columns to colour code my “stuff” into buckets:

  1. Pink > me stuff
  2. Purple > family/home stuff
  3. Yellow > social media stuff
  4. Green > planning/budgeting stuff
  5. Blue > my sons/school stuff
  6. Grey > miscellaneous stuff


Although recently, I replaced the Grey with Orange for my side hustle stuff.


So when writing down your list of stuff, organise them into a collection “bucket” that you know you’ll come back to regularly and sort through.

I use a grey Kuretake ZIG Clean Colour Dual Tip Marker in colour platinum to mark which column or bucket that “stuff” belongs to.

I purchased mine from


Side note: for things I need to do that I know when to do them or have the next action step, I write them down directly into my calendar, my weekly or my daily planner.

So my List of “Stuff” is really for when I think “gotta remember to look into that … but I’m not ready yet”.

I refer to my list at least once a week and I review 1-2 items from each of my “collection buckets” and see which ones I can action within the new week that I am planning.

So I quickly go down one column at a time and see which stuff I can scheduled within the new week or within the month and pencil the next “physical” action step in my planner. Tip, when writing down your to-do task, write it as a verb and be specific. For example instead of just listing “Email”, write “read email from Jane”.

By scheduling 1-2 items from each bucket, I find that I get a good “balance” of things to do for the week. Because my collection covers major focus of areas in my life, I find I am not just working on my side hustle, or not just on my home-schooling stuff.

If I find I don’t have any “stuff” listed for a particular “bucket”, for example things to do with my sons, then it gives me an opportunity to review and think of “stuff” to do!

Based on the book, for things that the next action step can be done within 2 minutes, don’t bother writing it down, JUST DO IT!

The next time I review my List of “Stuff”, for items I have completed, I mark it off and highlight it the same colour as my “bucket” code colour, not only to symbolise it has been completed so I don’t need to read it again, but also ’cause it looks pretty.


For things that have one more than one next action step, that’s where my Projects List come into play

I write down my target end and start dates, what the outcome looks like once I complete the task and all the next action steps to achieve the outcome.


Once I’ve completed a project, I just draw a line through it and write COMPLETED.


And finally, for “stuff” that’s in my head that I might want to do someday, but not now I write down in my Someday/Maybe List


So if you are interested in these A5 size planner printable download, check out my Etsy store.

EDIT (10th October 2021): I also have my “Get things done” planner printable available in Personal size and Happy Planner Classic size


So that, ladies and gentlemen is how I manage the things in my head, get it out of my mind, write it down on paper, schedule it in, determine the next action steps to do to achieve the outcome I want and cross it off once completed.

The same thing can be achieved digitally, but I’m a paper and pen girl that just loves stationery!

Have a fab day and make sure if you want to get notifications of new blog posts, don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to my email newsletter.

See ya!

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