With all of the distractions in today’s world, finding a way to finish your to-do list can sometimes feel like a daunting task. When people are feeling overwhelmed they often look to others to find an organizational method to help them stay on task. There are so many different ways to keep yourself organized out there and trust me, I have tried them all! And of all the things I have tried, there is one that has stood the test of time: the steno pad.


Now you might be thinking, “What? Of all the tools, programs, and apps available, you use a notebook? How is this going to revolutionize the way I keep myself organized?” My answer is, “KISS”: Keep it Simple Stupid! But in all seriousness, organizing your life should be simple. You shouldn’t have to learn a new program or make it more complicated than it has to be. Find a clean system that works for you and run with it.


I like to keep a steno pad on my desk, and each morning I write down a quick list of things I need to complete right away. I always try to tackle the most difficult or intimidating task first, then order them based on priority. Throughout the day, I’m adding things I can’t forget to address.  When my page gets too full or messy, I flip it over, start a new clean page, and carry over what I haven’t gotten to. My goal is to not leave the office until everything in my steno pad is complete. Slightly OCD? Maybe! Do I go through tons of steno pads? Definitely! But hey, it works for me…and guess what? I have my whole office using them. And I can’t lie, there is nothing more satisfying than looking at my notebook, seeing all of my completed tasks, and flipping over to a clean page.


Remember, any system you use will need to be practiced and perfected. Don’t be afraid to ditch a system and start over if it is just not working. No one organizational method is going to work for any given person. But whatever system you choose to use, it should be simple enough to make your life easier, not more complicated!


So, the next time you are feeling overwhelmed with all the details and to-dos of your life, give the good old fashion steno pad a try! I promise, if it works for me, it can work for you too!


How do you keep yourself organized and told of all your tasks? Did you try “The Art of the Steno Pad” and it worked for you? Email me at cindy@cindykoebele.com with your comments and pictures for a chance to be featured in an upcoming blog post or article!