All About To-Do Lists: Decoupage a Notebook


We’ve talked in the past about the different methods for creating a to-do list that works for you, and I wanted to share more of my system with you today.

While I continue to love and use Microsoft OneNote faithfully, I’ve found that I’ve moved back to a paper list for my weekly and daily to-do lists. There is no doubt that OneNote provides unmatched flexibility for keeping projects and permanent records organized, and I’ve got sections set up for various long-term projects as well as our homeschooling records for this coming year. (Read more about how I use OneNote here.)

On the other hand, I’m using my trusty Steno pad more these days because I like being able to scribble all over the page, rewrite my lists as necessary and cross off tasks so I can actually see the progress I’m making. While I love the price of a Steno pad, I don’t really like using a plain Steno pad. I want something prettier since my pad is my constant companion these days.

I could spend the money on a prettier notebook or journal, but my compromise is to simply decoupage my own notepad cover. Let me assure you that while I like to attempt to be crafty, I end up with disasters as often as I end up with finished products, so if I can do this, anyone can.


To start, I simply find pictures in a magazine that I like. Some people make collages using many different small pictures, but I prefer to use larger images and just add a border or two (because I’m lazy?).

:: Spread the cover with ModPodge and center a large picture or arrange several smaller pictures over it.

:: Smooth the picture(s) from the inside out to eliminate most of the bubbles (any small bubbles will flatten out as it dries).

:: Add borders, letters or embellishments while it dries.

:: Once it’s dry, trim around the edges so that the picture no longer hangs off the edges.

:: Add a final coating of ModPodge over the cover to seal it.

The options for customizing your notebook are really limitless, and it’s a fun way to add a little bit of beauty to the mundane.


While we’re talking about to-do lists, I also want to tell you about Todoolist. I recently had the chance to read  Nick Cernis’ ebook, which describes his Todoolist system, and if you’re looking for a way to get more out of your to-do list, I highly recommend this system. The ebook could easily be broken up into several shorter ebooks, but Nick packs 3 or 4 great systems into one ebook instead and offers it for just $14.  With his 30-day money-back guarantee, I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!

Do you have a notebook or pad that you use regularly? Do you look for something “pretty” or just for something functional and budget-friendy?

About the Author

Mandi Ehman

Hi. My name is Mandi and I’m an organizing junkie. I’m also a wife, and Momma to four little girls (5, 3.5, 2 and a new baby!). I've worked at home since our oldest was a baby, and like a lot of other moms, my life is a constant balancing act of caring for my family and my home, meeting my obligations and finding time for hobbies in there somewhere. Oh, yeah, in the interest of full disclosure, I’m somewhat of a kitchen dunce and I only like to pretend that I’m crafty. Read more here!

6 Responses to “ All About To-Do Lists: Decoupage a Notebook ”

  1. I’m like you, I think computer programs are good but I like being able to write, scribble and cross off my to-do-lists also. Right now I’m using a pretty little notebook a friend gave me several years ago. (I just found it stashed away.)

    Although I enjoy having a pretty notebook, as long as it’s functional, it really doesn’t matter too much to me what it looks like unless I have to take it out somewhere. Then I don’t want something that looks old, tattered or just plain ugly.

    Thanks for the idea!

    Amanda @ Mommy’s Idea Book’s last blog post…14 Ways to Save Time in the Kitchen


  2. I love this… I prefer legal pads (I’m not sure why), but I have little “journals” for my girls to draw and color in. They are more functional and simple, rather than pretty, and I know they would love helping me “decorate” their journals.

    Fantastic! Thanks, Mandi!

    Amy’s last blog post…Frugal Tuesday – Cloth Napkins


  3. What a pretty notebook, Mandi – that baby has SUCH cute toes :)

    I love pretty notebooks – in fact, they’ve got to be pretty because I don’t like ugly things :)

    Marcia Francois from Organising Queen’s last blog post…Favourite organising tools #15 – tote bags


  4. When I was in college, I bought a cheap little desk and decoupaged it all over! It took a long time to do and it started out first with stickers and then I got some ModPodge and put all sorts of things on it! It was really fun and even though the desk was about as sturdy as a leaf, I miss it!


  5. Funny I ran across this. I’ve got a planner for to do’s and a binder @ work. But I wanted to start keeping a journal like I used to when I was pregnant. I got a little notebook but it’s just so plain I was considering dood-ing up the front. Your idea came just at the right time.

    Lori’s last blog post…It’s Summer Vacation Time


  6. We are on the same wavelenght – I just gave up my day planner for a simple notebood -I date it, then I write my lists. ON the back side of each page is where I keep the list of things I need to buy. I love it – no more huge planner stuffed in my purse!! Love the modge podge idea! SO fun!

    JOY’s last blog post…Lower Your Standards


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