Erasable Pen System

This is one of my favorite to-do systems. It combines the neatness of digital systems, to the intuitiveness and immediacy of paper based to-do lists.

This system uses

  • erasable ink pens – I recommend these ones, that use friction and leave your paper crisp and clean.
  • a lined pad, preferably with thick paper, full (A4) sized and spiral bound.


1. Write down your day’s jobs, all in one page, in a lined pad of your preference.

2. Make sure you use an eraseable ink pen.

3. Tomorrow, complete any jobs unfinished, or start a new page. Erase any jobs that have been completed, or copied over into a new day.

4. If your pages become too wrinkled (possible over time), simply copy any jobs over and remove the old page.


  • Writing a job down onto a piece of paper is intuitive to most people.
  • The pens are inexpensive – about the same price as other pens.
  • You do not have to be online, or have access to a computer or device, to find your to-do list. This often removes many steps (turning a device on, turning an app or program on, navigating to the right page, etc).
  • Jobs are tactile, and removing them is enjoyable.
  • Importantly, using a removable ink pen removes the biggest problem with paper based systems – pages that become objectionable from too much crossing out.
  • Erasable ink is also more attractive and readable than the usual erasable medium of pencil.


  • Busy people may have a lot of erasing to do.
  • Non digital means it cannot be backed up, and must be carried when traveling (this may not matter to most people).


  • Tie the pen to your pad, if you are in the habit of losing your erasable pen. This stops you filling it in with non-erasable ink at these times.

Our Rating

rating: 4.0 stars
A very simple trick that will keep most people happy over the long term.

Your Thoughts

Have you tried this system? What are your experiences working with it? Any pros, cons, variations, or tips?

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