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How to Plan your Day Using the Strikethrough System

Planning the day is an important part of our daily routine. Dedicating a little time on a daily, weekly or monthly basis to sort through all the appointments, goals, to-do, events and tasks can be so determining on how successfully the day goes.

Every person has an individual style they like following in order to plan their days. Some people prefer the popular Bullet Journal method, while others like using a calendar-based system. It's okay to follow whatever style you like as long as it's effective, easy to understand, and makes you happy.

Today I want to share the simple method I use to plan my days. This is a more easy, straight to the point system.

I wanted a more manageable style than a Bullet Journal since I became so overwhelmed when I tried following it. I know many people swear by the Bullet Journal and I respect that. I'm not criticizing or bashing it. I'm only sharing my personal experience.

My personality and artistic abilities were not suited to that particular planning system. I couldn't manage the spreads that were too crowded and complicated. I wasn't good at decorating and keeping it in order, so I gave up.

The Bullet Journal failure was a valuable learning experience for me, since I discovered I'm more aligned to a list-based planning system. I was looking for something simple to help me stay organized and that method seemed a perfect fit.

According to info online, the original idea, Strikethru, was created by Chris Kyle. In his site he sells a notebook with all the templates ready. He also offers a post with detailed explanations of the main components. You really don't need to buy his notebook to start using this method. You can do it in any notebook using a simple pen and following the explanations he offers.

I created my own templates and added my own personal tweaks to it. But I used Chris Kyle's original idea to set my own modified planning system. So all the credit goes to him. Now I'm going to show you how I set up my Strikethrough Planner and how I use it to plan my days.


Set Up

Download my template to see how I set up my planner. You can print the template and bind it, which is easier. Print how many pages you need. Just remember that around 50% should be assigned to The Live List, 30% to The Vault, and 20% to The Dump.

Download PDF • 12.29MB

*Or you can buy a notebook and divide it in three areas and manually label each page following the same design as the template.

The System

The Strikethrough planner is composed of 3 areas: The Live List, The Dump and The Vault.


Is the active to-do list for the day, which you fill the previous night. This list is your day plan. Whatever you complete, you strike it through (hence the name of the system) and whatever you don't can be added to the next Live List.

Every Live List only has 9 tasks per page so you don't get overwhelmed with too much to-dos. Each task has a priority square on the right to decide the order to tackle them. You can create your own system with levels and symbols to prioritize tasks. (In the template, I provide an example of the one I use).

There are two ways to plan and use The Live List.

1. A Daily To-Do System: you plan 9 tasks each day and strike what you complete. The rest of the tasks get moved to next day's list.

2. A Rolling To-Do System: you plan 9 tasks and only after you've completed all of them (whether that is in 1 day or more) you plan another List with new tasks.


Is a set of specific lists with a two-letter tag before the title. In here you essentially break down a project in tasks. In each page you write any upcoming project and all the tasks and activities you need to do in order to complete it. The individual tasks are the ones that end up in your Live List once you're ready to tackle them.

For The Vault, you create a Key System with Tags to label the type of projects you write down. In the template I provide the ones I use, but you're free to create some that work specifically for you.


Is a space to jot down all your inspiration and ideas. This is your place of freedom. No tasks, no priority squares. Just a blank page to put down all the thoughts you want to remember and that can potentially become projects and tasks in the future.


1. Print all your pages and divide them accordingly in the three areas.

The Live List

-Write the date on top of the page. Then add the 9 tasks and in the right square classify the priority level for each task using the priority keys.

The Vault

-After you've brainstormed different projects you need to work on, divide them in categories and assign a tag to each. Use the sample Tag Chart in the template or create your own.

-Go to a blank page in the section, write a title description and the category tag in the square above to identify what type of list it is. You'll notice there are 15 spaces to write tasks and not 9. That's because in this section you create the tasks you want to tackle in the future. Once you plan your day, you move tasks from this area to The Live List.

The Dump

-There are no rules. Doodle, brainstorm, write, and draw whatever you want. This is a free space to come with ideas and inspiration.

How to carry tasks from one list to the other

The Strikethrough method uses a very simple referencing system composed by the page number and the task number. For example task #3 is on page 50 from The Vault and you want to add it to The Live List. You write 50.3 on the line in The Live List in which you want to add the new task.

I personally don't like referencing like this because it can get confusing and I like reading exactly what I have to do, so I don't forget. I simply write down the task in words since it's not too much work to do. It all depends on your personal taste.

As I mentioned above, this is a modified version of the Strikethrough system. You can add or remove things from it. The important thing is to have a system you're comfortable with and can easily understand. I personally like using this method because it's flexible and you can adapt it to what really works for you.

I hope you give this simple planning method a try. Let me know in the comments down below if you do and how it works out. Also share what is your preferred method for planning and why. I love reading your suggestions. Like and share this post if it was useful in any way. Thank you so much for reading it.

Until next time.

Gabriela Fernández

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