The Checklist Book by Alexandra Franzen


Looking to take control of your life, love making lists, or just want to feel organized a bit more than usual? The Checklist Book is perfect for that!

I received a copy of The Checklist Book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are, of course, my own. I’d like to thank Nicole Pyles and Women on Writing for allowing me to participate in this tour.


The Checklist Book


Alexandra Franzen is the author of several books, including So This Is the End: A Love Story (2018), You’re Going to Survive (2017), and 50 Ways to Say “You’re Awesome” (2013). 

She has written articles for dozens of sites, including Time, Forbes, Newsweek, HuffPost, The Muse, and Lifehacker. She’s been mentioned/quoted in The New York Times Small Business Blog, The Atlantic, USA Today, BuzzFeed, Brit+Co, and Inc. 

Alexandra is best-known for writing about creativity, productivity, the power of setting tiny goals, how to develop more confidence in your writing skills, and how to stay motivated, keep working towards your personal and professional dreams, and never give up.

She also works as a copywriter, ghostwriter, writing teacher, and consultant. She helps her clients to develop podcasts, videos, websites, speeches, books, and other creative projects.

Find Alexandra’s latest projects, classes, and hundreds of free articles and resources at

Publication Date

January 14, 2020

Why I Picked It Up

Because I’m a serial list-maker. Seriously, I love making lists, I love checking things off lists, I sometimes add things to my list I’ve already done just so I can have the satisfaction of checking it off. 

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As someone with ADHD (and newly diagnosed), I’ve also learned that I make a lot of lists but don’t always follow through on them so I’m also hoping I’ll learn something new in this book!

Famous First Words

“It was two days before the beginning of a brand new year.”

Book Description 

Simplicity at its best: The checklist is one of the world’s oldest―and most effective―productivity systems. If anything, author and entrepreneur Alexandra Franzen shares, it is just as valuable now as it was during the days of the Roman Empire. Writing out a simple checklist allows us to tangibly plan our day and set in stone what we want to accomplish.

Cut out unnecessary noise: There are countless apps and organizational systems out there to help us straighten out our lives, but often they only add to the madness. Trying to keep up leaves us feeling drained and overwhelmed. Learn how to choose your highest priorities, set realistic goals, celebrate tiny wins, and feel calmer every day with the magic of checklists.

Be realistic about the time in a day: By physically writing down our tasks on a single piece of paper, we force ourselves to limit how much we can do in a day. Too often, we cram our day with tasks and chores and leave almost no space for self-care or time with loved ones. We end up disappointed in our inability to complete our never-ending to-do list. Checklists help you plan your day in a more gentle, realistic way. You accomplish what needs to be done―and enjoy things you want to be doing, too.

In the life-changing Checklist Book, learn:

  • The history of the checklist and why it remains to be relevant and effective today
  • The science behind the success of checklists, such as the instant satisfaction we feel when we put a check next to a finished task
  • How to create a basic daily checklist―and checklists for specific situations, like moving to a new city or navigating a divorce.
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My Thoughts & Takeaways

I can honestly say I think Alexandra possibly wrote this book for me. I feel like a broken record, but I was just diagnosed with ADHD at 33 (you can read my article about this for Wellness Lounge Magazine) and it felt like I had the most enlightening experience ever. However, it made me realize that had I known sooner, things may have turned out different.

I’ve always been a serial list-maker but never seemed to accomplish anything. Always have the ideas and the plans but nothing to show for it. My life made so much sense once I was diagnosed. I finally had an answer as to what was “wrong” with me. Since being on meds and getting help, I’m finally checking things off my checklist (and ultimately it’s what led me to be able to start this site – my third one!). 

That being said, I still struggle – as I imagine I may always do with the way my brain works – to stay on task, say no to people, and not overfill my day. I have a bad habit of thinking somehow there’s more time in a day then there is. 

I told my psychiatrist that I was really happy with my meds but my only complaint would be that it doesn’t seem to last all day. To which I then said, “or, maybe I’m expecting too much from it.” I get up at 6 am and work on my. business for 3-4 hours, go to my “day” job for 6-7 hours, come home and work on my business until I can’t anymore. 

She told me “yea, you’re not meant to work that much.” Oh.

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What I Liked

Alexandra’s Writing. I really loved Alexandra’s style of writing. It reminds me a bit of me – personal, relatable, a bit humorous, and a little sarcasm. 

The Historical Bit. I had no idea about the historical aspect of checklists and that was fascinating to learn (but I also liked that she kept that section short and sweet as I know not everyone is a history person).

Templates. I love checklists, but know what else I love? Templates. Yas. And, I love that she offers these on her website too!

The Loose Ends and Marketing Checklists. I really loved these two specific checklists as they really relate to me and my business. 

Resources. Alexandra offers a nice list of resources in the back which I loooove. Books, articles, podcasts, playlists, and more.

What I Didn’t Like


Favorite Quotes

“I like the idea that wheneber I check something off a list, it’s like a quiet little moment of connection with the Goddess of Truth.”

” You might have an infinitely big heart and an unlimited desire to support and help others, but you still only have twenty-four hours per day.”

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Ashley Hubbard

Ashley Hubbard is a blogger and freelance writer based in Nashville, Tennessee focusing on sustainability, travel, books, plants, coffee, veganism, mental health, and more. She has two other websites - and

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Nicole

    Thank you so much for your honest, insightful review!

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