Sunday, March 29, 2009

A series on time - Finding the perfect planner fit.

I will confess that this is a crazy time of year for me.  Without my planner I would be totally lost.  What do you expect out of your planner/calendar system?  Is it working for you?

It is the end of the first quarter of 2009!  I can’t believe we are this far into the year.  I also cannot believe that many of our poor lost citizens are still struggling with a planner system that doesn’t fit their needs.  Maybe you are struggling with your system.  Or maybe you just can’t coordinate all the different calendar systems that are present in your life?  After a quarter of the year feeling like you just can’t get it together, maybe you haven’t thought that it isn’t YOU… but it is the SYSTEM that is the problem?  Ah.  The incorrect system, of course.  Let’s work on finding a system that works for you.

What should I look for in a planner?  That’s a great question!  I’m so glad you asked.

It is important to:

  • have only one calendar/planner
  • have a durable planner
  • be able to see the whole week at one time
  • have room to write in the space provided
  • have full days for planning weekday AND weekend activities

What does the planner of a professional organizer look like?

  • The book itself is thin enough to slide into my satchel or into a file folder.  It is very easy to have on the go. 
  • The days and months are pre-labeled.  
  • I have had ones in the past where I am supposed to fill in the numbers on each individual day… I can tell you right now, 
    that is not going to happen in my life. 
  • I can see the whole week at a time… Monday through Sunday.
  • Each day has space available from 7 am until 10pm.  I get FULL days.  Seven of them!  All week long!
  • Those spaces are large enough for me to write in!  
  • Each day is divided up into 30 min slots. 
  • The top of each day has a space for “follow ups” and three lines for “action items”
  • There is an added space in the margin labeled “this week’s priority”, “weekly action items”, and “notes”.
  • The top of the page has all twelve months in little thumbprint-sized print.  This is great for a quick reference.
  • And while this last feature didn’t seem like a big deal to me at first… the bottom corner of the page is perforated!  Why  does this excite me?  No more need for a “bookmark” that can get misplaced.  No more fumbling with finding what page I should be on for the current week.  When the week ends, I tear off the little corner and then the book automagically opens to the correct week for me.

Where did I find this perfect planner?

My specific planner is from Time Management Whiz Harold Taylor’s shop over at Taylor in Time.  He has quite a collection to choose from.  Just click “Planners” in the left column of the site.  This is the identical planner that I own and love. 

What about electronic planners?

If it works for you, then I think that is wonderful.  I can’t wrap my head around it.  I need to SEE what I have planned.  I need that whole week at once.  I need the tangibility of an actual paper planner.  What can I say?  I am a 30-something luddite.  It works for me

I’m off to work on this week’s priority:  Spring Break.  How do you spend your Spring Break?  No matter what activities you choose, I hope that you have a great week with your families, catching up on your Spring cleaning, or getting to that yard work.

(Does anyone else dislike Live Writer today?)


snaphappee said...

I have to confess that I have not been using my planner as I should...and I've suffered for it. I missed an appointment last week! GAK!

Thanks for the nudge! (btw, I'm home, and I expect to be chatting again soon!)

Your Organizing Guru said...

I hope that you will be back on the bandwagon with your planner (and your chatting) soon! Was Seattle's photography conference all that you could have hoped for? Hope the family is well and that you are enjoying rare time with your brother.