Thursday, June 18, 2009

Time Track Thursday #5

Today's topic is finding a personal planning system that works for you.

Planners are important because it is your main productivity tool. What type of planning system you use depends entirely upon your personality. I like to write things down on a paper planner, my tech savvy friend prefers her iphone calendar, and Lenny in the movie Momento uses photographs and tattoos. Use whatever you want, as long as your system works for you.

Paper Planners
  • 1-2 pages for 1 day work well if you have many appointments that fill your schedule
  • 2 pages showing a full week is highly recommended so you can better see how you are using your time
  • size matters- small planners are more portable, but you have less room to write out lists
  • a planner is an investment, but inexpensive ones work just as well. you can always upgrade when you are sure the system works for you
  • List of popular planner lines, many of which are sold at your local office supply store: At-a-Glance, Day Runner, Day Timer, Filofax, Franklin Covey, Planner Pad
Electronic Planners
  • many cell phones have calenders so you will only have to carry one device
  • some models can store a lot of data
  • if many of your activities are online, its easy to coordinate with them electronically
  • alarms can remind you of important activities
  • make sure you keep it charged, and be careful if you sync with your computer so you don't lose anything
  • one disadvantage is that you can not view a whole week calender on the screen
I use a paper planner and Google Calendar together for my system. Google Calendar is great for artists and crafters because its easy to adjust and rearrange the blocks of time you have scheduled. This is important because you never know when your "genius" will visit you, and 3 hours could go by while you're painting, sewing, or beading etc. If you were "supposed" to be working on traffic generation to your site while on your creative tangent, you can just swap out the time blocks at another point in the week with the click of a mouse. I also keep my values, DMP, and goals in my paper planner for motivation.

Once you pick a method, use it consistently and avoid writing on scraps of paper that you can lose. Check you planner daily to make sure you are getting everything done. Gather everything you need the night before so its organized and ready for you to start your day!

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