It has been pointed out to me that I manage my time very well. In fact, I get things done rather expeditiously and still have time to cuddle on the couch. How do I do it? What is my not-so-secret? Continue reading to find out.
I use my planner. I use my planner a lot.
Selecting the right planner is something that requires thinking about how you are going to use it.
My criteria for my perfect planner are as follows:
1. It has to look good.
I came to this conclusion years ago. If my agenda is not attractive, I will not like looking at it. If I do not like looking at it, I more than likely will not look at it and the whole system fails. Everybody has different tastes. Mine leans more toward simplicity and the old school styling of Moleskine.
2. It has to have a weekly layout
I have found that a weekly format works best for me as it allows for just enough details, but does not get overwhelming and wasteful. I hate wasted space. A monthly format does not allow me to put enough detail into my schedule and gets cluttered quickly.
3. It has to allow me room to make notes
I make notes… lots of notes. I can’t remember much, but if I write it down, I will remember it. When I write things down, they become more tangible. If I write it in my planner to call Rick or Sharon, I will remember that I need to do that because I keep looking at my planner multiple times a day.
4. It should be well organized
If I cannot follow a planner’s layout, I will not use it. If I have to constantly search for where noon is on Wednesday, it will deter me from using the planner.
5. It must be simple
If it is too complicated with numbers and writing and blurbs about this that and the other thing that distract me from the purpose of the planner, I will spend more time looking at that which distracts than what is really important, i.e. my schedule.
6. It should have a built in way of flipping to the current schedule quickly.
Nothing deters me from getting a planner worse than one that requires me to page through gobs of pages just to get to today’s date. a simple elastic band suffices and if you have found a planner that lacks only this, you can create your own with an elastic headband or rubber band.
7. It must be carried easily
If I cannot take it with me, why have it. I like that those big 8.5″x11″ varieties let me put in all sorts of info, but I really don’t care to lug one of those big things around.
I have searched high and low for a planner that works well for me. There have been lots by DayRunner, At-A-Glance and Day Timer that I have used, but none seemed to fit all my criteria except one. The Action Day Planner fits all of the criteria quite well.
The thing about finding the right planner is that it has to fit you and how you will use it. My criteria may or may not be your criteria. If your planner is going to sit on your desk all day a larger one may be of service, but for me because I carry mine around with me a smaller one is a necessity.
Selecting the right planner is only part of my time management solution. More of my not so secrets in the next post in this series.