None of us ever seem to have enough time these days!
That is why we have been working on a series of articles that will help us to better organize and plan our time.
We have been discussing the best personal planners and calendars that will help us to do this more effectively.
SOME THINGS TO CONSIDER
Here are a few things to consider as you look for the perfect planner:
Do you make a lot of appointments?
Do you need constant lists and reminders to get through the day?
Do you need a handy address book?
Are you constantly looking up phone numbers?
Do you want to combine financial management into your organizer?
Would it be handy to use a planner that has a built-in calculator?
Are you having trouble keeping or following through with your life goals?
Do you want your planner to incorporate your budget?
Do you need daily motivation and reminders?
Do you want constant inspiration?
Would it help you to list the things you are most grateful for at the end of each day?
Do you like to keep a prayer list handy?
Do you have trouble remembering event times and places?
Are there tasks that you just simply will not get done unless you schedule them?
Do you like keeping a bucket list as you go?
Do you like to journal?
Do you enjoy things that are color coded and/or tabbed?
Is there a big event you will be making plans for all during the year; a wedding; an anniversary, a move, etc.?
Do you need some help in coordinating with your family members each day?
Do you keep a scrapbook that follows your family’s timeline?
Are you a visual thinker?
Do you need budget reminders?
Are you scheduling for your home life, your career life, your family and household errands only, or do you want something that incorporates all of the above into one simple streamlined location?
Would it be easier for you to separate these into different planners each; or would it be more convenient for you to keep all of these categories of life together in one place?
MY PERSONAL PREFERENCES
There are many good tools out there to help you with each and any of these special categories. I’m going to make some suggestions and tell you what I have found to be most useful in my own life.
I would suggest using both an on-line and a hand-held personal organizer.
I like to record EVERYTHING together in one place; but you may prefer to keep things separate; it is simply a matter of whatever works best for you.
I like to keep my portable/physical hand-held planner with me at all times, either in my car or in my purse. Men might prefer something that is pocket-sized to carry with them during the day.
I use the physical planner whenever I need to jot down something new. I like to keep my planner, my phone, my keys, a sharpened pencil or a lead pencil with an eraser and my wallet all together all in one handy, sturdy cover/container that works like a three ringed binder with compartments for storage. Finding a pretty cover that does all of this is like putting icing on a cake; go for it! Some purses are also special-made to store these types of planners.
Let the hand-held personal planner be the beginning of all planning. Use a PENCIL, not a pen. Feel free to erase and change as you go. Before you go to bed at night – lay your hand-held planner down on your desk beside your lap-top computer.
PURCHASE A GOOD LAP-TOP COMPUTER
If you are struggling along without a laptop computer on your home desk; quit doing that. Find a way to have one. Ask for it for Christmas or your next birthday, or save up your pocket change until you can at least purchase an inexpensive model that will do what you need. Notepads are temporary solutions to this problem; but in the end you still need a laptop.
They are a necessity as far as I am concerned.
Phones are just too tiny and portable planners cannot carry everything you will need for the long-term. Any life these days, even if you are retired and living on a desert island, requires easy access to the web and the ability to research from a computer. The one at the office simply would not be a good place to keep your personal information. Make sure your laptop is secure and has protective software to stop hackers, phishers and viruses.
GETTING INTO ROUTINE HABITS
Once a day, first thing each morning if possible, sit down at your desk with your laptop and look at your on-line planner for a few minutes. Update it from your hand-held planner’s notes, and then remember to put your hand-held planner back in your pocket, your purse, or your automobile.
After those on-line updates are done; browse through your on-line calendar and look at today’s date. What do you have scheduled? Note any appointments and to-do lists that you will need to remember today. Check all reminders and follow through on them later.
While you are on-line, remember to check any other reminders, such as your daily goals and note any progress that you have made. Cross off what you have accomplished and enter any new goals that you have not yet entered.