Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Organizing Time / My Planner

I have been reading a fairly helpful book, Organizing Your Day by Sandra Felton and Marsha Sims.

I'm also working, for the umpteenth time, on creating a system that works for me.  I'm actually great at creating systems - horrible at sustaining them. I feel like I'm getting a bit closer.  The key is keeping it simple. Very, very simple.

I need to remember my planner history - over and over I tried ready-made planners or elaborate systems utilizing ready-made pages, pages I created myself, 3-ring notebooks, small 6-ring notebooks, filing cards in boxes, filing cards in photo books.

I was never able to create a planner that worked for me, that didn't become a huge chore in itself. Then, I guess the Universe took pity on me. I found a small Day-Runner cover, a 4" X 7",  which used spiral-bound components - it had a monthly calendar insert, a phone/address booklet. I added  a weekly calendar that had space for writing to-dos.  I have used this for more than 10 years now and it totally works to keep me aware of appointments and events and deadlines and birthdays and important anniversaries.

Over the years, I've had to replace the cover - I now have one from Day-Timer that's even better, with slots for cards & a photo holder on the inside cover, and I have had to use components from other systems as well because sometimes I can't find the Day-Runner ones. Sometimes I use the free calendar from my credit union.

Right now I've got an At-A-Glance Executive Weekly Planner, which has the calendar (tabbed monthly which is great) and the weekly pages right after each monthly calendar pages.   I love this format.
It's helpful in using such a small planner that I can, and like to, write tiny. My favorite pens are the Pilot G-2 micro with 0.38 point.

The address book is the same one I started 10 years ago - it's rather falling apart and filled with information that's no longer useful.  I did buy a new book, and began the tedious process of transferring addresses and numbers over.  However.... I ... can't... find... it... now. (Typical lament of the disorganized clutterbug...)

This planner and Post-It notes are probably the reason I SEEM to be amazingly organized to many people. 

And its simplicity and longevity in my life are  the reasons I must have "Remember The Planner!" as my battle cry as I work to create a system for organizing my time and projects and papers.

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Anonymous Steve said...

A blog devoted to decluttering! I'm sure a lot of us could use or share advice on that chore.

We haven't by any means overcome the disorder in our house, but we MAY recently have reached the stage that makes it possible to start - a sort of epiphany, the realization that so much that we've been holding onto isn't really important; and that ditching the excess helps to focus on what really IS important.


8:26 AM, February 14, 2010  
Anonymous DebraC said...

Sometimes the simplest of planners can be the best solutions. Here's to the humble black book. Your approach of 10 years has certainly stood the test of time.

11:58 PM, February 22, 2010  
Blogger 'Zann said...

It certainly has, Debra - and I need to remember that simplicity as I try to get a grip on other areas -- like paper clutter.

9:01 AM, February 23, 2010  
Anonymous Shawn said...

My systems have morphed over time and continue to mutate as I read and learn more. I think I'm 80% there now, but still have to get good at it. Thanks for the post!

9:06 PM, June 09, 2010  

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