Today there are all types of calendars (planners) for us to choose from. All of the big names like Franklin Covey, Day Planner, etc. Blackberry's, iPhones and now Androids...there are so many opportunities to keep our schedules organized, or have you so confused that you become even more unorganized! So it is not a surprise that so many people are still struggling with it all.
Staying organized with your calendar, whether it is paper or electronic, can cause more disorganization than organization if you aren't committed to using it properly and on a daily basis. So many times, I hear from clients start a system, then change to another system, then find yet another system and just don't follow up on anything because it takes committing to developing a habit in order to make a change. Even on electronic calendars, there is work required to input the information that you need to remember. You are in charge of taking the initiative to get it done and the responsibility to make make it happen.
Check out what will work best for your personality. I personally still use a paper calendar...no worries about batteries going dead, or being in a zone where my service doesn't have a strong signal - which is a lot where I live. The information that I want to share with you is how to utilize your calendar in a manner that will be most beneficial for you.
One big mistake that people make is trying to manage multiple calendars. There is no possible way that you can manage several calendars at the same time and not miss putting information in one or the other. It is too daunting and time-consuming. My recommendation is that you use one calendar for everything. This is personal appointments, soccer games, school concerts, work, play and anything that you really need to remember. You need to find something that works for your personal style and also that will allow you to read what you have written in it! So many people have such large handwriting, that they are not really capable of using the smaller calendars that limit the size of your writing. And, the most important thing about using a paper calendar...keep a pencil handy to write in your appointments. This will help keep your notes need, tidy and readable! They still make erasers to use for any changes that need to be made.
If you use electronic calendars, I recommend that you use the tools available to link them to each other such as Outlook to your Blackberry or Android. Electronic calendars are great because there is usually unlimited space for you to enter your information for each appointment. You can make some great notes to have available when you need them.
Managing your day by managing your calendar can save you time, money, frustration and anxiety. One important thing that I have done to help me manage my time, is to include travel time as part of my meeting. For instance, if I am meeting someone at 12:00 to have lunch, and I am leaving from my home to attend the meeting. I have to allow travel time to get myself to my appointment on time. Even though it is only 12 miles for me to get into town, that can take anywhere from 30-45 minutes depending on the traffic situation. So, I would mark a line through my calendar beginning at 11:15 a.m. thru 1:00 p.m. for a 1 hour lunch. This will ensure that I arrive on time, be prepared for the meeting along with calm and relaxed and be able to enjoy my lunch. After lunch if my next meeting is on the other side of town and I know that it will take me another 30 minutes in drive time, so, I know that I should cound on arriving at that appointment any earlier than 2:00 p.m. because I never want to show up late for an appointment.
My point is that no matter which method you choose, paper or electronic, you need to be dedicated to making the entries needed so that you don't forget, miss or show up late for appointments. And, when you have it all written down, and taken out of your head, you will relieve your stress, anxiety and feeling of overwhelm also. Take the time to learn and utilize whatever calendar system you choose, you won't regret it. For more information about becoming organized, please check out my website @ www.organizationdirect.com. You can sign up for my free MP3 download...File It, Find It...FAST! Find any piece of paper in 60 seconds or less.
Here's to your organizational success!