I got my first organizer when my dad bought me a Time Design Junior. After 3 years or so, I too had my ‘cave in’ moment and went with a variety of e-devices, ranging from Sharps (I had one before I got the Time Design), Palms, Siemens and Psion. I was particularly fond of my Psion.
There are actually two answers to this question. My first answer as usage-level would be that I evolved from pure diary to more of an integrated system with goal setting and project sections.
I have two. I use a week on 2 pages for weekly brainstorming and planning. I have a day on 2 pages for daily planning and notes. I used to have a day per page and even just a week on 2 pages, but I found that I did not have sufficient space for notes, so I decided to give a day on 2 pages a try. And luckily for me just a that moment Ray published his daily dashboard insert. Yeah!
I have the following dividers in my organiser, which also tells you what information I keep and maintain. At present I would say that the dividers resemble FF’s Time Management System.
- Yearly overview
- Monthly view
- Weekly and daily view
- File section with 8 subdividers for projects and areas of focus
- Personal tab with goal setting and life plan
- Notes section for meetings and note taking
- Ideas section for anything that pops into my mind and I want to capture.
I definitely use a system. For one because Outlook is my main dairy and it contains my tasks as well. I use the MYN system by Michael Linenberger to keep up with email and tasks. Excellent system and very easy to apply, even on paper. And second because I use a combination of Time System meets Planner Pad meets ‘A’ Time meets RPM Time Management meets MyTyme meets me (see what I meant by being on a quest!).
I start with reading my goals and life plan from the Personal section. I then turn to my own designed weekly pages for the weekly review / brainstorming. I tend to brainstorm by area of focus and then list anything to do or to achieve in the top section of the weekly plan (an idea I took from Planner Pad). For each key result I write out a results block, consisting of SMART goal and purpose, to do’s with priority, the time I estimate it will take me and if I can leverage that to someone else.
The estimated time per results block helps me plan the results during the week. I sketch in the time I want to work on each block in the time dials (there is something about the visual aspect that helps me to really understand time I have committed for certain activities – I used Chronodex before, but it was not as clean as I wanted in terms of design appeal, so I made my own instead). These also contain committed time slots for meetings so I know when I cannot work on my projects and results. Based on what the dials tell me I then commit time for my projects and results in the bottom section of my weekly plan. I use the ‘A’ Time concept to ensure I actually have time available to commit in the first place. That alone has helped me tremendously in getting my things done.
The input for my brainstorming comes from the monthly planner and my goal setting sheets. The monthly planner I designed based – again on excellent work by Ray and Steve. I had a Hobonichi-styled layout, but that did not work as well as I had hoped, so I returned to a more horizontal look. The goal setting sheets are inserts by Time System.
I then turn to my DO2P section which is a redesign of Ray’s daily dashboard. I switched the notes page to the left as that keeps the rings away from my left-handed operated fountain pen. The daily plan has that ‘A’-ish column in it which I can use to block out time, but honestly most of the blocking out is done in Outlook.
7. Do you use one binder or several, and if several, how do you use them?
I use just one binder. In part because I want to travel as lightly as possible and also because I want everything at hand rather than going through several binders to find what I need. I have been eyeing the duplex Filofax – that would have made a very nifty reference binder. I even considered contacting VDS to see if a custom build would be feasible. Up to now, I have procrastinated that decision though.
Thank you Guido, I've had an excellent response from people wanting to take part in this series. I look forward to receiving responses back from people.
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