Choosing a Time Management System

The calendar or planner you choose is an important part of your time management system. The basics of a system are: a calendar, to do list, and additional lists. The Daily PlanIt Keep It Super Simple (K.I.S.S.) System combines the best of both electronic and paper systems.


100% of us are looking for the perfect time management system that will magically enable us to get everything done. Okay, I made that up. But honestly, how much time have you spent trying out different systems and new applications? Oh, the irony. I must admit, I try lot’s of different time management ideas, and that’s okay as long as that’s not all you get done. Since we are all different, I believe it takes some experimentation to find something that works well for us. There is no one-size-fits-all solution.

Paper, Electronic, or Both?

Are you a visual person, do you think best when writing things down? Do you love gadgets and own the latest smartphone? You probably have some idea which way you lean, or whether you might work best with a hybrid system. There are advantages and disadvantages to either method, so the Daily PlanIt Keep It Super Simple (K.I.S.S.) System is designed to combine the benefits of each.

Whatever you choose should be:

  • Flexible-Easy to update
  • Portable-Large enough to hold all your information, yet small enough you won’t mind carrying it around.
  • Comfortable-attractive forms or screens
  • Customizable-make it work for your needs
  • Accessible-wherever you go

As smartphones and tablets become increasingly popular, many devices come with a system, and there are many apps available to explore. They vary from very simple, like to more complex methods for integrating Getting Things Done. When looking for applications, consider:

  • Ease of use
  • Access across platforms
  • Ability to sync
  • Ability to set subtasks
  • Ability to set recurring tasks
  • Ability to set priorities

Essential Lists for a system:

  • Your value statement or USP: this is central to everything else
  • Your goals and projects.
  • The action steps that will accomplish goals and projects.
  • Idea capture.

Helpful information to know and include in a system:

Possible sections to include:

  • Calendar
  • Master list
  • to-do list
  • goals
  • projects
  • work duties
  • repeating tasks
  • ideas
  • notes
  • information
  • important dates/gift ideas
  • telephone/address
  • shopping list
  • books to read
  • movies to watch
  • checklists

Find free printable forms for planners:

This is the first step of the Time Management Tutorial. With your system in place, you can use it for planning your time.

See how I manage my Calendar, To-Do List, and Weekly Review with a combination of Google, Android Apps and paper.


I use my paper planner as a tool for the weekly review.

Further Reading

GTD Essentials for those who follow Getting Things Done by David Allen.

I seek to create order from the chaos of complex information. Join me at the Daily PlanIt to gain insights, inspiration, and information to increase skills for a better life. I unlock the power of teaching reading with phonics in the pursuit of literacy at In my spare time I explore books and movies, often choosing titles available on both screen and page.

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Posted in productivity
10 comments on “Choosing a Time Management System
  1. […] goals and keep them visible. Choose a system to capture and execute tasks. List repeating tasks. Determine peak time and use it well. […]

  2. […] “Leave the Office Earlier” by Laura Stack-choosing electronic or paper system […]

  3. […] GTD mini system, Calendar & Tickler […]

  4. […] to see how your week will look in a week view. For each day of the week, what’s on your calendar? What repeating tasks for work and for home need to be accomplished? What meals do you plan to […]

  5. […] see also: To Do List | Repeating Tasks | Choosing a Time Management System […]

  6. […] part of my system reboot, I’ve been adding pictures to show how it all fits together. To choose a system that works well, we have to learn if we prefer computer based systems or paper, or a combination. […]

  7. […] calendar, to do list, and weekly […]

  8. […] are an important part of any time management system. In an electronic system, there are different options available for lists: Wunderlist and Evernote […]

  9. […] in meetings, conversations, and phone messages. Learn to recognize and add incoming tasks into your system, and delete the ones you […]

  10. Ingrid says:

    Thanks for tthis blog post

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