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 any.do 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:
- Repeating tasks for work and home
- Daily routine
- Weekly Plan
- Favorite menu plans, recipes, shopping lists
- Favorite recreational activities
Possible sections to include:
- Master list
- to-do list
- work duties
- repeating tasks
- important dates/gift ideas
- shopping list
- books to read
- movies to watch
Find free printable forms for planners:
- Set of a weekly planning form plus five daily planning forms (pdf) and more at Free Tools
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.
- An article on the advantages and disadvantages of each method: “Paper vs Electronic” from Laura Stack, The Productivity Pro. She also talks about the HUG criteria for time management systems.
- A guide to Learning to Use a Day Planner from chadd.org
- How to set up a basic productivity system from Nextweb
- Productivity Systems from Tuts+
- Always Choose Tools You’ll Use and The 4 Key Components of Every Time Management System from timemanagementninja.com
- The Paper Planner Inbox from A Million Monkeys Typing
GTD Essentials for those who follow Getting Things Done by David Allen.
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