In this world of continually changing technology, you can use google, outlook, hotmail, ymail, your iphone or droid or thousands of other means to document your schedule. You name it, every electronic device has a way for you to track your time and appointments in order to stay organized. Determining which system to use can cause you to actually become less organized than if you weren’t using anything at all.
Now, there isn’t a right or wrong calendar system. It has to resonate with your personality. The most important thing to remember is to be consistent with your schedule management. I was interviewed by the Washington Post on this topic earlier this year. One of the most important things to remember about managing your calendar system is to use just one calendar….always! Whether it is digital or paper, the only way to avoid double-booking yourself, missing appointments and managing your stress, is to know where you are obligated and expected to be every day.
Using a single calendar and schedule consistently, will also allow you to schedule much needed down time and family time. You will be able to see, exactly, where you can take the time to relax, get organized, finish that project that you have put off for forever – and everything else that has been keeping you from becoming organized.
Keeping yourself organized through your calendar is also beneficial in assisting you when planning your budget. You will be able to identify upcoming financial obligations and make a smart decision whether you should, or shouldn’t, make a financial investment at that given moment. This works for homeowners and businesses as well.
If you need to track how you are spending your time, your calendar can be very beneficial. When I worked in the financial planning field, we always identified our appointments using a different color of highlighter. All appointments that would result in money were highlighted in green, prospect appointments were highlighted in yellow and follow-up appointments were highlighted in blue. We even highlighted our personal appointments in pink. The color really didn’t matter, but what did matter is that we knew how many money appointments were on the calendar for that week or month and we could track how we were spending our time – and the areas that we were behind too!
Keeping your calendar up to date will keep your goals on track. Moms, dads, businesses, home-based businesses — everyone should use a calendar of some sort to document appointments, time and schedules.
In that Washington Post article, most people admitted that they would continue to use a paper calendar to track their time and appointments. This is mostly because of the fear of what would happen should they lose their phone, not have internet service or become “unconnected” for a period of time. You see, no matter how hard we try, we can’t store everything in our heads. This is why it is important to have a consistent calendar system that we can always have access to, any time of the day. Your calendar system should be your Bible for your business. It is the reason that you are in business – and the reason that you are a great and productive spouse and mother (or father).
Use a calendar system to keep yourself organized and focused. To your success!
Linda Clevenger, Professional Organizer