How to use a time planner
If you work in management, chances are your schedule is packed. Interviews, meetings, conference calls, and other day to day tasks can be easily forgotten if you don't have a good system in being organized. If this concept sounds all too familiar to you, a time planner could possibly be your new best friend.
Many people get a day or time planner with the good intention of using it on a daily basis, only to find that it sits on a shelf or rarely gets removed from your purse or briefcase. The following tips will help you to use your time planner so it can actually be of benefit to you:
- Choose the right time planner for your needs. At minimum, it should have a calendar that is broken down not only daily but hourly as well, so you can track items to do each day by time. This will help you to remain better organized, instead of simply filling in appointments in one large block. It should also have a space for writing to-do lists, telephone numbers, and addresses. There are many different brands and types available, from pen and paper types to electronic PDAs. These electronic ones have a number of advantages over pen and paper types, such as the ability to hold more information and alerts.
- Keep your planner in one spot. If you lose your time planner, it's pretty much useless. Find a spot to keep it at all times, whether it's in your purse, briefcase, or on your desk. You should have a spot for it both at home and at the office, if your time planner doubles as your personal planner as well.
- Refer to it regularly. In order to stay as organized and on top of things as possible, you should refer to your time planner often. It's not a bad idea to tell yourself to check it every hour, if you have an extremely packed schedule, or at least every morning, afternoon, and an hour or two before you leave work. When at work, it's handy to keep it open on your desk as a visual reminder of what you have to do. If you have a PDA or electronic time planner that has alerts, make sure you utilize them.
- Write down appointments as soon as you get them. You should get in the habit of writing down appointments, meetings, and interviews as soon as you find out about them. That way, you don't ever have to worry about forgetting an appointment. If you're writing in your time planner, make sure you do so legibly.
- Carry your time planner with you at all times. This will make it easier to jot down appointments and commitments as you receive them. Make sure you return it to its designated spot when you get back to your desk so you know where it is at all times.
- Make it a point to look ahead. It's a good idea to look at your planner right before you leave work or before you to bed so you can note any morning appointments and plan accordingly.
For the busy manager, a time planner can be a wonderful thing. It can help you to stay organized, more efficient, and more prepared for the day's events.