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Book Club Jan Week 4: Getting Things Done

by Diane Wolf in Blog, Book Club
January 24, 2017 0 comments

Hello!

I’m going to keep today’s email relatively short… and yes, I do think I say that every week. For this week, however, let’s look at how we use our calendars/day planners etc. Whether you use a paper one or a digital one is a personal choice, but the first thing to do is decide which works best for you. If you just love a paper one, don’t feel you have to go online. If you do use a paper one, however, it needs to be portable unless you really don’t spend much time outside your office or home office. The big advantage of a digital one is that you can access it anywhere. Other than that, it’s just a personal choice.

Obviously, we use our calendars for appointments. We could, however use it for more than set appointments. Many day planners have room for notes, and you can put notes right into your calendar on the appropriate page, for example, an invitation to an event that includes the directions. Why file that, when you really only need it the day of the event? Why not record the important info right in your calendar on the day of the event?

You can also use your calendar for ‘trigger’ notes. For example, you are not yet sure if you want to attend an event that looked interesting. Most people will pile the event info on their desks, and are unlikely to look at it in time to decide if they are attending. If you really can’t make the decision now, why not put the event info into your calendar on the date you need to make that decision? Some decisions really can’t be made yet, for example, is my business at the point where I can hire an assistant? The answer may be ‘not yet’, but I might want to put a trigger note in my calendar to reconsider in three months.

If there are actual documents that you need to ‘pile’ somewhere, you can use a tickler file to store them. They won’t just disappear into oblivion, because the reminder in your calendar will send you looking for them. The event info and directions for a conference you haven’t decided on attending yet, goes into the tickler file, and the reminder on your calendar says, “decide today to register or not for the xyz conference.” The calendar reminds you, and the tickler file has the information handy. This is not the same as piling things on your desk, where they inevitably get lost.

If you are putting a lot of documents into a tickler file, you may want to set it up with one file for each month, or even one for each day. Accordion folders work well for this. If you are going to use daily tickler files, you need to make sure to check each day, since you likely don’t want to put that many reminders on your calendar. I personally don’t use more than just one file folder, because the number of trigger items in my calendar make it easy enough to sift through one folder to find the document. How you do it is up to you, but the trick is to make sure you have a system for checking it regularly, or that you have noted those triggers right in your calendar.

There is a lot of great information in the book on how to set up tickler files and checklists, so if this is something you think would work for you, make sure to check that out.

In the meantime, keep on getting things done, and feel free to invite your friends to join our Book Club by sharing this link with them:

www.dianewolfconsulting.com/bookclub

Warmly,

Diane

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