Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Productivity Consolidation

Legal pads, Post-It Notes, scraps of paper... how many modes of record keeping, reminders, and appointment tools are your using? Is there a better way? Can you consolidate your efforts?

For years I utilized a simple computer program to keep track of my meetings and to-dos. But I found that if I was out of the office and a client asked me to schedule a meeting, I couldn't because I wasn't in front of a computer. Even if I had my laptop with me, imagine if I had to boot-up every time I needed to check my calendar.

After a short trial period I soon settled on a three-ring binder in which I printed out a one-month per page calendar. In between months I inserted a clear pocket sheet protector that contains bills, invitations, and any document I may need to reference for that month. The binder has a zipper that keeps everything safe from falling out. I've been using the system for close to three years and it has served me very well.

There are many tools to keep you organized from Outlook, Remember the Milk, Google Calendar, and the list goes on and on. The bottom-line is to find out what program/system works best for you. Remember, there will be some trial-and-error... before I determined that the large three-ring binder worked for me, I tried a pocket-type calendar but quickly found that I couldn't fit all my "stuff" in the tiny, 1"x3" space allotted for each day.

If you're unsure of what different systems and programs are out there, just go to your favorite search engine and type in "calendar", "calendar system", "to-do list", "productivity", or "personal organization" and you'll realize the numerous and creative ways that have been developed to keep us productive, on-time, and efficient.

"Plan your work, and work your plan."

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