Choose the Right Personal Organizer to Manage Your Time

Choose the right personal organizer to manage your time. Do you get to the end of the day and wonder where the hours have gone? Have you ever forgotten to do that important task? If so, then you're not alone!

After forgetting an important event and promising myself not to forget such things again, I made the plunge and purchased an organizer. That was several years ago.

But which one to get? What was the right price? Do I get a day to a page or a page for one week? Should I go electronic?

Paper vs electronic


Paper seems to foster higher order thinking and also, according to Lifehack, a greater commitment by stimulating a bunch of brain cells that activate the reticular activation system. I really like the Franklin Covey Planners as a  system because they are strong on mission and goals, and provide a set of tools that capture all of your personal information.

They also have a strong time management background which means that they give you the tools to align the higher order goals with execution at the daily level.

personal organizer

Electronic personal organizers

With much of our personal actions being sent through email it makes sense that your organizer is linked to your email. The other benefit is that an electronic organizer can be accessed from just about anywhere, can be backed up onto a server, and can be synced to your mobile device.

For electronic personal organizers I like Franklin Covey software because they provided me with many of the tools that are essential to good time management. This included goals, missions, weekly planning tools, and a prioritized to do list. They also provided seamless integration with my email system and a way that I could track my projects and communication with clients.

I also like this free GTD sofware. Apart from being able to sync across all devices and having a strong GTD framework, using their system allowed me to capture all the actions and tasks in the immediate and on the horizon in one central location. What a stress relief!

Is one better than two?

When we are talking about organizers or a time management system - one is better than two.

Some people have a personal organizer for work and one for home. The problem is that much of the boundary between work and home is blurred. The result is double booking appointments, not being able to find information, and not having complete trust in your system. It can get pretty chaotic with two or more organizers.

Choosing the right personal organizer

At its most basic your personal organizer needs to have a master to do list, a calendar that you are able to schedule appointments, and a place to keep loose papers and notes that you make.

What works for me is (and you'll want to change this to suit your own needs):

  • two pages to a day but obviously a daily organizer needs to be tailored to fit into your bag, brief case or large purse.
  • 1/2 hourly appointments down the side of the page to schedule tasks and activities.
  • a location to keep a to do list.
  • a pen holder - as I can never seem to find a pen when I need it..which is so frustrating!
  • sleeves on the inside covers to hold lose papers/notes that have not been entered into my daily organizer. I also use this to keep the annual planning and quarterly check-ins from these time management exercises.
  • a page set-up that allows me to use my weekly planner. This allows me to block time ahead for important projects and to set an overall schedule that fits my work style.

I take my daily planner just about everywhere and definitely use it and LOOK at it every day.

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