Time Management

Spreadsheet for tracking recurring tasks

Excel spreadsheet for tracking recurring tasks.

Usage advice: 

I print this landscape and then punch the short left-hand margin, fold the sheet in half, and put it in my planner. It would work for either a letter or classic-size planner.

Paper size: 
Letter
License: 
Creative Commons
Applications required: 
MS Excel
Language: 
English

2008 and 2009 Week at a View Planner

This is a Word document, Classic page size, one week per page, Monday start.

Thumbnail: 
PlannerThumbnail.jpg
Usage advice: 

It's in table format, with the days going down the page.

The dates and the lines (between the cell borders) are set to print in 70% gray as I don't like the strong contrast between the paper and full black. Also it doesn't show through to the other side of the paper. But this is editable in Word by changing the font color.

I set margins to .3 inches and print two pages to a sheet, cut the pages apart, and have the book spiral bound with extra pages and some photos, an envelope, etc.

I have the weekly calendar page on the left and the right-hand side (the back of next week) is left blank for notes. You could put the weekly calendar on the right if you prefer. If you don't need the note space you could print duplex. There are also lined notes pages at the end of the file that you could print onto the back of the calendar if you like the lines.

If you have it spiral bound you can get plastic covers bound in. With the normal plastic covers Office Depot has, the covers start getting ragged (corners break off, etc) around August. It's better to take some scrapbook paper or a photo to use as the front and back cover, and have them laminated before binding.

There are several planning pages at the end of the file for future years.

There is some word art (the word "Holiday") at the official holidays when banks and post offices are closed. You can delete this if desired -- it's all editable.

Email me or leave a comment if you have any questions. I hope it's useful, if for nothing else than a starting point.

Paper size: 
Classic (5.5 x 8.5)
License: 
Creative Commons
Applications required: 
Word
Language: 
English

What's your current work setup?

Levenger FolioSo, I'm addicted to writing and productivity gear. That's part of the reason for this site. I'm constantly trying new notebooks, new covers, new pens, new techniques, new calendars, new journals, new planners. And [cue Steward Smiley self-aware gander into mirror] "that's okay." I have fun, and no one gets hurt. I just make sure my monthly schedule never goes out of sync, since I'm careful to note my appointments and urgent lists in multiple places (iCal/Google Calendar/Backpack and my paper planner). I learned long ago that as long as nothing important slipped through the cracks, I could play to my heart's content. And, since I love to tinker, I do.

But occasionally I notice trends. For example, there's a strange "divergence" happening between my work and my creative gear.

As could be expected, my work gear is definitely more professional --I work in marketing/communications in my day job, so image can certainly be important-- and through my many trials it's more or less solidified into a Circa-based planner based somewhat upon the layout I mentioned in this post, heavily GTD-influenced. What's key to the setup?

  • Reliability: My monthly calendar is "synced" every Friday afternoon with my digital one, and periodically during the week. The pen and pencil I currently use for it, a Lamy 2000 fountain pen (with Noodler's Polar Black ink to prevent from freezing) and a Lamy 2000 0.7mm mechanical pencil, never fail me. All my current project dockets are listed, and all my recent notes are present in the Inbox section.
  • Omnipresence: I always have it handy. If I'm doing work-related things, it's either in my hand or five seconds away.
  • Portability: I have a 17" MacBook Pro at work. It's a great computer for my job, and I love it. But it's not exactly easy to tote around. While my planner isn't exactly light, it's less than half the weight and size, and the zip-around closure keeps out the sub-arctic weather.
  • Flexibility: I keep a lot of spare paper and forms in the planner, and the disc-enabled shuffling of sheets of different sizes and shapes makes it easy to re-arrange things on the fly. Plus, I can mix figures with text with doodles with diagrams all on the same page, with an ease that computers still don't facilitate (but rather emulate). Add a selection of DiyP index cards in the card slots, and I'm all set for almost anything.

In a little while, I'll post about my current home/creative setup. [Update: see What's your personal kit?.]

In the meantime, what's your current planner setup for work, and why?

2009 yearly and weekly

I have used several of the templates I found here and thought I would return the favor. I created these for my notebook I carry at all times. For those who do not have a large number of projects, etc. I print the entire year of the monthly pages and only enough of the weekly pages for the current month.

I have included both the Excel workbook and the Pdf files.

Usage advice: 

They are formated for letter size pages.

Paper size: 
Classic (5.5 x 8.5)
License: 
Creative Commons
Applications required: 
Adobe Reader, Excel
Language: 
English

Instuctables: Hipster PDA How-To

Instructables: Hipster PDAInstructables.com bills itself as the world's biggest show and tell. To be sure, a lot of the how-to's lean a little to the ugly side of kludgey, but they really tap into the true DIY spirit. And there's certainly no lack of step-by-step articles for notebook hacks and Hipster PDA variants.

For example, take a look at one that uses our D*I*Y Planner hPDA kit:

http://www.instructables.com/id/My-Hipster-PDA/

Also note the related items at right, and explore from there. You too can have a Moleskine cover made out of a circuit board, suitable for impressing geek friends, scratching the table-top, or --when your loofah is nowhere to be found-- sloughing off dry skin.

Daily Pages Compact with FC/GTD mix

This is my Daily Two Pages per day take on Franklin Covey/GTD Mix.
Compact Size 4.25" X 6.75" or 108 X 172mm
I am using precut compact size blank paper from Franklin Covey.
This is done in Microsoft Word 2003.

This is compact size because that is the size that works best for me. Small enough to carry and large enough to write in and see. It's about as heavy as I care to go also.
Open office is not an option for me right now as both download time and space are not available. I wanted to use what was easily available to me and the system I already had.

Usage advice: 

This is May in Microsot Word.
Compact size 4.25" X 6.75".
This size paper will not duplex in my printer so usually run off month on one side and then item lists on the other.

I can change the color of the months, the quotes (if I want one) and type in any extra information I want for a day.
I don't know how to change the date automatically yet so needs to be done page by page. This works out as I like standing things typed in my book.
I could run a standard form for the year and just write things in the blank spaces. I have not done a starter page for the Month or a lead page.
This is still a working form that will change as I experiment with it's use.
Date/appts are on the right as your book is open, lists are on the left.

Paper size: 
Other
License: 
Public Domain
Applications required: 
Microsoft Word
Language: 
NA

Go Ahead, Ask A Question and Let the Answer Organize You

On Monday, I attended a free teleconference offered on marketing small businesses by Veronika Noize. She taught us how the questions we ask can provide us some structure throughout the day. I really liked this idea because it helps me avoid distractions such as T.V., email, etc. An example question she offered us was, “What is the highest and best use of my time today?"

The above question, however, is just a start. Some other good questions include, “What do I want to accomplish today?”, or “When will I get a specific task done today?”, or “What is motivating me to work on my business, career, school, etc. today?” These are just a few potential questions that can be used to help organize your thoughts when you plan your day out in your planner.

Weekly calendar with Notes - Filofax Personal (6 3/4" x 3 3/4") size 2-up, in MS Word

The templates on here are wonderful, a big thank you to all. However, I wanted a filofax template, 2 Up, in an editable document that I could get creative on. After many trees were slaughtered (what my colleagues must have thought as I held each print up to the window to see if the second page lined up with the first?) I finally got a version to work for me.

This layout is copied from a classic size template already on here. But what I plan to do with this is create many other templates now that I have the position and size correct.

Hope this is useful to the filofax fans on here. After many years of "stealing" free stuff, finally I give back!

Thumbnail: 
weeklyplanfilofaxpersonal.jpg
Usage advice: 

Filofax personal 2-Up

Paper size: 
Other
License: 
Creative Commons
Applications required: 
Microsoft Word
Language: 
English

Prompts by Bullets: using bulleted lists to plan time

Currently, I'm working on writing up a business plan for Imagine Your Reality, my life coaching business. While I already had an idea of who my target audience is and I want to accomplish with the business, after a long discussion with a good friend (who is also an entrepreneur) I realized that my practice wasn’t as tightly focused as it needed to be. I had taken a shotgun approach to my life coaching, by offering to focus on a variety of areas. My friend pointed out to me that when you take that kind of an approach you don’t really tend to stand out. And standing out was something I wanted to do. Therefore, it was time to sit down and figure out exactly what I wanted my business to go.

It was time to start writing a business plan that could help me organize the material I had already developed into a more cohesive and focused program for building my business. I had come across an excellent template for writing a business plan and decided to use it to help me further flesh out my own plan (See http://www.veronikanoize.com/marketing_plan for the template). As I started reading the template, another thought hit me. I realized I needed to integrate my planner into writing the business plan. I grabbed my planner and blocked time in my day to note when and which sections of this template I would fill out. However, I went one step further. I included a series of bullet point prompts to help me get some quick brainstorming ideas down.