Planning Your Planner

It’s that time of the year thoughts may turn to a new planner for the new year, and you want it to work better than last year’s.

ADAPTATION is the name of the game. There is no one system that has a place for everything you need—until you adapt it.

UNBREAKABLE RULE #1: Have only ONE calendar where you keep your appointments. (The only possible exception is having an extra calendar for the use of others, such as family, to schedule around, but rely on your own.) Keep only appointments on it, and things that are time-sensitive and MUST be done that day—NOT your to-do list!

Here’s  what works for me (after years of trying many different systems) and you may want to adapt some for yourself:

Consider a PDA for contacts, calendar, appointments, reminder alarms, and capturing notes, especially when I am out of the office It is always at my side, 24 hours a day.

When working in my office, I love to use a paper planner to map out what I am going to do that week. It is my thinking tool and stays in the office. I like the weekly view format so I don’t have to re-copy if something doesn’t get done that day.  I can still see what needs to be done, and highlight the critical things. I can always see the big picture, the “week at a glance.”  On Friday, my weekly review picks up anything that needs to go into the next week. www.PlannerPads.commakes a great one—very flexible, with room to customize.

Whatever you use, capture all the ideas of things you need to do, and things you WANT to do (some people use a 3×5 card in their pocket). Free your mind and enhance what you do best! Then process these ideas, which will be another topic.

Warm wishes for holiday blessings,


nancyNancy Hagan, Effective Executive LLC, works with business leaders who want to be more effective and productive, and focus on their highest priorities. Please contact Nancy at or (513) 899-9949. For information about workshops and other services, visit