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Prefer Paper Planners? 3 Best Calendars You’ve Never Heard Of

Prefer Paper Planners?  3 Best Calendars You’ve Never Heard Of

Professional Organizers are often called upon to help our clients choose the calendar that is best for their needs. Many times, even though people are very digitally-oriented in their work, they still prefer having a paper calendar. Paper planners provide the benefit of immediate gratification—there is no waiting to boot up or fumble around with “toothpick typing.” You can just write something in and keep going. People also enjoy being able to carry other papers inside the planner, such as receipts and airline tickets and the like.

Lots of people are familiar with the FranklinCovey® planners, Day-Timer®, or Day Runner® brands, but there are other paper calendars out there that deserve mention as well.

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WeekDate

One of the common drawbacks of using a paper calendar is having to write recurring events repeatedly, and then, of course, you have the hassle of erasing and updating all of them when something changes. One calendar has changed all of that. WeekDate is one of the most creative things I have seen in a while. You write in all of your monthly recurring appointments, all of your weekly recurring appointments, and then all of your specific day appointments on different folded-in “flaps” of the calendar itself, so that you can view them all at once and have no need to rewrite things.

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WeekDate


    Planner Pads

    Another paper planner that gets rave reviews is the Planner Pad. They have been around for 30 years and they offer a six-month guarantee on their product. They have a unique design that provides a funnel of tasks and activities on a two-page view of the week, starting with higher-level projects, then daily activities, then daily appointments. The Planner Pad really helps people manage lists better in conjunction with their daily schedule.

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    Book Triangle

      Whomi

      The Whomi (as in “Who, me? Organized?”) helps people who are managing multiple schedules, such as a mother with her various children’s activities. You can track your own schedule along with 3 other people, such as two children and a spouse. It provides an easy-to-read color-coded view of the week for tracking each person’s whereabouts and activities. They have even made perforated corners so you can tear off the corners of previous weeks and tab over to the current week quickly. They have a checkbook-sized planner, a larger planner, and a wall calendar, all with this same color-coded, multiple schedule format.

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      Whomi Weekly

        Some people will always prefer an electronic calendar such as Outlook, but it’s nice to know that we have more creative paper solutions available for those who prefer a low-tech option.

        Lorie Marrero is a Professional Organizer and creator of The Clutter Diet, an innovative, affordable online program for home organization. Lorie’s site helps members lose “Clutter-Pounds” from their homes by providing online access to her team of organizers. Lorie writes something insanely practical every few days or so in the Clutter Diet Blog. She lives in Austin, TX, where her company has provided hands-on organizing services to clients since 2000.

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        6 Reasons to Keep Receipts…Or Not! Prefer Paper Planners? 3 Best Calendars You’ve Never Heard Of Organizing Saves You Money: 8 Valuable Opportunities The Seven Essential “Stations” Every Home Should Have Five Common Working-At-Home Problems- Solved!

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        Last Updated on April 8, 2019

        22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

        22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

        Unless you’re infinitely rich or prepared to rack up major debt, you need to budget your income. Setting limits on how much you are willing to spend helps control expenses. But what about your time? Do you budget your time or spend it carelessly?

        Deadlines are the chronological equivalent of a budget. By setting aside a portion of time to complete a task, goal or project in advance you avoid over-spending. Deadlines can be helpful but they can also be a source of frustration if set improperly. Here are some tips for making deadlines work:

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        1. Use Parkinson’s Law – Parkinson’s Law states that tasks expand to fill the time given to them. By setting a strict deadline in advance you can cut off this expansion and focus on what is most important.
        2. Timebox – Set small deadlines of 60-90 minutes to work on a specific task. After the time is up you finish. This cuts procrastinating and forces you to use your time wisely.
        3. 80/20 – The Pareto Principle suggests that 80% of the value is contained in 20% of the input. Apply this rule to projects to focus on that critical 20% first and fill out the other 80% if you still have time.
        4. Project VS Deadline – The more flexible your project, the stricter your deadline. If a task has relatively little flexibility in completion a softer deadline will keep you sane. If the task can grow easily, keep a tight deadline to prevent waste.
        5. Break it Down – Any deadline over one day should be broken down into smaller units. Long deadlines fail to motivate if they aren’t applied to manageable units.
        6. Hofstadter’s Law – Basically this law states that it always takes longer than you think. A rule I’ve heard in software development is to double the time you think you need. Then add six months. Be patient and give yourself ample time for complex projects.
        7. Backwards Planning – Set the deadline first and then decide how you will achieve it. This approach is great when choices are abundant and projects could go on indefinitely.
        8. Prototype – If you are attempting something new, test out smaller versions of a project to help you decide on a final deadline. Write a 10 page e-book before your 300 page novel or try to increase your income by 10% before aiming to double it.
        9. Find the Weak Link – Figure out what could ruin your plans and accomplish it first. Knowing the unknown can help you format your deadlines.
        10. No Robot Deadlines – Robots can work without sleep, relaxation or distractions. You aren’t a robot. Don’t schedule your deadline with the expectation you can work sixteen hour days to complete it. Deathmarches aren’t healthy.
        11. Get Feedback – Get a realistic picture from people working with you. Giving impossible deadlines to contractors or employees will only build resentment.
        12. Continuous Planning – If you use a backwards planning model, you need to constantly be updating plans to fit your deadline. This means making cuts, additions or refinements so the project will fit into the expected timeframe.
        13. Mark Excess Baggage – Identify areas of a task or project that will be ignored if time grows short. What e-mails will you have to delete if it takes too long to empty your inbox? What features will your product lack if you need a rapid finish?
        14. Review – For deadlines over a month long take a weekly review to track your progress. This will help you identify methods you can use to speed up work and help you plan more efficiently for the future.
        15. Find Shortcuts – Almost any task or project has shortcuts you can use to save time. Is there a premade library you can use instead of building your own functions? An autoresponder to answer similar e-mails? An expert you can call to help solve a problem?
        16. Churn then Polish – Set a strict deadline for basic completion and then set a more comfortable deadline to enhance and polish afterwards. Often churning out the basics of a task quickly will require no more polishing afterwards than doing it slowly.
        17. Reminders – Post reminders of your deadlines everywhere. Creating a sense of urgency with your deadlines is necessary to keep them from getting pushed aside by distractions.
        18. Forward Planning – Not mutually exclusive with backwards planning, this involves planning the details of a project out before setting a deadline. Great for achieving clarity about what you are trying to accomplish before making arbitrary time limits.
        19. Set a Timer – Get one that beeps. Somehow the countdown of a timer appears more realistic for a ninety minute timebox than just glancing at your clock.
        20. Write them Down – Any deadline over a few hours needs to be written down. Otherwise it is an inclination not a goal. Having written deadlines makes them more tangible than internal decisions alone.
        21. Cheap/Fast/Good – Ben Casnocha in My Start Up Life mentions that you can have only have two of the three. Pick two of the cheap/fast/good dimensions before starting a project to help you prioritize.
        22. Be Patient – Using a deadline may seem to be the complete opposite of patience. But being patient with inflexible tasks is necessary to focus on their completion. The paradox is that the more patient you are, the more you can focus. The more you can focus the quicker the results will come!

        Featured photo credit: Estée Janssens via unsplash.com

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