Time Management

Left-Handed Weekly Calendar

A "Weekly Planning" template made for us lefties who use classic ring-bound planners.

Thumbnail: 
Usage advice: 

My boyfriend bought me a beautiful Franklin Covey leather-bound planner for my birthday. I was thrilled; finally I had something beautiful to put my D*I*Y Planner pages in. Problem is, I'm left-handed, so writing on the right-side pages is a real pain.

This template is made so that the work days of the week (Monday-Friday) are on the left. It's currently not in the D*I*Y Planner style, because I'm redesigning more than just my calendar anyway. If there are enough lefties who want this in a D*I*Y Planner style, though, I'd be happy to make one.

I also included a checklist for the Weekly Review, and some reminders for every day. There are even four different snippets I took from GTD to remind/inspire me throughout the month. The snippets are different for each week.

It's in a 2-up format for the Classic-size planners, and if you print them double-sided, the holes to be punched will always be in the center of the 2-up page (so if you want to fold them in half and then punch them, instead of cutting, you can).

Paper size: 
Classic (5.5 x 8.5)
License: 
Creative Commons
Applications required: 
PDF Reader (Adobe Reader, Mac OS X Preview)
Language: 
English

Look Both Ways

improv(photo credit seanhphotos)

We're often counseled to consider things from all angles, or to look at both perspectives, but that's trickier than it sounds if you haven't really practiced the skill. How often have you heard, "I'm just playing the devil's advocate." By the way, that often means, "I'm going to slam your idea now." Here are some thoughts on perspective and viewpoint.

Reduce, Cut, Remove: Clarity

scissors(photo credit jurica)

All things in life want to grow: seeds become buds become flowers become plants. Our children grow faster than we'd like. But also, our clutter grows, our bellies grow, our commitments grow, our expenses grow, and those things bring with them complexity. Like a tree needs pruning to stay healthy, and our bodies need exercise to stay fit, we must strive to maintain the simplicity in our lives through reducing our clutter, pruning our obligations, and rethinking our expenses.

Soap, Sweets, and Talking to Yourself: Advice on Getting Organized

Savon de MarseilleI’ve been thinking about starting a support group for the unorganized. UA, Unorganized Anonymous. A place for people, like me, who have not stayed on the GTD track like they wanted. And, of course, a place for free coffee and desserts.

"Hello, my name is Blyth, and I’m disorganized."
"Hi, Blyth."
"I’ve been disorganized for . . . hey, are those cinnamon rolls homemade?"
(I also need to join Sugar Addicts Anonymous and Short Attention Span Anonymous, but that’s another story.)

2007 Dated Weekly View Planner in MS Word

2007 Planner, A5, with one week per page, Monday start, in MS Word. The days of the week are in one column and there are no markings for times. It's very basic--not nicely formatted like the D*I*Y calendars and templates.

Usage advice: 

This will give you one week to a page with the weekly view on the left and a Notes page on the right for voice mail, etc. It prints in landscape on 8.5x11 paper, so two weeks print on one sheet of paper. Then flip the paper and print the Notes pages on the back of the dated pages. Then cut the pages apart down the middle. The Notes pages are very faintly lined so you can pretty much disregard the lines or use them, as desired--or edit them. After it's printed, I put the pages in order, insert extras, then off to Staples to get them spiral bound. I put in the contact page as the first page and they give me a transparent cover, so the contact page shows through. But am thinking of getting the contact page laminated so it will hold up to wear better--my plastic cover is starting to worry me, and I think that two layers of plastic would last better. On the other hand, I want to keep the weight and thickness to the minimum.

The margins are as narrow as I could get them so there would be plenty of space for writing. But since there's not too much space in the daily blocks, I just write appointments there, and use the Notes pages for anything more detailed. If you want to use them in a 3-ring binder you could. After each month I put an envelope or pocket page and/or a photograph page--also making sure there's a Notes page facing each calendar page, by inserting an extra Notes page.
And other pages from the D*I*Y templates can be printed and also included.

I used WordArt to plug in the word "Holiday" in the space for the days where I'm planning not to work, so I won't make any appointments for those days. You can just click on the word "Holiday" if you want to delete it. Also, I've included the US holidays--you can delete them if you want. And Daylight Savings Time and some religious holidays and the dates of the solstices and equinoxes.

If you don't need the Notes pages for the extra writing space, you could omit them, but then you would have to re-arrange the calendar pages so they would print in the right order. As it is, it worked out great for me, and I like not having to worry about getting the pages in order until after they are printed, because I stick in the pocket pages, envelopes, and photos, some of the D*I*Y templates, etc.

When I print, I always get the error message that the margins are set outside the printable area, but I have it go on to print and it comes out fine.

060525: Added Letter-size file

Paper size: 
A5
License: 
Public Domain
Applications required: 
Microsoft Word
Language: 
English

Dated monthly calendars May 2006 thru Dec 2007 in MS Word format

Dated 2-page monthly calendars for May 2006 through Dec 2007. Monday through Sunday week. At the end of the file there are also two-page yearly columnar calendars for 2006 and 2007.

Usage advice: 

Two pages per month on a sheet of 8.5 x 11-inch paper. I cut them down the middle and take them to Staples for spiral binding, or you could merge the tables and staple them in the center.

Print pages 1-2, 5-6, 9-10, etc and then flip over and print 3-4, 7-8, etc.

I haven't put in any holidays in order to have as much space as possible in the daily blocks--of course you could edit this and put in your own.

Paper size: 
Classic (5.5 x 8.5)
License: 
Public Domain
Applications required: 
Microsoft Word
Language: 
English

Using a Personal Analog Device

I use a bit of a hybrid between paper-based planning systems and their digital equivalents. One strong component of this system, however, is my personal analog device (my PAD). I learned long ago that a computer-based PDA was too restrictive, too clunky, and generally not as useful to me as a simple 85 cent pad of paper and a smooth flowing pen. You might recall the post about The Notebook. Consider this a follow-on.

Let me quickly sketch for you the infromation model that I'm working from, and then we can drill into the details. My personal model for accomplishing things in a given day requires the following: upstream planning and mechanisms, downstream execution and management, and ground-level data capture and transfer. This post will focus on capturing data in a useful way, but I'll spend another quick moment on the concepts I mentioned in my system.

Harmony Insert

This is an insert of the Harmony template, but made to be a bookmark.

Usage advice: 

This is basically the main parts of the Harmony template in a slimmer form. I suggest printing on card stock.

Paper size: 
Classic (5.5 x 8.5)
License: 
Creative Commons
Applications required: 
PDF Reader (Adobe Reader, Mac OS X Preview), OpenOffice.org2 Draw, unzip
Language: 
English

GTD-based 8.5 X 11 MSWord Templates

Actions - Phone
Actions - Computer
Actions - Work
Waiting For
Communication Planner
Ideas (graph paper)
Week Tracker (Mail Merge Document. I've included the date.xls file for it)

Usage advice: 

I work in a 8.5 X 11 world, and while resizing the "classic" sized templates here is easy, I get left with way too much margin room. Tired of this, I created the attached files.

The Week Tracker is a Mail Merge document. Use the included "date.xls" file as the data source, and print out any week that you want.

I've left it in MSWord format because of the Mail Merge, and also because I don't want anyone to be stopped from doing all the customization they want.

Paper size: 
Letter
License: 
Creative Commons
Applications required: 
Microsoft Word (unsure of the version needed. I used 2003)
Language: 
English