Time Management

Slightly Larger Fobster

2.5x1.5 inch bits, suitable for keychain use. Letter size page with 5 each of 4 forms- ruled, grid, checkbox and schedule.

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Usage advice: 

Letter size page with 5 each of 4 forms- ruled, grid, checkbox and schedule. 2.5x1.5 inch bits, suitable for keychain use. No allowance for holes or binderclip on form, but upper or lower left hand corner takes a hole nicely.

Paper size: 
Other
License: 
Creative Commons
Applications required: 
PDF Reader or Open Office Draw 2.0
Language: 
English

Week Tracker

I've created this template to track my week in relation to the projects that I'm involved with. It includes Projected time, Actual time, a weekly review, and a place to list accomplishments from the week.

Usage advice: 

I print this on one side of a sheet of paper, and on the other side print a weekly calendar. When 10's of these sheets are then put into a binder, you get to see your entire week at one glance.

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

Living in Harmony

Harmony CardLiving a balanced life is a hard thing nowadays. Between plowing throught the stacks atop our desks, responding to urgent requests for meetings, and spending goodly amounts of time commuting to and fro, it's difficult to keep track of the big picture, allocating enough of our energies to those non-work issues which are truly meaningful to us. Spending time with family, reminding oneself of exercise, and seeking ways to replenish our inner selves -- all these get lost as we plunge head-first into our action lists.

We need to reach an equilibrium, figure a way to allow all of the various facets of our lives to work together. This is the purpose of the Harmony form. (Yes, Hipster PDA fans... there's some shiny new cards ready to download below.)

That Sync'ing Feeling

You know the situation. You might have a Classic-sized planner stuffed with D*I*Y Planner templates. You tote a Hipster PDA in your guidebag or purse. Somewhere, there's a Palm you sync with Outlook, online calendars or Palm Desktop. Then there's the array of Post-Its cluttering your monitor, the stack of index cards by the phone, a Moleskine yearning to be used, a notebook you tote to meetings, and so on. Slowly, as you come across neat ideas to boost your productivity, you take on more and more ways of doing things, your system begins to fracture, and your trusted system erodes. And the single most important plea, among all the lone voices crying in the night? -- "How do I make it all work together? How do I 'sync'?"

I've going to have a whirl here at addressing one of the most commonly asked questions posed of me in the past couple of years: how does one "synchronise" information between different sources, if you're going analog? In other words, how do you keep all your information up-to-date, whenever and wherever you need it, and still have it reliable enough to be trustworthy?

Client Time Log

Being an "Independent Contractor", whether by choice or necessity, demands a level of organization that most people would find daunting. I must confess I was initially a bit shaken. However, with the help of this website and a bit of research, I found that all of my fears could be calmed with a single index card.
This is my first submission. Be brutal! I crave honest feedback.

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Usage advice: 

Just a general time log for each client visited throughout a day.

Paper size: 
Index Card (3 x 5)
License: 
Creative Commons
Applications required: 
PDF Reader (Adobe Reader, Mac OS X Preview)
Language: 
English

Doug: The Top Five List

Day Runner + D*I*Y PlannerThis week on DIYPlanner.com is going to be a little different. I've asked each of the writers the question, "What five items for enhancing your productivity and/or creativity can you not be without?" (I'm lumped productivity and creativity together, since for many of us there's a decided overlap.) I've also asked for explanations and tips for those items, so we can get a better glimpse of how those things are used.

For my list here, I'm not going to include a computer. These are so ubiquitous, and so necessary for most work in this day and age, that a computer has to be understood as a given. So, herewith, are my other top five items.

System Administrator Daily Page

Updated! Tweaked a bit to look more like the DIY V3 format and I made it 2-Up so I could print it on my duplexing printer. This is a daily calendar page with an incorporated to-do list. It is based on the calendar page in the O'Reilly book Time Management for System Administrators by Thomas A. Limoncelli.

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Usage advice: 

This is a daily calendar page based on the page in the book Time Management for Sysadmins by Thomas A. Limoncelli. It has a schedule on one half of the page and a To-Do list on the other.

The To-Do list has an area for prioritizing and estimating the time to complete the item.

There are front and back pages for both 12 and 24 hour time.

Updated! Tweaked a bit to look more like the DIY V3 format and I made it 2-Up so I could print it on my duplexing printer.

The 2-Up file only has the 12 hour format pages in it at the moment.

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

DiyP2-Style 3.75 x 6.75 Templates

A selection of D*I*Y Planner 2.0 style templates in "personal" size.

Usage advice: 

This is a collection of selected D*I*Y Planner 2.0 style templates in the popular filofax/dayrunner 3.75" x 6.75" size (also known as "personal"). Included are Day Keeper, Weekly Planning, Notes, To Do List, Next Actions, Someday/Maybe, Checklist, Important Numbers and Sources pages. Print with Acrobat.

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

Overcoming the Post-Project Blues

Picasso - The Old GuitaristHaving finally pushed the big D*I*Y Planner 3.0 out the door, I'm facing the big post-project comedown. You probably know the score: you've invested days or weeks or months of time, effort and thought into a project, whereupon it's become a central focus of your existence... and now it's over.

First, the positive emotions hit. There's relief, knowing that it's done, the pressures are all gone, and now you can move on to something new and exciting. There's joy at the thought of rest, a time of regrouping and renewing one's vigor after the seemingly endless sessions when you bordered on complete exhaustion. And, of course, there's that emotional high, soaring with the satisfaction of a job well-done, a culmination of your blood, sweat and tears made manifest and ready for its intended use or audience.

But then there's the negative emotions trailing close behind. All of a sudden, there's a loss of motivation: when your object of devotion is no more, what becomes of your sense of purpose, or even identity? This is often followed by minor depression, your ego groping in the darkness for something to latch onto. Confusion sets in -- all you have now is a vague sense of other potential projects and goals, a compass swirling 'round wildly, with no firm direction in which to point. Then there's the danger of lethargy, your much-anticipated rest period stretching gradually from restlessness into a complete loss of focussed energy.

So, what to do?