Time Management

2006 Dated Weekly Calendar

2006 Weekly Calendar with dates based on the 0.6 Widget Kit. 26 pages, Monday start, formatted for left side holes.

Thumbnail: 
Usage advice: 

Order of Days:
XXX Mon
Tue Wed
Thu Fri
Sat Sun

I print out 24 pages of a 2-up right hand margin GTD combo page, turn them around and print this calendar. After a bit of cutting and re-arranging everything is in order.

The source file for OpenOffice.org 2.0 file is also available below.

Paper size: 
Classic (5.5 x 8.5)
License: 
Creative Commons
Applications required: 
PDF Reader or Open Office Draw 2.0
Language: 
English

Tab Pocket Template

Template to create Monthly Calandar with Back Pocket and Tab. Requires legal size stock (old legal file folders work).

Thumbnail: 
Usage advice: 

This is still a work in progress, but the pocket is very handy with the suspense list (on back of page)

Requires legal size stock, legal file folders work is you cut them down.

This takes a little work:

* Fill in days of month and label tab.
* Cut along the solid lines (except for a tab).
* Fold along the dotted lines (easier if you lightly score along the fold.
* Glue as directed. Let Dry.
* You can reinforce the edges with a bit of tape on the outside.

Paper size: 
Classic (5.5 x 8.5)
License: 
Creative Commons
Applications required: 
Open Office 2.0 Draw (and Blue Highway Fonts)
Language: 
English

Weekly Time Map for Routines

This is a simple spreadsheet to track routines. The template is for 6am-11pm for 7 day weeks starting Monday.

Thumbnail: 
Usage advice: 

Use this is track routines such as Communtes or Work Schedules and broad catigories of tasks such as "Errands or Household".

A sample is included with the Open Office version. Downloading the spreadsheet is stongly reccomened since the cells are too small to write in easily. The spreadsheet uses the BlueHighway fonts that are use in the Widget Kits.

Color coding of types of tasks is a good idea. To color code select the cell or cells, right click, select "format cells", choose the background tab, select your fill color.

*The only restictions on the use of this template are any that might be attached to the font.

Paper size: 
Classic (5.5 x 8.5)
Applications required: 
PDF Reader or Open Office 2.0 Calc
Language: 
English

Simple Day Plan System 5 x 8

Simple Day Plan System - 5" x 8" index card format.

Usage advice: 

Ideal for people who have relatively few appointments and to-do items. Great for people who like to travel really light.

Consists of blended Appointments/ToDo area, Notes, and on the reverse, Agenda (can also be used as a free-form expanded ToDo list), Daily Tasks Completion Indicator, and Evening Items area.

Using the Daily Tasks Completion Indicator (DTCI) is simple. At the end of the day, review the number of tasks and appointments completed, and divide by the total number of tasks/appointments that you started out with, then circle the appropriate percentage. The DTCI acts as a reminder of what still needs to be done and acts as a quick visual indicator of your day's progress. You could even choose to mark your
intended goal for the day with red ink, and the actual results with ink of another
colour.

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

Keep Track of Rotating Chores

I share my suite with three other girls. Two bathrooms, the kitchen and the floor need to be cleaned every week. My suitemates and I have a clever way to keep track of who's in charge of doing what. If you have suitemates or kids, or if you need to remember what you're supposed to work on this week, check this out!

Cutting Loose the Albatross

Illustration by Dore

We all have times when we get very little done, and often the reasons are beyond our control. Our productivity can suffer because of health issues, family problems, third-party failures, unlucky happenstance, or any combination of the above. And then there are times when we neglect important items, either because of holes in our memory (or our planning systems), fires to put out, abject fear, other crises to manage, or even just plain procrastination. The ensuing build-up of difficult or intimidating tasks is completely natural, but is a result of continued anxiety that must be dealt with, lest stress and other consequences take their toll.

To that end, I'm declaring the next seven days to be my Albatross Week.

Making Every Second Count


My Day Sheets
I spent a good chunk of my days, during my dayjob, dreaming of all the things I would do if I got the chance to stay at home for an unlimited amount of time. I prayed for that day when I could bid the daily grind goodbye and start hitting all the household projects, books and spiritual practices I neglected due to insane work hours, long commutes and stress. I vowed to get in shape, write more and become more artistic. And after spending 5 long years at a job that made me feel depleted at a company I liked, I finally got my chance last month. I quit.

And now, I have all the time in the world to focus on those vows and projects. Except, I find myself waffling on all those things I dreamt of filling my days with. Instead I find all these other little things to do. I did great on that first Monday I did not have to wake up at 5 a.m. and commute into work. I got the laundry in order, exercised, organized some items in my Studio and read half of a new book. It’s just somewhere between the second day and now where I lost motivation. For example, instead of reading books, I spend time online chatting to friends and family. Instead of writing my D*I*Y Planner articles earlier and stockpiling them up over time so I can have Doug read over them, I find ways to wait until the day before they are due. I feel overwhelmed and not sure how I got here. What happened to my carefully thought out new life? Where’d all my new projects go?

Four Planner Hacks for Paper-Based Productivity

While Matthew Cornell has been a NASA shuttle engineer, a research programmer specialising in artificial intelligence at the UMass Knowledge Discovery Lab, and an enthusiastic personal productivity coach aiming to change people's lives, no doubt history will record his greatest distinction as the person who left the very first comment on the very first post of this site. -DJ

Ever since learning about Douglas Johnston's D*I*Y Planner Hipster PDA Edition, I've really enjoyed my paper-based productivity implementation (what a mouthful). However, switching to a planner has caused some problems (finding incomplete to-do items, handling recurring tasks, etc.) To make my system work, I've adopted a few hacks that I'd like to share, along with some related issues that I'm still struggling with. Finally, for interested parties, I've included a description of how I've set up my planner.

"Your mission, should you choose to accept it..."

Signpost: Happiness/ExistencePlease forgive the silly title, but lately I've been thinking a lot about mission statements.

For a long while, I've been avoiding this very thing, for several reasons. First, I tend to think of those cheesy corporate mottos inscribed on plaques in front lobby reception areas, often reeking of hypocrisies like "we're here for the little guy" or "our customers come first" (none ever mention profits, did you notice?). Second, the whole idea of a mission statement was --for me-- inherently tied to 80's/90's team building and management camps, the fruit of which is often a shallow and redundant "philosophical" statement, a mantra chanted by the team members as one hoists the legs of one colleague like a wheelbarrow while another steadies the log that they're about to walk across, but a phrase that soon gets lost again in the quest for corporate attainment. Such connotations can fool one into believing that a mission statement is a futile and lifeless thing, devoid of soul or flesh.

Leaving all this aside, it now seems like a valuable enterprise for one's own sake, if for no other reason than to kick the mind into gear and muse about what our values, principles and life purpose should be.