Is it the third week of January already? Where has the time gone? I have just finished organizing my calendar for 2013 and I wanted to share with you how I do it. I realize there are a lot of options for us to plan our year and everyone has their way of doing things. The most important thing is that you take some time to record the important dates coming up this year to keep you organized. In my previous post I talked about the importance of planning. If you missed it, you might want to click Ten Reasons for Always Beginning With a Plan because it is related to today’s post.
I actually use two types of calendars. If you have been following my blog you will know that I work with a lot of technology in my day job and personally. I own several Apple devices including a desktop, laptop, iPad and iPhone. So whenever I input important events in Calendar, this information is synched among all of the devices because of the ‘Cloud’. For example, yesterday I went for a haircut and scheduled my next appointment before I left. I immediately input this information into my iPhone and it showed up on every one of my Apple devices when I got home. Very convenient!
In my day job I also use Google calendar and another calendar connected to my work related email. I also spend a lot of time with other forms of technology in both my work and personal day-to-day activities. In other words I am immersed in technology.
I have tried just going digital when planning my year, week and day plans but I will be honest with you, it totally did not work for me. I love having everything recorded and backed-up but I also love working with a hard copy to keep me organized. When I stayed in digital mode, I found I was missing events even if I had calendar alerts programmed. I think I just need a break from the technology and need to see the big picture in hard copy form. I guess it’s just me, and the way I think.
The second problem is what type of hard copy calendar to buy? I went to Staples last week and this is definitely the time of year to buy your personal calendar. There were so many choices! There were all kinds of sizes, cover colours, calendars with week plans and day plans, plain pages and water marked pages. I prefer the simpler, the better. I chose a planner that just had the 13 months and nothing fancy.
This is how I organize my planner:
- Use a green pencil crayon and colour all of the weekends, days off and holidays. I first use a ruler to outline each of these dates and then lightly shaded them in.
- Use a purple pencil crayon and colour all of the birthdays and anniversaries. Use a ruler to outline each one and then lightly shade them in.
- Use a blue pencil crayon and colour all of the important non-negotiable can’t forget dates (special concerts, pre-booked medical appointments). Use a ruler to outline each one and then lightly shade them in.
- Use a pen to record all of the firm dates coming up.
- Use a pencil to record all of the dates, events and activities that emerge and/or may possibly change.
Here are some other recommended suggestions:
- I don’t use a highlighter because the markings bleed through to the other page side and make it a mess.
- You can use different colours from the ones I suggested. You may also want to colour code each of your family member activities to keep you even more organized.
- I also use my personal planner for meal planning which I previously blogged about here. This is done in pencil because these kinds of plans can change.
- I leave my calendar at the breakfast table the night before I can refer to it every morning so I am consistently staying on top of upcoming events. I also quickly refer to my digital calendar devices to make sure everything is synched.
Here are some sample pages from my personal calendar. As the year progresses, more and more information will be filled in. It really keeps me on top of things coming up and works as a quick and easy reference with very easy to see visuals because of the colour coding.
I use my hard copy personal calendar to help me with my day plans, which I will be blogging about next time! Stay tuned!
There are so many choices when it comes how to organize a personal calendar. Although I have experimented and tried a lot of different ways, this method works the best for me. That being said, it is not the only method or necessarily the best. I just wanted to share with you what works for me. I would love to hear what works for you!
Thanks for reading about ‘How to Organize Your Calendar for the Year’ and spending ‘Time With Thea’!