Time management Monday: Using more than one planner at the same time

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There are several circumstances in which you might want to use more than one planner at the same time: using an electronic calendar along with a paper planner; using a small satellite planner for scheduling on the go and a larger planner at work/ home, using a planner for yourself and a separate calendar for the whole family to see (I do this. The family calendar is in the kitchen), etc.

Here are some tips on how to run more than one planner at once:

Make one planner your Planner Central. You need to use one planner as your Main Planner, so you can trust that one planner has everything you need in one place. If you try to use multiple planners piecemeal, you’ll feel scattered having to look multiple places just to check your schedule. Have one planner where all the information and scheduling is centralized. All information that goes to any other planners flows from the Main Planner.

Decide what to write in each planner. You don’t necessarily need to duplicate everything into each calendar system. For example, my planner is my Planner Central where I write absolutely everything: my schedule, my family’s schedule, my work and personal tasks, goals, etc. The family calendar in the kitchen has everyone’s schedule on it, but they don’t need to see my daily tasks. I only write relevant scheduled events in the family calendar.

Similarly, if you use an electronic planning system and a paper planner, you might use your paper planner as your main planner and the electronic system for meeting reminders and recurring events.

Synch them constantly. If you are going to use more than one planner, you need to keep secondary planners updated all the time. This is where things get tricky, especially if plans change. Any time you add something to your Main Planner, add relevant items to your secondary planners immediately, or as soon as you possibly can. You might schedule time with yourself at certain times of the day to check your calendars and make sure everything matches up. Don’t put off synching, that’s a recipe for scheduling disaster.

Do you use more than one planner at the same time? What are your tips for using them together?

(Planners shown: Top photo, Hebdo weekly + monthly planner. Other photo: left, Trinote weekly planner; right, Minister weekly + monthly planner.

2 thoughts on “Time management Monday: Using more than one planner at the same time

  1. I used to work in a secure workspace where mobile phones were not allowed and access to internet sites (including Gmail & Gcal) were barred. So I used Outlook for work meetings, and I used Gcal for personal appointments. But because I often needed to know when I had a personal appointment (e.g. doctor) that was in work time, or a work meeting that I couldn’t be late for, I used a paper planner as the go-between. It was tiresome to transfer everything from Gcal onto paper and then into Outlook, and vice versa, but I relied so heavily on electronic reminders that I couldn’t see a way around it. I still have the same problem to some extent in that I’m not allowed to sync my work calendar to my personal device, but at least I have my phone on my desk now. I still use a paper calendar but now I use it more to record what I worked on during the day. There have been several occasions when it’s saved my bacon when, for various reasons, the digital version of my schedule has been unavailable.

    • I actually had never thought about the situation of using different electronic calendars that don’t automatically synch to each other. I wonder how many people are in the same boat?

      And great idea to use a paper planner to record what you did each day. That’s a good way to keep your records consolidated and chronological.

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