7 Important Time Management Tips

Franklin Covey Planner

planning system tips

Regardless or what planning system you use, these are important planning system tips that can make your planning better. And as always, each and every one of these was learned the hard way!

Record everything ASAP

Whether you use paper or digital planning, don’t ever rely on your memory.  Even if you have a good memory, you can only remember so much.  And why would you want to!  Just write it down!  That frees your brain up to think about other things and eliminates the risk of forgetting something important because you didn’t write it down immediately.

Write important information down in the RIGHT place

The important information is of no valuable to you if you can’t find it.  Sometimes you can’t write it directly in your system, but when that’s the case, have a back-up system where everything goes and transfer the information to your primary system as soon as you can.

Use abbreviations if necessary but be sure you know what they mean

Several years ago I noticed a “Q” on one of my monthly pages.  I couldn’t remember what it stood for – and there aren’t a lot of words that start with “Q”!!!  A few months later I realized it stood for Quilt.  I had marked the day I started a new quilt.  Since I quilt all the time, it never occurred to me I wouldn’t remember; again, that pesky memory.  So by all means use abbreviations, but be sure you have the code recorded somewhere.

If you don’t keep your planning system with you, have a satellite system

This is the most important of all the planning system tips I have. Franklin Covey actually sells a small satellite booklet for the Franklin Covey planners.  When your planner isn’t with you, you write information in the booklet and then tear out the page and put it in your planner.  Whatever you use, it’s a good idea to have something designated as a satellite system for when your planner isn’t available.  Then if you don’t happen to get the information transferred, you’ll only have to look one place.

Be careful what you write in your planner

I do a lot of journaling in my planner.  I have for 20 years. Not my thoughts and feelings and struggles – I mainly write about things that happened during the day.  But I save all my planners and I hope that someday they’ll be a treasure trove of information for my family.  So I’m careful about what I write.  I try not to write anything that I’m not willing for anyone to see.  The more sensitive stuff is reserved for a real journal.

It’s okay to combine paper and digital

A lot of people think you have to choose one or the other.  But the truth is, both types of planning systems have a lot to offer.  So rather than limiting yourself to one, it might be beneficial to use both.  But if you do, be sure they don’t overlap. Any overlap can get you into trouble.  So use digital for specific things and paper for specific things but never both for the same thing.

Don’t use your planner for everything

Your planner isn’t meant to hold every single piece of information you have.  It’s meant to hold information you need NOW.  Everything else can be stored somewhere else.  In my early years of planner use, I included a lot more information than I do now.  For example, my planner included:

  •             Health information
  •             Car repairs list
  •             Phone numbers and addresses of everyone I knew
  •             Part numbers, model numbers, etc.
  •             Finances

I don’t have most of that information in my planner now.  I don’t need it because most of it is on-line or in my phone.  There’s no point in having it in my planner since it’s more efficiently stored somewhere else.  I’m not saying you shouldn’t have any of that information in your planner – it depends on your situation – but I don’t need it anymore.

What are your most important planning system tips?

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Born in Kentucky, I am a wife and mom to 1 son and 2 daughters . I have an ink pen obsession, as well as a love for all things planner. I have been married for 10 years to my high school crush. I am a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

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10 thoughts on “7 Important Time Management Tips

  1. Write or record something ASAP is probably the most important. I’d like to say that’s something I’m good at, but I’m always thinking “oh, I’ll save that in my head a moment, and it will be there”…and it’s not. Sometimes it is, and that’s just luck! And to also beware that loving having a paper planner does not mean you cannot also use technology. I’ve quite fond of Google Keep for things that I need to get onto something but do not have my planner handy (like while out and about or in bed (my phone has a light, while my planner does not, ha!)). I’m able to remember that something has been put in there, but I won’t remember what it is unless I do so!

  2. Oh, I’m chuckling at the ‘abbreviation’ one. I had a yearly fold-out in my planner once where I tracked certain ‘coded’ things. For almost a week , I had an S- or an S+ in the daily boxes. What the…..? It hit me when I wasn’t thinking about it – my sciatica had flared up and the ‘-‘ and ‘+’ was for when it was mild or severe. OY!

    And when I can’t always pull my planner out to record something immediately, I always keep sticky notes handy. I’m at a desk for the majority of the day and surrounded by supplies so, if my planner is still in my handbag, I’ll peel a sticky note off the stack, write down whatever it is then shove my hand inside my bag to stick it on the front cover of my planner. The good Post-It’s stick a lot better than the Target Dollar Spot stickies so it stays put until I can permanently transfer it

    1. Sticky notes are a good idea, too.

      I agree about the Target Dollar Spot stickies. I’ve gotten to where I’ll only buy the Post It brand.

  3. Tip #7: Earlier this week I came across a video, “How To Carry a Lighter Filofax/Planner” by MsSamanthaX . Lots of common sense there yet what intrigued me is there aren’t that many blogs/videos/articles letting people know that sometimes less is more. You are spot on that your planner isn’t meant to carry everything under the sun, especially if you are toting it around. There are things I’d love to carry around, but I have to ask myself if it is really and truly necessary.

    Tip #6: Hehe, this is a little off your topic but it does combine the digital and paper aspect. I watched the new Muppet show. At one point you see Kermit carrying a leather planner. On the show “Blackish”, a recent episode showed the dad at work in a meeting with his co-workers. 6 people maybe? They all had paper planners in front of them. Last night I watched “Isidious 3”. The dad had a leather filofax looking planner writing work appointments. He was a plumber/electrician type. Even Hollywood acknowledges both are handy!

    Thank you for a great post, Patty.

  4. homey – you have nailed it again. i have one more that certainly applies to me you need to write down everything, and then you need to double check to make sure you will later able to read what you just wrote. this may be one of the many reasons everything takes us more time than for vanillas.
    will link or maybe more
    thanks
    doug

    1. That’s a good one, Doug.

      I can always read my writing but sometimes what I wrote didn’t make sense because I got distracted. It doesn’t happen very often, thank goodness.

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