Everyone knows that in order to stay organized at work or home, you need a calendar. Decades ago we used those flip calendars that sat on your desk and only revealed one day at a time. It was small, took up minimal space on your desk and some even offered inspiring quotes. It left us feeling like we had a plan.
We then moved onto something that enabled us to be more specific in our calendar of events as we began using the official Day-Timer that was about the size of a large wallet. Although there were many styles, most gave you a month or a week at a glance. Then we were really organized!
That is, until we were submerged in a life of living with technology and the iPhone and Android arrived. Not only did it have a calendar in it, but it could be synced with your computer so you could see it on a larger screen as well. And to make it even better, you could add a simple reminder, so that an alarm would go off just before the event occurred. Perfect!
And so we threw out all of our calendars that involved tediously writing the tasks down, and smiled proudly as everything we needed fit snuggly into our back pocket or purse, right inside the memory of our phone. It seemed too good to be true…except that after a while there was a longing for…well, a notepad or something.
Actually, while technology can offer great perks that your handwritten calendar can’t compete with, the truth is that it may not be the perfect tool for you on its’ own. Studies show that writing something by hand – a note, task, or quick sketch – imprints it directly on our brains in a way that can’t be matched. While only some may need the tools to draw elaborate, beautiful pictures, we all need a way of keeping track of goals, ideas, tasks and more.
Not only does the power of the written word seem to connect directly to our brains, perhaps aiding in our memory of these tasks, it also gives the visual cues of our week or month at a glance. While our phone can show the week or month at one time, it is often so small that all the details can’t be seen unless selected one at a time. In addition, it doesn’t give you a place to actually check off the jobs completed, which can be rewarding at the end of the day!
So which one is right for you?
Well, if you find you are having trouble falling asleep at night, or waking in the middle of the night hashing out the details of the week ahead, or even carrying scrap pieces of paper around in your bag, your brain is in need of visual cues.
Go out and buy the perfect Day-Timer for you! Look for one that lays out your daily, weekly and monthly tasks in a way that relates to the way you think. Consider the size and if it needs to travel with you. Everyone is different, but when you find the one that matches the way you think, you will be more apt to use it regularly and feel more settled.
And then, don’t throw away the cell phone! Instead, use it to tweak your organization by adding all of your important dates with an alarm signal. If it is something you are scheduling far in advance, give yourself an alarm the day before so you can be reminded with enough time to make adjustments in your schedule. If it is something you probably won’t forget anyway, just give yourself 30 minutes before the alarm sounds…just in case.
You will be amazed at how much more organized, prepared and efficient you will feel!