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  • Calendars

    I've finished Getting Things Done (the book), based on Fallows' article in The Atlantic. I (more or less) have implemented GTD in my home and work offices - not quite because there are still files to be filed. But I'm on my way.

    I just read "If you have two calendars get rid of one." I certainly agree with that - in general.

    I really only have one calendar - the one in Outlook, which I sync with the one in my Palm.

    But on the wall in front of me I have three wall calendars. That's right - three. To the left is a Parks Canada calendar, open to last month. In front of me is a Tour de France calendar open to this month. And to the right is the Runner's World calendar open to next month. There's nothing written on any of them. Their only purpose is because I'm often counting weeks, or wondering what date the last Friday last month was, etc., and it's easier to have the calendars in front of me. And of course I like the pictures. (July's Tour de France calendar shows Charly Gaul emerging from the mountains in the '58 Tour looking appropriately resolute.)

    I used to have a man-high paper calendar every year which showed the entire year in a 52x7 format, the months in alternating black and red. I really liked that for getting a quick "look" at the calendar, but I don't see it on sale any more.

    I am the more planful between me and my covivant, so, despite all my pleadings otherwise, she asks me to send her, every week, a "calendar" of events for the next 2 weeks. So every Friday now, during my weekly review, I do a text list of significant planned events in the next 16 days or so.

    So I have one calendar - or 6, depending on your point of view.

    Any suggestions for improvement?

    Cheers, Richard
    about to escape the Indy race in Toronto

  • #2
    I spent some time recently with a friend who leads a rather significant educational institution. I asked him about his calendar and he informed me that he uses four: 1) a paper calendar for academic activities 2) a paper calendar for staff/professor activities 3) a paper calendar for student activites, and a Palm for personal activities. The paper calendars are kept in separate leather 8 1/2 x 11 binders while the Palm in it's case. It seemed too confusing to me, with danger lurking around the corner if he forget to check all four calendars daily/weekly.


    • #3
      If I were using your friend's method, the only way I'd feel remotely comfortable would be to have a checklist item on my "main" calendar forcing me to check all the other calendars.
      Even before I encountered GTD, I recognized that having more than one OPERATIONAL calendar is a prescription for disaster. My problem was that I was loading my Outlook calendar with lots of non-time-and-date-specific tasks. So I found myself constantly going back and dragging line entries forward a day or two (or more) when I couldn't get around to doing an item. In any event, I firmly believe a single OPERATIONAL calendar is the only way to go (I do also have a couple of reference calendars displayed in my work space), and the first item - sometimes the only item - on my calendar now is "Move Tickler File Contents to In-Box"


      • #4
        calendar uses...

        Uses of calender:

        It is a simple and complex tool because it contains both input and output--
        1.communication tool (e.g., family calender on refrigerator, print out for covivant))
        2. time management tool (e.g, your planner plus your watch)
        3. thinking tool (the three months displayed at a time, a year a head, a year back, etc)
        4. capturing tool for one-step immediate capture of time/place data for committments
        5. reminder tool ("hard landcape" on your planner)
        Your lifestyle will dictate--I have a lot of things that get shifted about displacing what can be moved and abutting all too closely things that cannot bem so I need to see a whole month at a time for planning and changing things, a day at a time to map myself through the day, and and week or two through the day.

        It would be nice if you could assemble an easy to read chart of best practices on calendars as applied to various purposes.