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  • Good Practices re:calendar?

    In my life before GTD and Palm I had two calendars, one was my paper planner and one was on the refrigerator. I did all my time plan using the planner and then manually wrote it to the frig once a week. At that point I would list for every member of the family what they needed to know for the week and any upcoming highlights. Took a long time, but it worked.

    Now, I carry a PALM , but I have found it too cumbersome to enter dates when on the run or on the phone (and very hard to move things around when one date is swapped for another). So, I also carry a paper Month At a Time calendar. I use laptop in my business office and can synch that to my Palm, and then that to my desktop at my home office. I have a paper wall calendar for the whole year on wall in my home office. I have a calendar on frig for quick reference and as a communication device to my family. Somehow, something is always on one calendar but not another. And, if it isn't obvious, I am going nuts!

    What should I do? Is there a system that works?

  • #2
    I do not know much about the situation, but I will create in outlook a calendar with color codes (that is what I have) red work, blue personal, green home.

    At the end of each week instead of copy in the fridge, print a copy, you only have one, in the computer. if you change the one in the fridge, print it again if is worth or just cross in there.

    You can create more than one calendar in outlook if you are looking for separate, or you can mark the ones you do not want other people to see as private and ask outlook to print only the no privates one.

    my 2 cents...

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Good Practices re:calendar?

      Well, my system works for me. But my hard landscape may be much simpler than yours, so I don't know if mine would work for you.

      If I understand correctly, your problem is keeping 6 calendars synchronized with the same information: 3 digital versions and 3 paper. One complete calendar is good; 6 incomplete ones are bad. The first opportunity I see is to get rid of some of the paper versions of the calendar. Syncing digital versions of a calendar is easy, but maintaining multiple synchronized paper calendars is tedious and error-prone.

      You could get rid of the monthly paper calendar by making it a firm habit to enter appointments into your Palm. Perhaps reconsider what you need to do to enter or change appointments in the PDA? To me it doesn't seem that bad. With my PDA, I flip up cover, press calendar button, pull out stylus, tap or jog dial to find a date, and start writing. With paper, I pull out the calendar, flip to the right page, pull out a pen or pencil, and start writing. Changing dates in a Palm can be done in ~6 taps with no erasing, crossing out, or rewriting. The paper version is definitely a more familiar, bigger, and nicer interface (IMO), but not necessarily faster or better. Take a little extra time to enter appointments digitally up front, and save yourself lots of extra data entry and manual synchronization later.

      You could eliminate the frustration with the yearly wall calendar by using it for just the big picture of long-range planning, for which it is ideal, and not to keep all your appointments on. All committed appointments instead should be in your one trusted system on your PDA; they don't have to be on your wall calendar too. I use a wall calendar, for example, to mark dates when conference submissions are due. I use this information as a visual tool for planning. During Weekly Reviews, I add and check those long-range items. As soon as a conference becomes a firm commitment instead of a potential commitment, the dates go into my PDA calendar.

      It's harder for me to see opportunities in the refrigerator calendar because I'm not sure whether your family needs to see all your commitments or you need to see all theirs, or both. Does your family need to know about your every appointment? Perhaps ask yourself if, as much as you'd like to see everything there, you really need all that information. Is it really worth the time it takes to maintain it? Perhaps you could at least restrict this calendar to just a few necessary items. A second possibility is to check out DualDate for Palm, which allows you to keep side-by-side calendars, e.g., one side for your stuff and one side for the rest of your family's.

      Syncing the 3 digital versions, since they're digital, should be easy if you HotSync any time one version changes. Each version should be just a different view and interface to the exact same information. Whenever you're near your laptop or desktop, use it for fast entry of calendar items and then sync to your PDA for portability.

      -andersons

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      • #4
        I would focus on having no more than one calendar, stretching it to two if it is an absolute must.

        I don't know your specific needs, but I would suggest examining your assumptions regarding the value of multiple calendars.

        After you cut it down a bit, consider consolidating the appointments. Is there any real reason to keep a certain type of appointments hidden from some people? Is the separation really necessary?

        Using any of the major calendaring applications, you can color-code entries and assign categories (to correspond to entry-types). The color helps you identify what you want quickly and the categories are great for filtering.

        My only requirement is to keep all personal information off of my work machine. My PDA and home computer contain both work and personal entries.

        Comment


        • #5
          calendar practices

          I really appreciate the above thoughtful responses and suggestions.

          Not sure I have the solution in hand yet. One of the problems is that what is entered is not always a real appointment but a string of related possibile appointments. For some, I am waiting for a confirmation from someone. For others, I have several options for when something will take place, but each option "commands" a chain of preperatory actions and these need to be noted on the calendar so the dates get held. But most difficult of all is my work environment where I am expected to be prepared and available on certain days for certain events but their exact time is not determined as the higher up will not or cannot commit. Even "firm" appointments may get deferred at the last minute or made more complex or I may have to deliver sooner than I expected and on little notice, and sometimes not at all. So, at the beginning of the week, I can more or less figure that on certain days I will need to be ready with certain materials by 2:00pm but the actual meeting time maybe anywhere between 2 and 6, and the time alottment may start out as 45 minutes but could be reduced to 15 or 90, or at the lst minute I may be told "don't present your findings, give me a summary, or vice versa. If the most important meetings actually take place early in the week, the times blocked out fro them later in the week can then usually be used at my discretion.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Good Practices re:calendar?

            Originally posted by Jamie Elis
            Now, I carry a PALM , but I have found it too cumbersome to enter dates when on the run or on the phone (and very hard to move things around when one date is swapped for another). So, I also carry a paper Month At a Time calendar. I use laptop in my business office and can synch that to my Palm, and then that to my desktop at my home office. I have a paper wall calendar for the whole year on wall in my home office. I have a calendar on frig for quick reference and as a communication device to my family. Somehow, something is always on one calendar but not another. And, if it isn't obvious, I am going nuts!

            What should I do? Is there a system that works?
            You can write dates and notes on paper during the day, toss all your papers in your In basket at home, then do all your data entry when you process your In basket. It will probably take less than two minutes to pull a scrap of paper with a date from your In basket and transfer it to your wall, fridge and Palm calendars.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Good Practices re:calendar?

              This is a little late, but I'll throw my 2 cents in. My calendar is in Outlook and contains all my appointments, personal and work. During the day in the office, I reference that calendar from the PC and make changes directly in it. When I leave for an appointment, I hotsync my blackberry so it has the latest appointments. Any appointment changes made while away from the office are made directly into the blackberry.

              When I return to the office, I immediately sync up again so Outlook and blackberry match. A couple of times a week I simply print out my monthly outlook calendar on paper and bring it home for posting on the refrigerator. I include the date printed in the footer. Outlook prints in a variety of sizes in either 1 or 2 pages so it's very flexible

              What get's posted on the frig is an exact duplicate of Outlook at the time of printing. I like using the computer printed calendar on the frig because if someone ads something to it, I can immediately see the hand writing.

              At that point, I then enter that new appointment into my blackberry, to be sync'd with Outlook the next time I'm in the office. I then place a little check mark on the paper calendar telling me that it's been put in the backberry, to be soon sync'd to outlook. Later sometime that week I simply print out another Outlook calendar to be placed on the frig

              For me, my calendar is critical. I view it this way. Outlook keeps my calendar. The blackberry is a tool that keeps a copy with me (since I take the blackberry everyone I go) and serves as a note pad if needed. The printed calendar on the frig is simply a picture of what's in outlook.

              My home PC does not contain my calendar, I find it too complex to sync up one blackberry with multiple PCs.

              hope this helps




              [quote="Jamie Elis"]In my life before GTD and Palm I had two calendars, one was my paper planner and one was on the refrigerator. I did all my time plan using the planner and then manually wrote it to the frig once a week. At that point I would list for every member of the family what they needed to know for the week and any upcoming highlights. Took a long time, but it worked.

              Now, I carry a PALM , but I have found it too cumbersome to enter dates when on the run or on the phone (and very hard to move things around when one date is swapped for another). ...

              Comment


              • #8
                Hey BlackBerry, what version of the device are you using? I have a much older version and it does not have categories and stuff. If you have some ideas on how to use the blackberry with outlook in the GTD manor, please advice.

                Nick

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