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  • Calendar vs Tickler

    I'm just trying to get clear.

    I put items in the calendar that have a specific date.

    I put items in the Tickler file that have a specific date.

    So when do I use each?

  • #2
    Not exactly: you put items in the calendar when you have a specific date and/or time, such as a dental appointment, a meeting time, and so on. A definite committment, or as David calls it, 'hard landscape'.

    Things go in the tickler for when you need to be reminded of them. So, for instance, you might put a bill, due on the 28th, in your tickler for the 26th, to ensure that you pay it on time. If you have a project to do that needs to be finished in February, but doesn't need to be started now, you put it in the tickler for November (assume that it will take 3 months).

    The tickler is a sort of three-dimensional deferral mechanism. You use it instead of putting a note in your calendar because it's easier (just drop a paper in a folder), and because you want your hard landscape to stay pristine: that is, you want your calendar to only reflect definite committments for each day.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by jaludwick View Post
      I'm just trying to get clear.

      I put items in the calendar that have a specific date.

      I put items in the Tickler file that have a specific date.

      So when do I use each?
      Every day.

      Tom S.

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      • #4
        Making the tickler work???

        I have a folder for each possible day 1-31, and one for each month with the date folders only applying to the current month (these are bound in a "book" that is made by Globe-Weiss). This is a very nice device but I need to figure put some better working rules for this. Here is an example of what has only sort of worked. There are certain community meetings that I like to attend if I have time and will be in proximity to them. I need to atttend about 8 of maybe 50 in a year's time. These do not follow a patern of place or time and the subject varies in degree of interest to me from mild to very much, but only as the year ends or I see spaces in my calendar do I feel a need to commit myself. I put the flyers into the correct month and then as time goes on I move them either into the date of the present month or to the next month if there is a meeting scheduled further along. But, if I don't put na note in the calendar as to when they are occuring, I just won;t make any of them. So, I also put the information about the ones that I have a little more interest in attending on my calendar with "maybe" next to it. In other words, I will try to preserve the option of going but I don't won't to commit the time months in advance, or even a day in advance. This is a lot of work entering possible dates on my part because there are a lot of these meetings, they do not follow a pattern but jump all around the calendar and the region, and I need a key word for the topic. Any thoughts?

        Here is another, in June the kids' athletic and school supply list arrived in the mail for Sept 2007. So I put it in the August folder and when August came around I put the supply list on the the 4th because that is what I thought would be the earliest date that I thought we would go shopping. But, on the July 20th the kids were cleaning their rooms and they wanted to know what to save from last year that might be needed for this year. I could not remember if I filed it under school supplies or some other school-related topic or had put it in the tickler and I had to look though July, August and September to find the list. Isn't this better suited to a folder in the active list (or maybe cluttering up the refrigerator door with 36 other schedules and lists)?

        I think I just don't have a logical algorithym for using this.

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        • #5
          jaludwick, for untimed actions (not appointments) that need to be done on a specific date, I generally put items in the tickler file that I don't want to have to think about until it comes up for that day. Items that I *want* to think about ahead of time go on the calendar.

          So for example, library books are due on a specific date -- that could go in the tickler for that day, but I actually put it on the calendar. When I see a trip to the library coming up I can be thinking about the next books to check out and what other errands can be done at the same time.

          Items in my tickler file are usually things I don't need to think about ahead of time, "pay the property tax", etc., I just do them as they come up in the tickler for that day.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Jamie Elis View Post
            I think I just don't have a logical algorithym for using this.
            Well, at least you explained to me why I never understood the tickler. That's something.

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            • #7
              Here it is...

              Items in the calendar no longer need anymore thinking about when they need to be done. They need to be done THAT DAY, and if you don't do them that day, you no longer need to do them at all. The calendar is not a reminder system, it is a commitment recorder.

              Items in the tickler still require a decision, but you want to be reminded of the need to decide what to do, on a particular day. You don't want to think about it until then, but you do want to be reminded of it then.

              So there....!

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              • #8
                For meetings that I might want to attend, I put the reminder in the tickler about a week before the meeting. That's close enough to have some idea of my schedule, but far enough out to do any schedule shuffling that might be necessary. (For events requiring advance reservations, I put the tickler reminder somewhere near the deadline date.) (Examples include meetings of a local entrepreneur or alumni group, seminars at a local university, that sort of thing.)

                Very complicated events, such as those requiring travel and/or lots of advanced preparation, go in the calendar as soon as I know about the dates, and in the tickler far enough in advance for me to make reservations or whatever. (Examples include conferences, vacations, and major life events.)

                The school supply list would probably go in my main system (@Errands), with a reminder in the tickler about a month before the start of school. That way if I happen to be at the office supply store I'll have the list handy. (Same for other non-urgent shopping lists.)

                Now, in my case the division between calendar and tickler is somewhat blurred, as I keep a tickler page in my planner in addition to my 43 folders. I use the layout of the page to differentiate, and review both at weekly review time.

                Katherine

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by jaludwick View Post
                  I'm just trying to get clear.

                  I put items in the calendar that have a specific date.
                  I put items in the Tickler file that have a specific date.

                  So when do I use each?
                  This is an excellent question, and made more complicated because you can use the calendar to *implement* a tickler. (Write down the reminder in the non-timed section - e.g., an all day event in Outlook - and store the corresponding paper in an action support folder.) It's a bit confusing explaining in terms of Allen's "three things that go on your calendar:"

                  o time-specific action
                  o day-specific action
                  o day-specific information

                  The first two are the category BigStory mentions ("The calendar is not a reminder system, it is a commitment recorder.") But the latter is one I've expanded to include reminders. After all, what use is information unless you act on it?


                  One important factor is whether you want to see it approaching or not. The ticker hides items from you; the calendar shows them coming.

                  Another factor (and a consequence of the first), is the calendar lets you plan around events. For example, say you've been invited to a party, and you need to RSVP by a certain date, but you're not sure you'll attend, you can put the invitation in your tickler for a few days ahead of the RSVP date. However, if you don't also have a calendar entry, you might unwittingly schedule something else, or a coworker or significant other might do the same. So I recommend using the calendar as a "saftey net" when you don't want something falling through the cracks - a kind of "double entry" approach like Karen's.

                  Time specificity is another concern (though it's probably obvious): The tickler's granularity is at the day level; the calendar - hours and minutes. (Hey, I'm just having fun here!)

                  Thanks for the good question. Hope that helps!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by kewms View Post
                    For meetings that I might want to attend, I put the reminder in the tickler about a week before the meeting. That's close enough to have some idea of my schedule, but far enough out to do any schedule shuffling that might be necessary.
                    I guess I'm a little more old-school. I just pencil-in these kinds of things (or in outlook parlance, mark it as "tentative").

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Tickler V Calendar

                      Originally posted by cornell View Post

                      One important factor is whether you want to see it approaching or not. The ticker hides items from you; the calendar shows them coming.

                      Thank you Cornell this makes it very clear. This is the key for me for decisions between the two options.
                      Sharon

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                      • #12
                        Differentiating

                        So would a good way to differentiate be:

                        If I don't do this thing on this day lives are at stake (time sensitive = calendar)

                        I think the best time to do this would be this day, because it is due then or I want to follow up on this then or I think it's best to try to finish this then (reminder = tickler)

                        If I don't to this thing on this day I can do it the next time I'm doing that kind of thing (context based = NA list)

                        It seems like quite a grey area in some ways, yet I guess as long as you're efficient and effective (Covey) then your system works for you.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by jaludwick View Post
                          I'm just trying to get clear.

                          I put items in the calendar that have a specific date.

                          I put items in the Tickler file that have a specific date.

                          So when do I use each?
                          I think the tickler is more for before we had electronic reminder systems. Now I can keep hard landscape items and reminders in the calender. If I want the reminders to behave more like a tickler I just filter out any calendar items with a date greater then today. I think it is a lot more streamlined and a lot more portable then the good old 43 folders.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by 12hourhalfday View Post
                            I think the tickler is more for before we had electronic reminder systems. Now I can keep hard landscape items and reminders in the calender. If I want the reminders to behave more like a tickler I just filter out any calendar items with a date greater then today. I think it is a lot more streamlined and a lot more portable then the good old 43 folders.
                            To each their own. I haven't figured out how to store tickets and brochures in an electronic calendar, but 43 folders work great for such things.

                            I also treat my tickler as a future inbox. "Sometime next January, I might want to think about..." As inbox items, they are unprocessed, so I'm not yet sure what I will do with them when they surface. Since I'm not sure what the next action is (or even if there is one), neither my calendar or my NA list seems right.

                            Katherine

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                            • #15
                              What I do is I use both systems depending on what the item actually is.

                              I use a physical tickler system for things like meeting notes, parking tickets, invitations, etc. Things that physically land in my inbox but I'm not sure whether I am going to act on it yet. So I incubate these things in my physical tickler folder system.

                              For other input that isn't necessarily tangible, I put an outlook entry as an all day event preceded by a "!" mark. So I know immediately that this is just a tickler item and not to think about it unless it occurs on the current day, at which point I immediately drag and drop it into my e-inbox (which is just a list of tasks in outlook that have not been categarized yet).

                              This functions identically as a physical tickler; it just saves me the trouble of writing something on an index card just to throw into a folder. It also makes it convenient to drag emails onto certain days.

                              This has been working great for me. I was also concerned with whether to use a physical tickler or an electronic one or both. I also wanted to retain the hard edges of what the calender is supposed to be. Since the ! catches my eye the first thing in the morning when I look at that day, I immediately drag it into my inbox and there is never an issue as to what is a tickler item and what is a must-do for that day.

                              Hope that helps somewhat.

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