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Can a tickler file be replaced by a calendar?

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  • Can a tickler file be replaced by a calendar?

    I didn't know what a tickler file is until I used Google Images search to find photos of physical tickler files. Apparently, they are based on dates, so I wonder if they can be replaced by a calendar, which I use now.

  • #2
    Can you put that 4-page form that must be completed and sent on September 15 into your calendar?

    The answer is, of course, no. You can, however, put that form into the September tickler folder; then when September rolls around, you put that form into the "15" folder. On September 15, you look in that folder and take out the form to complete it, and send it off to wherever it needs to be sent to.

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    • #3
      More or less. Or your calendar could be replaced by your bring-forward files.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by lolajl View Post
        Can you put that 4-page form that must be completed and sent on September 15 into your calendar?

        The answer is, of course, no. You can, however, put that form into the September tickler folder; then when September rolls around, you put that form into the "15" folder. On September 15, you look in that folder and take out the form to complete it, and send it off to wherever it needs to be sent to.
        You can also just put that 4 page form in your normal file system and put a reminder on your calendar to get it out and send it. I prefer to use my Outlook calendar as a place to store my tickler "triggers" and then have a wide array of storage options for the actual physical stuff.

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        • #5
          Tickler and calendar

          I love my tickler, what a great way to happily FORGET about documents I canīt do anything about until that given date anyway.

          One way to use the calendar instead of the tickler would be to make a note in your calendar including information on where you have filed the documents that need action. But you need to put the documents somewhere anyway, so why not use the tickler?

          I donīt have room for 43 folders, just an "accordeon file" (donīt know the word in English) that has 20 spaces, 1-2, 3-4, 5-6 and so on, ending at 31 and a few extra ones without a number to keep things for other months. Works just fine because I donīt have lots of bulky documents to keep there.

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          • #6
            I find that I primarily use a calendar and electronic files for my tickler. I do have a small hanging file holder (like this) on my desktop that I keep forms that I use regularly in, and I have a single file folder for tickler items in it.

            With this method, tickler items go on the calendar and the support documents are either in the tickler folder (physical copies) or in my electronic files. This works for me because I don't have many tickler items and I don't have a huge number of calendar items.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Eureka! View Post
              ... I prefer to use my Outlook calendar as a place to store my tickler "triggers" and then have a wide array of storage options for the actual physical stuff.
              I also adopted this approach because I personally keep so few items in my Tickler system that the daily folder shuffling didn't seem worthwhile. My variant is to have a "Tickler" next action list with dated entries (I use a category in Outlook/smartphone for this; it is my only NA list with dates). I adopted a list instead of the calendar in an effort to keep hard edges, but I think that this is mostly a question of taste.

              Serge

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              • #8
                I've used both.

                One advantage I find to using a calendar-as-a-tickler with papers in a storage system is when you need to pull out those documents you wanted to "forget" about.

                As an example, I recently signed up for an EMT recertification course. It starts on August 26. I put my check and registration form in my tickler file under "26".

                Then I got an email from a colleague letting me know about another certification course. This one meshed better with my schedule, so I wanted to cancel the first one and sign up for the second.

                Now if I filed that form away in my "EMT" folder, and just referenced it in my calendar, I could have pulled it up immediately. Instead, I ended up paging through my tickler until I found it.

                You may want to consider calendar-as-a-tickler if your tickler documents constantly change or need to be referred to often.

                After much switching back and forth, I ultimately use the tickler, AND jot down only the super-important or potentially disruptive tickler items in the calendar. Whatever works best for you.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by cojo View Post
                  You may want to consider calendar-as-a-tickler if your tickler documents constantly change or need to be referred to often.
                  Thanks for the idea. I have a few things that go into my tickler that I do need to find again and have done the search all 43 folders till I found it task. There aren't many of those so I may just try to file them in the main system and put a note in my calendar to look at them.

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                  • #10
                    I use both. For the calendar - mine is electronic - I put "T:" in front of the item to immediately indicate this is a tickler item. I use my tickler files diligently. At first I didn't think I needed it, but now I couldn't imagine my life without that concept.

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                    • #11
                      Absolutely

                      I also use a calendar as my tickler (a separate Google Calendar called "Tickler" that sends email alerts the night before each event).

                      I have very few physical ticklers (i.e. forms), and I keep one single "Tickler" folder that I put these items in. Then I put a reminder on the calendar to get out the necessary papers. (Tip: if the paper corresponds to something I need when traveling, i.e. a wedding invite, I put it directly into my suitcase.)

                      I travel too much to want to carry a full set of Tickler files around with me, and I found that my ratio of computer fileshysical files is 95%:5%. If your ratio is the opposite, and you don't travel, then a paper system might work best for you. I definitely would not use a physical calendar in lieu of a folder system.

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                      • #12
                        I have a little space in my desk for documents, so I'll keep using the calendar as the reminder for these. I'm a high-school student, so I don't need a tickler file yet.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Eureka! View Post
                          You can also just put that 4 page form in your normal file system and put a reminder on your calendar to get it out and send it. I prefer to use my Outlook calendar as a place to store my tickler "triggers" and then have a wide array of storage options for the actual physical stuff.
                          I do the same. If it has to be send on that date I put it on my agenda for that date. I don't think there are good reasons to not use the agenda as a tickler and throw the tickler thing away.

                          There's a good reason to merge them, and that is there's a place less to look at when deciding what needs to be done.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by yonyz View Post
                            I'm a high-school student, so I don't need a tickler file yet.
                            (blinkblinkblink)
                            I'm not sure why you wouldn't need a tickler file as a high school student? If anything, when I was a student, I had a TREMENDOUS amount of time-sensitive paperwork. Handing in homework on time (or permission forms, or whatever) alone would warrant a tickler file. Just grab today's folder and throw it in your backpack. Lots of teachers/professors give out a syllabus with important dates of the semester or year, and that's a great use of the tickler file as well.

                            Don't short yourself by thinking you're "just" a student so you don't need this-or-that organizational tool. Being a student means you have multiple demands from multiple people, many different priorities, tons of decisions to make, and on top of it all, you need as much noggin power as you can get for storing the stuff you're supposed to be learning. Keep it as easy as you can, and don't toss away an organizational tool until you try it! Believe me, learning organizational skills in school (both for the Now and for the Later) is one of the best things you can do.

                            Good luck, I wish I knew GTD as a high schooler!

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                            • #15
                              I'll give it a try in the upcoming school year. Thanks.

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