How on earth do you keep track of all you have to do with such little time?
Firstly you should be working off a calendar. You should have only one and it should be with you at most times so that when a date arises you can quickly and easily reference it and or add to it. Ease is an important part of organizing. Often people will berate themselves and shamefully admit to me that they are not using the organizing tools they have to their benefit. I notice that the tools often don’t match their needs and habits. In which case it is the system’s failing and not their own. This is often one of the most important ways I help my clients. Equally as important in effectively using the calendar is that you must reference it at least two times a day, once morning to make sure you have the day all reviewed and once at night to make sure you are prepared for tomorrow and make general updates.
For most the calendar will be at home, in transit and at the office. In all of those locations the calendar needs to live in one place so that wondering where it is when you need it is not an issue. This is where habit comes in, a very important part of staying organized is consistently returning things to their “homes” (the corner of your desk for example). Think of an enlisted person’s closet. In my house there are only three places it could be, by my bed, by the computer and on the kitchen table as I review my day. Then in transit it lives in my day bag with my wallet. When I get to a client’s home it sits on their table near the door where I left my coat so that I can make a next appointment before leaving.
Many young to middle-aged people are used to using their digital calendar. I have one piece of advice; back it up. Using the Google calendar (bottom pic) is exactly the same as any other except it’s saved “in the cloud”. In this way if you loose your phone, Ipad or your computer fails you will still have the calendar saved on Google’s servers. With a bit of study Google calendar can be set to sync with your device calendar so that even if you don’t have Internet service the same calendar is on your device, independent of wifi connection. The two calendars speak to each other when connected back to the Web again, GoogleCal taking orders from ICal(top pic) a bit slower than ICal taking orders from GoogleCal. I chose GoogleCal because ICloud is said to work on Apple platforms only and I don’t want to be limited in that way. Don’t think though that just because it’s digital you are going to be organized. If you can’t organize paper you probably won’t be able to stay on top of digital.
That brings us to paper. There are many who use a paper calendar effectively. The only way to back it up is to make photocopies or scan it in to a digital file. This is quite cumbersome as a process which translates to-it won’t get done-and so I would suggest that if you absolutely have to take it with you out of the house you take only the time period you may need to schedule, leaving as much as possible at home where it can’t be lost (with an exception or two). The other thing to consider is that by not having your calendar with you you can’t be expected to commit to anything. This is another key to organization, committing only to that which you love or need.