My All-time Favourite Productivity Tool

Days, weeks, months, years - time whips by whether we manage it well or not. How are you tracking and planning yours? Do you have a handwritten daytimer, do you use a wall calendar, do you have a digital calendar? Wait… you don’t use anything? You just rely on scrap pieces of paper or heaven forbid, your brain?

Sure, brains are great for a lot of things but remembering every single plan and task you want to accomplish is not their best skill. Think about it - when did someone last recommend a book to you? Did you write it down? If not, did you remember it? At the time it feels like there’s no way you can forget but then conversation veers and you do.

It’s as Simple as Using a Calendar

I’ll say it. I value my brain immensely but I know better than to leave all the remembering up to her! I am a firm believer in keeping a calendar to organise my time and my plans. At the start of a year, looking ahead at all the empty pages to fill can be so inspiring. What will it hold for you?

I have always felt that connection between the abstract notion of time and the concrete reality of how it affects our lives. My dad used to keep calendars and he would note down cute stories from the school field trip that day, or notes about events attended and I loved poring over the pages every few months. I remember in high school when we were given agendas, I spent hours personalising the covers because I knew I’d spend a lot of time with it over the coming school year. 

Go Digital

These days, I use my phone’s calendar. I used to use the built in Samsung calendar on one of my first smartphones. Then I found Sunrise which was beautifully user-friendly. Then it was bought out and they stopped updating it! Luckily in this time, Google had been working away at making a great calendar so moving to that was easy.

Now, I make sure that I use it - daily, multiple times. I have the tab open whenever I’m on the computer and if I’m not on my laptop that day, you can guarantee I’ve looked at it at least a few times on my phone.

I block out the time over the coming weeks for projects, research and events. I can easily shift these around and adjust the length of them.

I set reminders to stop and grab garlic bread, wine and mushrooms on the way home. It tells me when my dog needs his flea pills or reminds me when birthdays are happening.

I can search through it quickly to check the date of my last haircut. Or my last Skype call with a client.

It has become the handwritten calendar my Dad used to keep but without the funny stories around it. It’s documenting my history and creating my future. And it certainly helps me stay organised and not forget.

Are you a handwritten diary person? Or an all-digital planner? Both are still relevant, you just have to do what works for you.

I’m creating a series of my favourite productivity tips to share with you! I’m trying to keep them useful and concise so that they are easy to apply in your day-to-day life. Let me know if there are topics you'd like me to cover!