Ask the Readers: What’s Your Time Management System?

As I’ve written before, planning is not a one-size-fits all solution.

The time management tools you choose largely depend on the types of activities and information you deal with each day, plus your own personality profile — from the detail oriented to those who like to keep things casual.

Learning what works for others is an excellent way to find what works for you for your own time management system.

Here’s my time management system for example:

Day-Timer daily planner, 2-page per day planner refill (desk size) – holds daily schedule, prioritized to-do list, and goal sheets

Microsoft Outlook – keeps master task list, master calendar, contacts

iPhone – syncs Outlook task list and calendar via Plan2Go app, uses alerts to remind me of upcoming tasks and appointments

• Notepad – for the few times I’m not carrying my planner, I always have a pocket-sized notebook for notes and ideas. It’s my back-up plan. It doesn’t matter which type, but the key is I transfer today’s notes into my planner, and I always use the same notebook until it runs out of pages

Here’s a short write-up on how I use my planner combining paper and digital tools.

As you can see, I maintain a simple system and it serves me well for organizing my writing topics, meeting notes, and a prioritized list of to-dos for multiple projects.

What’s your time management system? Which tools work for you and why? Paper or digital? Please share…

Day-Timer Spokesperson Jeff Doubek can be reached at

7 thoughts on “Ask the Readers: What’s Your Time Management System?

  1. I use a Flavia Personal Organizer 2-page/week notebook size and have been using it for three years. It is the perfect organizer for a retired person who has many things to keep track of. I care for my 93-yr-old mother who has dementia issues and track her daily activities. Also my OL or phone purchases and payments, and contractor work on my or her house, weather, shopping lists, to-do lists for me and visitors or phone calls, etc.etc. In other words, it is my diary and I refer to previous planners to check on things I may have forgotten. Thank you for one of the most valuable assets in my life today.

  2. My primary planner is the Daytimer 2 page per day Garden Path desk size. I also use a pocket size daytimer for my purse (much easier to carry). I use Outlook at work because it’s the standard there and helps my colleagues see when I am available to meet.

    I do not have a smart phone and really don’t want one. My colleagues have problems with their phones synching and staying up-to-date correctly, and I find I remember my to-do list items and appointments much better when I have written them in my Daytimer.

  3. I use a day to a page diary for work tasks and write the next work days tasks down before I leave work each day.

    At home I use Google calendar and it syncs with my android phone.

    We have six kids so my wife and the kids all have access to the Google calendar and can see when things are happening, we also put school assignments on this calendar so we all have visibility and can help to remind each other that things are due.

  4. I use the Day-timer 2 page Reference. I use Outlook at work because the whole office uses it. I don’t have an iPhone and don’t want one.

  5. I have a similar system – outlook calendar and contacts sync to iPhone via iCloud for on the run. I use Wunderlist for my todo list and this syncs with web, iPhone and iPad. I use a full blown planner system (month, week and daily views) to set goals, plan my month / week and days, allocated tasks and record time spent on projects / customer work.

  6. I just recently (this week) began using Evernote. Still in the organizing stage of setting it up – at the present time, feel more in control.

    Use Outlook and iPhone that all syncs together. Used Outlook Tasks & Notes sync’d with iMExchange which worked perfectly until I download Plan2go which reformatted all my tasks (very disappointed), so I had to start over and took the opportunity to try Evernote.

    Also have Daytimer Coastline pages (Portable for my purse & Desk for my desk) because I LOVE to write and love the pages!

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