In your endeavors to manage your time you may have already chosen a tool to help you manage your time and it didn’t work for you.  You’re not by yourself; this happens all of the time.  Years ago, a friend purchased the latest and greatest  Palm Pilot and started to implement its use instead of using her paper planner.  She absolutely hated the Palm.  Now, understand it wasn’t the tool; it performed perfectly well.  The problem was that it wasn’t the tool for her.  It didn’t fit her time management personality.  Which is why when she went back to using her paper planner, things were just fine.

People make the mistake of choosing a time management tool without knowing their time management personality.  Choosing a tool that fits your personality is key in effectively managing your time.  Discovering your time management personality will lead you to understanding what type of tool is right for you.  In the next couple of posts I’m going to share information on the various tools and the benefits of each.

If you discover that paper tools fit your time management personality or a then you have paper time management tools to choose from.  Planners such as the Franklin Covey planner, Day Timer, Day Runner and other planners as well as the option of wall and desk calendars.  If paper tools are your perfect fit, I let me just say that I highly recommend Franklin Covey.   Their planner is the most detailed and efficient, with a system for managing your time.

You might choose one of these or even a desk or wall calendar as your tool.  All can be purchased from your local office supply-yes, even Franklin Covey has their planners available in local office supply stores or you can visit the Franklin Covey store if there’s one near you or visit their website.  They allow you to design your own planner step by step to include what you need and there are also software options available.  All three give you a range of binders and accessories to choose from which lets you personalize your planner.

Paper options have the advantage of no system to learn, and by no system I mean computerized system.  It’s natural so you’re not charging or replacing batteries, you can easily flip through the pages and store the old pages for future reference.  On the other hand, some say it’s not easy to find things quickly as with an electronic tool, but when your personality is a fit for a paper tool, this isn’t an issue for you because you tend to remember where on a page you wrote something.

Paper tools can be bulky, but using the binder storage can lighten your load.  One downside is that there’s no way to back them up and others can’t access it so easily since you would be carrying it with you, so anyone needing access to your planner would only have access to it while you were in the office.  One word about desk and wall calendars.  These tools are helpful, but they aren’t portable.  If you are away at a meeting you don’t have your calendar with you for reference if you should need it.

Next up, I’ll share some information about digital tools.  If you have a tool that’s not working for you, it’s possible that the tool doesn’t fit your time management personality.  If you’d like to take the steps to discover your time management personality, I invite you to check out my Personalizing Time Management audio series.  This series will walk you through the steps and will also teach you the other elements of a solid time management system, how to set it up and maintain it.

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