My system has worked for me for a long time. Even with the many changes in binders, I have (for the most part) kept the main innards of the planner pretty much the same. Since starting with Filofax, I have always kept my work to-dos separate from my Filo. Work is work, it never comes home with me, so there was no need to include my work to-dos in my personal planner. (My work schedule—appointments, meetings, and places to be have always been included in my Filo, however.) But suddenly, I am in need of a change.
My workload has increased dramatically since I started working at the library—I have taken on new projects, many of them very different from each other. I split my time between the reference desk answering questions and office time when everything else gets done. Among other things, a huge part of my job consists of creating most of the publicity for our reference department—flyers for our programs, brochures and handouts for our services, bibliographies for book suggestions, and many other things. Most of these items are time-specific. That is, they have due dates of when they need to be completed and dates when they need to be removed from the floor. Plus, there are dates when I need to start working on them, as I need time to create them, have them approved by both the person requesting the item and the director, and time to print the item. So that means a lot of due dates in my work planner. (My work planner happens to be an At-a-Glance monthly/weekly spiral bound book.) With all of the information I keep track of (program dates, due dates, program sign-up dates, etc.), it has always worked well to keep it in a separate book, apart from my Filofax.
The problem is, since I keep my schedule in my Filo, it has been increasingly difficult to manage my time easily. When scheduling what to do when (based on when I am scheduled to come in and when I am at the reference desk versus my own desk), I’d have to look at my Filo, return to my AAG planner, constantly shuffling back and forth between the two. For a while I would keep track of my work schedule in both the Filo and AAG. But this too became a problem—whenever there was a change in my schedule (which happens fairly often), I’d have to update it in four places (the monthly and weekly portions of the AAG planner and the monthly and daily portions of the Filo). It was just too much.
I began to brainstorm about how to make my work and personal life work together more seamlessly. I thought about (and tested) keeping my work to-dos in Google Tasks, which I did for a long time before the Tasks started to go wonky in our (work) Google Apps—for some reason, I would always have an issue with moving an item from one date to another. Tasks would crash; I’d lose any changes to my list and have to keep a written list anyway. To date, this problem is still occurring. I have too many work to-dos to even chance losing them and no time to fuss with it.
Then I wondered if I could actually add my work to-dos to my Filo. Many people do this successfully, so why was it such an issue for me?
- The biggest issue I have is that I like the weekly layout for my work to-dos—I make posters a week before a program date, flyers two weeks before a program date, and start creating flyers about three to four weeks before a program date. So it is very easy to flip to the week prior and add those to-dos. But with my Filo, I prefer to use the daily sheets so that I can keep track of random notes and thoughts and events that pop up throughout the day that the personal size weekly layout would not allow for. (I tried switching to the weekly inserts it in the past. There was just not enough room for all of that.)
- Another issue with using the Filo is a question of how I would separate my work to-dos from my personal to-dos for each day.
- A third issue is that I plan when items need to be done before I have my schedule in place. Our newsletter is published quarterly, so I have to plan for three to four months at a time but my schedule is created only a week or so before the start of any given month. Where could I place my work to-dos in relation to my personal to-dos if I don’t know what hours my work schedule would take place and where I’m schedule to be? (Originally I was thinking that I could put my work to-dos next to the hour slots that I would be at work, allowing to differentiate between them and my personal to-dos).
There were so many issues working against using my Filo for my work to-dos. But I was determined to try it. After all, I have plenty of room on my daily pages to add them.
|The layout of a typical day|
I don’t know how it will all work out in the end. Last week when thinking about moving all of my work to-dos to the Filo, I wrote everything in there, only to cross it out and continue using the AAG planner, only to then move back to the Filo. I have to really give it chance before I can say it doesn’t work. So for now I’m using my Filo for work to-dos, which is unchartered territory for me. I will let you know how it goes.
In the meantime, I’m excited about it. I’ve written date-specific items on the day I need to start working on it. Anything that doesn’t have a specific due date gets written on the DayTimer Hot Sheet (one side is for work and the other side is for personal items—personal to-do items are managed in the same way).
|Typical day now with work to-do items|