For a long time, I thought that meant that EVERYTHING had to fit on the same daily or weekly pages. After all, appointments and tasks and everything else all happen in a mixed up muddle. Oh, there were advantages. I could see that I needed to be at an appointment at 3 p.m. while doing my errands at 1 p.m. and typing my blog sometime during the day.
But I was clearly wrong. In real life, you need to be where you need to be when you need to be there. Then, you need to plan everything else around your schedule.
Since the beginning of planners, there have been schedules and to do lists. Those two important lists make up the meat of a planner. But they are different, in very fundamental ways.
Your schedule (and schedule might not even be the right word, as supper is on our schedule every night, but I don't write it down) tells you where you have to be and when you have to be there. I actually call mine my calendar and dedicate only monthly pages for this purpose.
Everything else - due dates for assignments and bills, notes to yourself to get the car inspections, and reminders to get your flu shot - goes elsewhere. Mostly, they are tasks that go on to do list. In some cases, they are more notes to yourself. But they are not part of your schedule - unless they must be done at a certain time and only at that time - so they should not go on the part of your planner reserved as a calendar.
Exception: If your particular schedule is very demanding (as mine was when I was running my law firm, seeing five or six clients a day along with other meetings and court dates), you might need a weekly calendar dedicated to dates and times. Just use two weeklies - one for dates and times and the other to plan your life.
That's it. The advantage is just that you show up where you are supposed to, when you are supposed to show up. But that, my Loyal Readers, is enough.
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