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Time management planners

An overview of leading Planners to save you time choosing what's best for you.

Time management planners -

Time Management Planners seem to be a key part of getting control of your time. Most people need some sort of a system to save time and make time -- because it is pretty much impossible to keep it all in your head.
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We like to save you time so we have summarized the key aspects of some of the leading planners available. We believe this information will help you choose the planner that is right for you -- that is, right for you to use as the basis YOUR system (remember this is a tool for you -- you are the master not the slave!

The Time Management Planners we have selected for this overview are:

Day Runner
Day Timer
Filofax
Franklin Covey Planner
Generic Planner
and .....
To use or Not to use, Outlook or a smart phone as your planner. Many new mobile phones, make it is easy to keep track of your daily activities and stay organized. I will talk about whether a PC or a smart phone (for example your T-Mobile Blackberry is the best way to get you organized?

Firstly lets look at why you should consider using a planner at all. Well, as I mentioned above and all the experts and research agrees, we do not function well if our mind is full with all the things we need to do, remember, plan, follow-up on and so on.

The idea of Time Management Planners is that it captures all key information. Think of it as a download for your brain (in the same way you download songs from itunes to your ipod).

We believe that your planner is the central tool in your time management system -- the place for ALL your appointments, activities and notes. It could also be where you keep all the information about your personal and business contacts.

You may choose to use it to record goals, values and purpose statements too, if that's your style.

So what do you look for when looking at Time Management Planners? This is a starting point and it is definitely NOT complete, nor is it a "must have" for all people -- but it is a great place to start.

Look for Time Management Planners that have:

1. Calendar options including 1 Page per day, 2 page per week, 2 page per month
2. A notes section/pages
3. A secure binder either with a strong clip or zip
4. A place for 2 pens, and some credit card type storage

The good thing is that all the major brands have these, plus heaps more....... Let's look at leading brands for Time Management Planners in a little more detail.

Day Runner Planner

Day Runner offer the full range of Time Management Planners and products to help you organize yourself and your family at work and at home. Their brands include our AT-A-GLANCE®, Day Runner® and other time-management and office products.

Who might choose a Day Runner Planner?
If you are looking for one brand for all your family needs then the broad range of products Day Runner have will meet your needs, from kids to mum. to business and home finances, and even gifts.


Day Timer Planner

The original Day Timer started in 1947 and was first known as the Lawyer's Day. The success gave rise to Account's Day, Engineer's Day, and other Days. In 1970 the Day Timers name was registered. The company is now part of the ACCO group.

Day timer has several software products that integrate with the Day Timer system. Day Timer has a training partner that runs the Time Power training program. This is available as an online live tele-seminar or as an in-house program.

Who might choose a Day Runner Timer?
If you want a very specific Time Management Planner then Day Timer has a great process that guides you through the hundreds of options to create a personalized planner(note if you have trouble making up your mind this is not for you :-).


Filofax Planner

The Filofax personal organizer had developed from a simple loose-leaf diary and notebook into an indispensable organizer and status symbol for the 80s. Some of the stores that stock Filofax include Harrods and Harvey Nichols in London, Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdales in the US, Bon Genie in Switzerland, Galleries Lafayette in Paris and Seibu in Japan amongst others.

Filofax has a long history, with the company starting in London in 1930 (which again also shows that getting control of time has been a challenge for many years now!)

The filofax difference, according to Filofax, uses only top quality leathers and materials to ensure that our organizers and leather goods are durable and give years of service. Filofax products are beautifully stitched, finished to the highest standards, and branded with the Filofax logo as a guarantee of authenticity.

Who might choose a Filofax Planner?
Image conscious people who want their planner reflect their personal image and match their fashion sense will appreciate the stylish range Filofax offers.


Franklin Covey Planner

Franklin Covey was formed when Franklin Quest bought Stephen Covey's, the author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (and many other books) Covey Leadership company. The Franklin planners were based on Benjamin Franklin's time management principles. The Franklin Covey planners now reflect both Benjamin Franklin's and Stephen Covey's philosophy;s on effectiveness. The Franklin Covey Planners have very clear connections to the Seven Habits in the book.

The 'Complete Planner Kits' basically contain everything you need to get started and are great value. The Franklin Planner is unique for a number of reasons. Other than common diary features such as the appointment schedule, prioritized daily task list, daily record of events and monthly calendars, our planner allows you to set goals, develop your own mission statement, conduct financial planning along with various tools to keep you focussed and organized.

The most unique feature of the Franklin Time Management Planner tools is the weekly compass card, which is not available anywhere else. The weekly compass card is designed for you to set weekly goals specific to your personal and professional roles.

This card displaying your goals is placed in your clear page finder to keep you focussed for the week and will remind you to achieve these goals. You receive a pack of 26 weeks with your planner kit. Extra packs can be purchased separately.

Franklin Covey regularly conduct the 'Focus' 1 Day Time Management workshop all over the world. This workshop will help you clarify, focus on and execute your highest priorities both personally and professionally. As part of the course materials you receive a complete Franklin Planner System. The facilitator will teach you productivity skills integrated with this powerful planner system, offering you tools and tips to utilize it effectively.

Who might choose a Franklin Covey Planner?
If you enjoyed The Seven Habits book, then you will like this Time Management Planner. If you are looking for some training that ties in really closely with the planner and helps you become more effective, then this is a good option.


Generic Planner

The success of the time management planners from major brands has seen many other companies enter the market. There are lots of options now that are less well known generic brand planners. Essentially these also do the job. Usually there are less options, they are cheaper and do not give the same image as the leading brands.

Who might choose a Generic Planner?
If you are new to Time Management Planners and not really sure how you will go then the generic option can be a simple lost cost option to get you started.


To use or not to use Outlook as your planner

This is a difficult question in one sense, yet perhaps a simple one in another. Let's start with the simple version. Do you like to write notes, with your hand, on a piece of paper. If you answer yes, then use a paper based time management planner.

In our experience this applies to over 90% of the people who have attended our workshops or coaching programs. Only use an electronic planner if you are totally comfortable with doing everything electronically.

Now we realize it is not quite as simple as this, but to save you time we strongly suggest you make your decision this way. Other considerations include: -- do you move from your desk? (and I mean your desk,not the company building) -- If Yes, you need something you can take with you.

Hardware, apps and business software are improving all the time and they will become better at helping you manage your time. At this stage though my most of my clients use a paper diary as there main time management tool.

We are in the process of writing an article about how to incorporate and manage all the different "tools" that have become available, especially the electronic ones such as Outlook, PDAs/Palms, Phones, Blackberrys and iPhones -- come back soon and see what we suggest!

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time management planners





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