Monday, December 24, 2007

Happy New DayTimer!

As the song goes, it's the most wonderful time of the year! I love the New Year, and not least because I get the thrill of setting up a new DayTimer. My sister is far more nuts about organizers than I am... she rarely makes it through a month without cycling to a different planner format. But here at the beginning of 2008, I'm going to make the big switch as well. I'm going back to the full-size (classic) Franklin Covey 2-page-per-day looseleaf, probably in the blue "Monticello" package. This will lend itself to work with some of my resolutions for the upcoming year, which include a more formal prayer list, some personal journaling, and better use of the hour between 5 and 6 AM for actual planning (as opposed to surfing the net and catching morning SportsCenter).

As a bit of background, the year was 1987 and I was a pledge of Delta Upsilon fraternity at USC when the chapter brought in one of our "founding fathers" to talk about being organized in school to the pledge class. His name was Don Weaver, of the class of '83 (the chapter was very young). He gave a short talk about setting goals and working from a list as a tool to getting more done (and more importantly, as a tool to getting the MOST IMPORTANT STUFF done). At the end of the talk, he gave out coupons that we could fill out and mail in that got a free 4-month sample pack of the original DayTimer pocket-sized wire-bound planner, with a cheapo plastic wallet. I wish they still did that--I guess it wasn't cost-effective for them, but it made me a planner user for life. In the 20 years since I have never been without a planner. I've had DayTimers, and Franklin Quest Planners, and Covey 7 Habits Planners. Now Franklin and Covery have merged, and I've got that. I've had classic, compact, and pocket-sized, and I've had wire-bound and loose-leaf. For a short while I even used a second-hand Palm Pilot (but in the end I went back to good old fashioned pen-and-paper). You could fill a small library with the books I have read (and in some cases bought) about the art of "time management." Some of those times I have been better at it and sometimes worse, but at least in theory, I have been for 20 years a person who takes control of his time and his schedule.

Which brings me back to '08. In 2007, I've gotten off the rails. My inner control freak has been out of sorts. But nothing gets one back on track like the smell of fresh, clean DayTimer pages. Office Depot, here I come!


Goode Design said...

hey, [i'm being serious here]... you ever thought about putting together a class on Time management (for adults)? I'd sit in on it...

How about we do it as a DVD series or Streaming Video... I'd love to learn what you know... but have the practical "how to" and "how to use the tools" (i.e. planner, etc) to their max. I've got a planner, but i doubt i use it QUITE to the extent that you do.

give it some thought. if you want to, we can put it together. We could even sell it on late nite TV and have a 45 minute info-mercial.

in all seriousness, if you did a secondary session at camp involving that (making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Eph 5: 16) i'd drive down just to take the class. with planner in hand!

Lori Fitzgerald said...

Oh Happy Day!!!

My new(est) daytimer should arrive any day now...I have been following it with great anticipation since it shipped on Dec 11.

I just wish I were like go for strictly functional, while I want functional (for moms) as well as cute. That's tough to find. Especially when you're talking "Lori cute." We all know that's a little off kilter.

(By the way, if my daytimer comes today, I'm calling in sick to lunch tomorrow...)

Coach Sal said...

Lori, I am "functional" to a point. But I did pay 6 bucks extra for the "Monticello" format, which is just like the original, only a really nice blue. I do like blue. I've already got the basic calendar (monthly only) laid out for the year. Nice!

And Pete, I think you'd be the only one in the class. But if you wanted to hang out at camp for an afternoon and jaw about the time stuff, I'm in. If you'd like a book that covers it best, the one that's still in print is Hyrum Smith's 10 Natural Laws of Successful Time and Life Management (Mainly laws 1-5, esp. 5). Even better if you can find it is an out-of-print book from about '87 called Time Power by Charles Hobbs. That was the one that got me started on this kick. Another good one on the philosophy of TM (but a little preachy on the application) is Stephen Covey's First Things First.

Lori Fitzgerald said...

Well, you already know by now, but my new planner arrived this afternoon and it is AWESOME! I am bringing it tomorrow to show it off. I had to really pull myself together and go to church tonight. I wanted to stay home and play!

Goode Design said...

well there, Sal! I bought both (10 Natural Laws of Successful Time and Life Management & Time Power)... from (being an Ebay shareholder) no more than $8.98 for both including shipping!

i look forward to reading both. beks'll probably beat me to one.

Coach Sal said...

Hey, Pete! Congrats on finding a copy of Time Power. I'm pretty sure that Hyrum Smith, who wrote the 10 Natural Laws book, must have worked for or with Hobbs, as both are so similar. I'd start with the Hobbs.

bekster said...

I wonder if a day-timer would work for me. I know I need to organize my time better, and I am definitely a "list" person, but I don't know if I could successfully attach times to the lists. I tend not to like systems that other people make, as I prefer to figure things out myself. (I would probably really get a kick out of DESIGNING day-timers, but then I would never use them.) On the other hand, I LOVE "blank" notebooks, so if I got something that had places for me to fill stuff in, that might be fun. (Side story: When I was a little kid, I got some hand-me-down books from my cousin. At first I was really excited because they were hard-bound, each one was a different color, and for some reason I thought they were just blank pages. It seemed so inspiring, so I was really disappointed when I found out they actually had stuff printed in them.)

I did use sort of a day-timer system in high school because my work load was so heavy that the only way to get everything done was to write out a list that had something assigned for every half hour from when I got home to when I went to bed. It worked, but I think the success came because I HAD to get everything done. At the time, I thought it was a sign of how messed up the school system was. Anyway, the way my life is now, I have so much more time available to me, I am able to procrastinate a lot more. If I make a list, there is not as much pressure to have to stick to it. (That will change, though, if/when I get a real job.) But, if I could make myself get organized and stick to my plan, I think I would be a lot happier, less guilty, and would be able to get a lot of extra, really cool things done.

So, do you have any tips on time management for someone with less motivation? I am more of a creative, free-floating soul, so I end up following the muse more than actually following a real plan.