Where Do You Plan?
Now that we are well in to 2015, it's time to compare some thoughts on planners. Many people make a resolution to be more organized, to become better planners, every year. And soon their way of planning and staying organized fails. Many times that's because they aren't picking a way that fits best for them. They download the hottest app from the app store, or they sign up for the first website they find on Google, or they drop money on the best looking paper planner that their best friend swears by. And then... they fail. And it's not really their fault. They weren't thinking of which way worked best for their lives, they were just thinking which would be easiest or best looking in the moment.
So if you're reading this at the end of February feeling guilty about how your paper planner hasn't been opened in a couple of weeks, or how you can't even remember the password to the website you signed up for, it's not to late to be completely successful at your resolution this year. We're going to walk you through some of the pros and cons to the three biggest organizational methods (and you'll notice that "Post-It notes covering your workstation" is not going to be covered.)
Phone & Tablet Apps
The obvious pro to this sort of planner/life organizer is that no one is ever more than a few feet from their phone at any moment. It would seem like the item that is in your hand most during the day is the best place to organize everything you have going on during your day. But this is where things get messy, your phone is always in your hand so hitting ignore on a meeting notification while in a heated Trivia Crack challenge is a plausible scenario that could make you late for the meeting with investors. The other problem with phone/tablet organizers is that there's no convenient way to add information, phone numbers, or future plans/meetings while on the phone with a contact or friend.
Online Website Organizer
Website organizers are great for community organizing. Many websites allow group accounts where everyone can input their data, this sort of planner and organizer is great for small businesses and active families. With little coordinating as a group everyone can input their own schedules and quickly see who has what going on when. Some other good features of this method is not just knowing that your boss is unavailable due to a meeting, but also getting reminders emailed to you of a conference call an hour before so you won't forget to call in. The downside to this is that you do have to go on to the website and input information, and while many of these sort of websites are mobile it's not as user friendly as the app option.
Paper planners and organizers can feel a little old school to many modern day entrepreneur. But before you write (see what I did there?) these off, consider the benefits of keeping your day to day plans and activities on paper. There are studies that have shown writing things down can help aid in remembering things - so while the point of a planner is to not have to remember everything, it is beneficial to remember the name of the person you're meeting Thursday at 3 pm if they call you to confirm that morning. Also a paper planner gives space to write notes during conference calls, as well as make lists for projects. The obvious downside to this way of organizing is that you need to remember your planner when you leave the house or office and there's no easy way to share your schedule with others.
If you've fallen off the organized wagon already consider what features are important to you and what needs you have and find the planner that works best for you. All of us at Go Be Social Media have found our fit with a paper day planner (we even all share the same love of Erin Condren's planners!)