Post No. 3 for The Comparison Project

Laurie is back with Post 3 for The Comparison Project. You can catch up on Post 1 and Post 2 here.

Inserts, Successes & Belly Flops

Hello Everyone – This is the 3rd post for The Comparison Project – time is flying!

In this week’s post I’ll introduce you to the different diary inserts I’m using and comparing and report back on the inserts I’ve tried so far and what has worked and what has …. well …. not so much.

Since the assignment is for 5 blog posts and my first post was introductory, I’m going to be trying out 4 different types of diary inserts – one each for the other 4 weeks.  I used a set of numbered dividers from Janet to indicate each week, and added a divider front panel I’d made previously – the front panel is attached to the divider with a correspondingly numbered paperclip that was very kindly rak’d to me by Ashley.

In order to protect the privacy of clients and friends I have left a lot of information off of these pages and only included the most generic of my appointments and activities in any week – so the pages look rather bare.

Since my time management experiment relies so heavily on multiple to-do sections, I’ve used the diary sections primarily for appointments and not for daily tasks, so you’ll see very few ‘to-dos’ in these pages.

Week One Divider & Diary Insert:  September 23 – September 29

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This diary insert is a Filofax week on two pages with lines for each hour between 8am – 4pm. Janet sent it with the beautiful Belmont binder and it is in Swedish, which is fun. I have liked the clean format of this insert and the lines have helped keep my loopy handwriting under control – but I’ve paid no attention whatsoever to the times on each line – they just don’t make sense for the way I work. I would love to have lines without the corresponding times of day.

Week Two Divider & Diary Insert: September 30 – October 6

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This diary insert is also from Filofax and also a week on two pages, but it is unlined and gives equal spacing to the weekend days, which the previous one did not. I like having enough space for the weekends and prefer it when all days get equal space. This is the format I am accustomed to using, though without the lines I tend to be rather messy. It’s a small lesson – but I’ve learned that lines are helpful to me!

Week Three Divider & Diary Insert: October 7 – October 13

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I’ll be starting using this diary insert this week – it’s also by Filofax and covers a week on two pages but the format is vertical for each day, rather than horizontal.  I have never used a vertical format before and will be very interested to find out if I like it or if I find the layout confusing.

Final Week Divider & Diary Inserts:  October 14 – 20

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I haven’t decided which diary inserts to use for the final week, but I do know I’ll be departing from the week on two pages format. There are a few candidates I’m considering, and I may even use two simultaneously for a real-time comparison.

Stay tuned.

Successes and Flops from the First 3 Weeks:
    •    SUCCESS: Multiple To-Do Lists:  This method has been a big success for me and has helped me prioritize my tasks. Using the ‘On Fire’ and ‘Must Do Today’ sections has keep me focused and important to-dos have not gotten lost in a big list of tasks having different levels of urgency.

    •    MAKE IT WORK NEEDS WORK:  My start the day routine needs a little work, but I feel it will continue to improve.  The best thing I have done is to silence the alerts on incoming email and messages – except when I am anticipating something really time sensitive.  Without the constant distraction of all those little ‘dings’ it’s much easier to get focused.  I will definitely keep this up.

•    BELLY FLOP:  My ‘Wrap it Up’ procedures have not been easy for me to follow. Particularly the procedure that requires me to clean my desk in the evening to leave it in good shape for the morning.  Too often I work with multiple documents and to put them all neatly away each evening would sometimes be counterproductive. So even though my desk may sometimes look like a paper nest with a space in the center for my hands and the keyboard – it can be more efficient at times.

That’s all for this week – happy organizing!

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