Suppose you have five items to add to your planner:
– Your meeting with a senior manager.
– Calling to make a reservation for supper in two weeks;
– Preparing for your presentation for the quarterly meeting;
– The big yearly sale at your favourite store;
– Picking up your teenage daughter downtown at night.

Is there any difference in how you should write these in your planner? Are any of them similar or different? How would you list them?

Meeting with the manager of the company is at a specific time and you should be punctual, so it should be listed as a task at a specific time on that day and highlighted or emphasized.

Calling to make a reservation for supper in two weeks is not particularly specific as to time as long as it’s done soon, so it would be best placed in a more general task area.

The presentation for the quarterly meeting will require many days of work, so you should have a way to block off time on many days for this task.

You may want to catch the big sale on its first day, so it’s specific with regard to a day but not necessarily to a time, so a catch-all place on that day would be best.

Picking up your teenage daughter downtown at night is specific to place and time. You may not want to leave her waiting on a street corner for half an hour waiting for you.

So, it turns out that as far as planning is concerned, meeting with a senior manager and picking up your daughter are actually very similar.

This also suggests that you may benefit from using a planner that provides a variety of spaces for you to track your to-dos, including:
– Standard scheduled spaces
– Daily unscheduled spaces
– Weekly unscheduled spaces
– Spaces covering more than one day.

How well does your current planner serve your needs, including these kinds of tasks?

If you find sometimes that it doesn’t, then whenever it fails you, make a note at the back of your planner what the problem was and what layout change might work better. When you order your next planner, refer to your notes and it should help you choose a layout that is more suitable for your needs.