Sort It ~ Professional Organizing for the Toronto Area

It’s Planner Time!

I’m just over the 6 month mark of using my first Quo Vadis planner, and I thought I would give you all an update from my earlier post Keeping The Calendar.

I have always been a planner-aholic. All throughout junior and high school, as well as university, I would be the first one with my planner out, making sure all of my life events were scheduled out. First, let me confess that I used two other planners last year. My first was a small, very thin, planner that cost quite close to $1. If you’ve been an avid reader of mine, than you’ll know that this is not uncommon for me, as I tend to be on the thrifty side. I used this planner (which I got for Christmas 2010) for about 7 months, but I really wasn’t fully satisfied with it. The style had 3 days on the left page, 2 days (plus a small weekend section) on the right. Also, the times slots that it gave were sparse, at best (7 & 10 a.m., 1, 4 & 7 p.m.). I guess those “in between” hours didn’t really matter to them. But, I made due, thinking that all planners are created equal. Then, I moved up a step. Someone gave me their daily Brownline planner, because they didn’t like the style (that should have been a flag, no?). I wasn’t a huge fan either, as each day had its own page, and it was very bulky and heavy. Although, I could include a lot of detail, which was nice. I will admit that I am probably busier than most, but I was never busy enough to have to put in 10 back to back appointments. I used that planner until November 30th.

Why November 30th, you ask? Well, let me tell you. I attended a Professional Organizers in Canada conference at the beginning of November, last year. We had about 5 different sessions, and they were all, for the most part, fabulous. I was incredibly fortunate to also take part in a LinkedIn session, conducted by Margarita Ibbott. Much to my excitement (perhaps over excitement to some), there awaiting me, like a beacon in the night, was a green, medium sized, Minister 2012 Quo Vadis planner. (Actually, I think that it may have been black, and a size up, but I stealthily swapped for one in my company colour 😀 ). Did my eyes deceive me? An actual, quality planner? Just for me? Sweet!

This particular model, so to speak, is fantastic and perfect for me for three reasons:

  1. It has a whole week on 2 pages. When I get into a daily situation, I lose sight of the big picture, plus it would probably triple the thickness of it. Remember: Less is more.
  2. It has a notes section – for each week! Five medium sized boxes to jot down to-dos, or in my situation, driving instructions (no, I don’t have a GPS – I have a love affair with Google Maps, because I’m a visual person). Looking back, there has only been one week when I haven’t used that handy section.
  3. It fits in my purse. Granted I’m not carrying around a clutch, but it is a great size to fit into any medium sized purse.
  4. BONUS: It’s green! Did I mention that I love green? And next year, I only have to order the refill. I don’t have to purchase a new exterior 🙂 Less waste is always a good thing.

As I mentioned earlier, I’m a busy gal. To recap from my previous post, I have a colour coded system that I use to keep myself straight:

Blue ~ Toronto Willowdale Aquarium Society (Blue = water 🙂 )

Brown ~ Tutoring

Orange ~ Brownies (Their uniform colour is now orange, not brown)

Green ~ Sort It appointments  (My business colour)

Pink ~ Personal

Purple ~ Church events

To do this, I utilize my Pilot Frixion Pens, which are erasable. Yes folks, erasable colour pens. And not like the ones we had back in high school, that would only take a layer off, but you could still read it. No, these erase fully, which is incredibly useful when a client cancels or changes the time to get together. I have too much going on in my mind to occupy it with trying to remember dates and times. I also hate double booking myself, as I try to be a woman of my word.

So, in short, would I recommend a Quo Vadis planner? Absolutely. It’s cute, and it’s easy to maintain. I will certainly be purchasing a refill for next year, if I don’t happen to “come across” one in the meantime 😉

What quality do you look for most in a planner/agenda?


Stick To Your Commitment

I had the opportunity to donate blood today. I made an appointment earlier on in the week, because I had made a note that I was eligible to donate again today (every 56 days, in case you’re curious). During the process, I was speaking to one of the nurses who was conducting my prescreening, and she said that 50% of the people who had made appointments showed up today. Half? Really? That’s pretty sad. So, I got to thinking about the possible reasons that people hadn’t shown up – or at least canceled their appointment if they were no longer available.

It was a beautiful day, so perhaps some people opted to stay outside instead. However, I would like to believe that when people commit to something, then they will make an earnest effort to see it through. Especially in this situation, where one would presumably go out of their way in order to make the appointment, and it is something that could potentially save lives. So, I have to assume the obvious – they forgot.

I have a planner, my husband and I have a 4-month wall calendar, and we also use an online calendar for good measure. I use my planner for everything. Every appointment and commitment that I have gets written down. I also use it to keep me on task for projects and to do lists. My husband and I use our online calendar to ensure that we’re both on the same page, just in case he doesn’t hear me when I tell him I’m spending the evening with a friend. Anytime something goes into my planner, it goes into the online calendar. Our wall calendar is used more often for big events, whereas the online calendar is more for day to day activities.

However, personally, I need to have a paper, hard copy planner. I know that with iPhones and Blackberries (sp?) a lot of people are moving to an electronic format, and I completely appreciate that. I just know that personally, I enjoy writing and scribbling and adding personality to my plans that only paper can offer me.

Learn for yourself and experiment to see if you’re an electronic or paper person, and then use it! Consistency is key. Once you’ve set up a system, use it for a few weeks, then tweak it according to your preference. Doing so will make it much easier to stick to your commitments.