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By: Mary Sommer

By: Mary Sommer

From Date Catcher to Efficient Planning Tool

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I have created a FREE printable which has 4 pages of areas for you to consider calendaring. Just go to the printables tab on this website.

It is June, school is over, the summer is rolling and it is the perfect time to reexamine your calendar for the rest of the year. Whether you are a paper user, a digital gal or a hybrid of both, like me…. let’s get cracking. 

First, if you use a paper planner are you happy with your current planner? If not, scrap it and get a new one that will work better for you. This is a tool that should add value to your day not make it drudgery.

Second, gather up all the information you will need to get all your dates on your calendar. This might include work schedules, med/dentist/vision appointments, school dates, sports schedules, church meetings, regular social outings, summer camps, birthdays, anniversaries etc.

Third, start putting those dates on your calendar. If you put 10 dates on the calendar everyday for a week you will get most items plotted. If you prefer to just power-through GO FOR IT! Personally our family keeps a large wall calendar so everyone can see everything that might effect other family members. I keep all my appointments and information on my phone calendar. While I love my digital calendar, the actual act of writing something engages a different part of the brain and makes it easier to process the information and remember it. 

However the whole point of this is exercise it performing a BRAIN DUMP so you aren’t taking up valuable brain space trying to remember when your bills are due or summer camp starts. This is a tool to support you not bog you down. 

Next, don’t stop at writing dates. This is NOT a One-and-Done. Take a few moments to look at all of the events and figure out which ones may require action steps. This is the magic that takes your calendar from a date catcher to an actual planning tool. Look at things like birthday and anniversary dates; do they require a card or gift? Work backwards from the date and calendar in advance when to purchase a card or gift and mail it. Put those action steps on your calendar. Are you looking for a summer camp? Set a date in January to start looking and then once it is confirmed make sure all the paperwork due dates are on the calendar with appropriate reminders listed at an earlier date. Practice this activity for most of your items. If you have a doctors appointment on Tuesday put a trigger in your calendar for Monday to make sure you have completed any necessary paperwork and have all the items you need for your appointment. Once you start adding in the calendar triggers it will become second nature and you won’t be running around at the last minute trying to complete paperwork or locate what you need for your meeting or event. This process can be used to tackled anything: household projects, school assignments, big or small events, vacations, work projects, team sports and anything else that you can put on your calendar. 

The great imagineer, Walt Disney said “the way to get started is to quit talking and start doing.” So, let’s start doing . See you next time…. take care

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