Why should I use one?

Some of us myself included, remember when we went on the annual day planner purchase. For many years around November, I and most everyone I know that has been working for 20+ years would order their new annual paper-based, book bound, day planner. Today our calendars and schedules are digital and many feel more efficient but digital scheduling and calendar management solutions have proven to have its own challenges. So you tell me, which is a better business tool, the digital version or the paper version?

They still sell day planners so this could be part of the answer but the truth is, today in business you need both versions. Digitally you are in good shape if you don’t miss an entry. Remember to click the alert icon to make sure you don’t miss a scheduled event/meeting/call.

Yesterday a senior executive called to discuss how many employees are missing meetings, late for meetings and calls, forgetting personal commitments and generally just not as spot on with keeping it all together. Our discussion circled around multiple device management, sync options, and printing options. People not using Apple products are having calendar sync issues thereby missing calendar entries and alerts.

Personally, I miss my day planner. Not only could I jot down notes of what I needed to bring to a meeting or what to prepare for, or if I needed to remind myself of something or just enter any notes I chose to add. The best part was I was precisely organized with accessibility in one place on the correct date and time.

I love using Outlook. Some love Google calendar but the reality is that you can’t see everything at a glance like you can with a day planner in hard copy.

So what is the answer?

When you are unemployed or in employment transition, I recommend using both a digital calendar and a mid to large size day planner. Employment and executive coaches feel it is important visually to see your day/week plan. They agree it is important to keep a consistent structure while in job search mode. Treat your unemployment time as a clean slate opportunity to schedule daytime, daily job search activities and evening networking functions. Try and use two different pen colours if it is helpful. One colour to add in job search details, interviews or time blocking for research organizations, interview teams and any other preparation required.